Over 1,000 African entrepreneurs to battle for MTN/Jumia’s $25,000 challenge

Students in Africa face a challenge: develop a unique digital application or smart solution that will solve a tangible problem faced on the continent.

There are several problems facing Africa, from poverty to lack of access to power. All around the world, people are using technology to solve everyday problems and Africa has not been left out of this trend. But more needs to be done. Telecommunications giant MTN, in partnership with the MTN Solution Space and top online retailer Jumia, has, therefore, launched the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge powered by Jumia.

The competition will bring together over 1000 entrepreneurs, students and investors, to collaborate on ways to amplify and consolidate the continent’s entrepreneurs. It is targeting more than 60 universities in 13 countries across Africa.  Aspiring entrepreneurs from participating universities can enter in teams by clicking here.

“Africa is a continent of promise, and our aim with the MTN Solution Space has always been to help fulfil this promise by developing uniquely African solutions. We believe that the entrepreneurship challenge is a key element of this,” says Sarah-Anne Arnold, Manager of the MTN Solution Space.

Arnold expressed excitement about the response and willingness of universities across Africa to collaborate on the initiative. According to her, it “exemplifies the impact of collective efforts to foster entrepreneurship among our next generation of business leaders”.

MTN’s Group Chief Digital Officer, Herman Singh, also notes that the inspiration of new business leaders in Africa and their enablement to success will be key drivers for the future rapid evolution of a broader start-up culture on the continent.

Applications for the first round of the multi-phased competition opened yesterday and will close on 27 March 2016. After series of screening and pitches, a winner will emerge at the Entrepreneurship festival, hosted at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business in South Africa on May 27 2016.

The winner of the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge powered by Jumia will win a cash prize of $25 000 and will also benefit from a yearlong partnership with Jumia, where they will have the opportunity to work from any of the retailer’s offices across Africa. Jumia is present in 11 African countries.

Jumia says the competition will propel young talents to feats across Africa by creating a seamless platform for teeming Africa youths to kick-start their projects.

“This competition will contribute to building a stronger and more sustainable business environment across Africa. Its main goal is to boost and fuel African entrepreneurship by enabling young and smart entrepreneurs to kick off with their own projects,” explains Fatoumata Ba, Managing Director, Jumia Nigeria.