Lagos – 12th April 2016 – The promotion of African entrepreneurs and innovative solutions to the continent’s challenges were at the forefront of Friday’s MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge powered by Jumia.
On April 8th 2016, Jumia Nigeria, in collaboration with MTN and Lagos Business School screened 10 entrepreneurs’ teams at a live pitch event, which took place at the Lagos Business School in Lagos, Nigeria.
Jumia Nigeria Managing Director Fatoumata Ba strongly welcomed the initiative, stating that “the Challenge is aimed at promoting and encouraging young Nigerian entrepreneurs. We want to give them strong opportunities to bring to life innovating projects, in the technology sector, that will empower the modern Nigerian man and woman.”
She noted that “by empowering and supporting Nigerian entrepreneurs, we build a strong ecosystem of start-ups and SMEs that will eventually tackle one of Nigeria’s biggest problem: its high unemployment rate.”
The short-listed teams presented their start-up project at a live pitch before 4 judges; Fatoumata Ba, Managing Director of Jumia Nigeria, Guillaume Leblond, Managing Director of Hellofood Nigeria, Henry Okoede, Senior Manager Business Development MTN Nigeria and Dr Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, Academic Director and Owner Program at Lagos Business School. They all guided the teams through the live pitches and provided them with feedback and comments on their presentations and expressions.
The 10 teams included ajaoko, Wazobia Farmers, Medical Digital-Dashboard, Metro Digital Group, Farmers Hub, Trash Collect, Ucare Icare Nigeria, Myloveaffairs concepts, Pass.ng and SchoolWork. Those 10 teams were shortlisted by the Judges before the live pitch event and out of a pool of more than 800 applicants across Nigeria.
Pass.ng and Schoolwork were shortlisted and declared winners of the live pitch event in Nigeria. Both projects are dedicated to empowering students and teachers alike and improving Nigeria’s educational system The projects also recognized the importance of going mobile in Nigeria and presented mobile platforms to help students pass their exams (Pass.ng) and improve the learning experience for students and the teaching experience for lecturers.
The MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge powered by Jumia is a multi-phased Pan-African competition which started locally in every country across Africa in February. Thousands of applications from African entrepreneurs were received, reviewed and the best ones were selected to pitch in April. The massive participation clearly shows the striking entrepreneurship spirit of the African youth. A spirit particularly adamant in Nigeria which scored the highest number of applications received among all other countries where the Challenge is taking place.
Indeed, similar live pitches event were organized in countries where Jumia operates, notably Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.
Pass.ng and Schoolwork will now have to convince another Jury who is convening behind closed doors this week to announce the final list of winners who will be flown to Cape Town for the Grand Finale. Indeed, 10 final winners from across Africa will be flown to South Africa to attend the Entrepreneurship Festival, hosted by the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business on May 27 2016.
The finalists will have to pitch their project to a room of successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, judges, investors and international media before the grand winner is announced.
The winner of the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge powered by Jumia will win a cash prize of US $25 000 dedicated to bringing to life their start-up project and will also benefit from a yearlong partnership with Jumia, where they will have the opportunity to work from any of the e-commerce’s offices across Africa.
The final winning team will have the opportunity to learn from, and be mentored by experienced and successful entrepreneurs in the JUMIA network.
Here’s to wishing a tremendous success to our Nigerian start-ups for the next round!
For more information about the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge powered by Jumia please visit: http://www.gsb.uct.ac.za/MTNECbyJumia/