Startupper: Total Sets Aside N12 Million To Promote Local Enterprises 

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Yemisi Izuora 

Total Nigeria will dole out Twelve million naira, (N12 Million) to boost capacity of local entrepreneurs who will emerge from its 2018-2019 ‘Startupper’ project.

Oriental News Nigeria reports that the first edition of the initiative which was unveiled in 2015 and held across 34 African countries targeted young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas across all business sectors as a way to encourage business development.

At the launch of the second edition of the project in Lagos, the company said it has a duty to create opportunities for all its stakeholders especially at this period when Africa is pursuing inclusive social and economic development.

After recording huge success at inception, Total is now launching the project at global scale in almost 60 countries and on every continent.

Addressing the media on expectations from this year’s Startupper project, Bunmi Popoola-Mordi general manager human resources and corporate services/secretary of Total, said the programme is designed to support and reward young entrepreneurs up to 35 years of age who have a project or have created a company in the past two years, regardless of their business sector.

She said that in each participating country, a local jury made up of Total experts, leaders of business incubators, company chief executives and prominent local actors would select three winners.

Each winner will receive the ‘Startupper of the year by Total’ label and would be eligible to receive financial assistance, professional support and an advertising campaign to provide their project with visibility.

The projects will be judged on three criteria which includes their innovative nature, social and community impact and feasibility and development potential.

This year’s edition would give priority attention that will lead to an award to top female entrepreneur.

According to Popoola-Mordi, with this special price, supplementary to the three others Total will be encouraging women to participate in greater numbers in the Startupper challenge.

She said winner of this year’s project which will be concluded in the first quarter of 2019 will receive a financial support of N6 million, while the second runner up will receive N3.6 million and third person will get N2.4 million.

Winner of 2015/2016 maiden edition Mr. Opeyemi Owosho who shared his experience said he was able to boost his gas cylinder production with the financial support from Total.

Today he said over 10 people are in his employment and is looking forward to expand his plant capacity.

According to him, with the support he has been able to source 80 per cent of production materials locally.

He said he is prompted to go into the business having realised the investment potentials as Nigeria ranks as lowest consumer of cooking gas in sub Saharan Africa despite its huge gas reserves.

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