The Startupper of the Year by Total aims to support good ideas and projects that help address a widespread problem affecting communities in various countries.

It could be about providing educational opportunities, reducing child mortality, improving public health, developing access to electricity in rural areas, improving road safety or building houses with eco-friendly materials — in fact, anything that could make life better across the globe.

This Challenge supports and rewards young local entrepreneurs in any business sector with a project or business less than two years old. The project or business owner must not be more than 35 years of age, so why not enter?

Total encouraged participants to enter and demonstrate how their project will help more and more people over time, at home or even abroad. Projects need to empower people, improves living conditions, and contributes to overall economic well-being in order to gain a spot in the finals.

The Prize:

Three winners from each country will receive financial support, extensive publicity and coaching. From among these three winners per country, Total will be selecting grand winners per region, who will be offered additional support.

This year, a Top Female Entrepreneur category was introduced. During the first Challenge, women accounted for almost 25% of the winners, even though they only made up 13% of the applicants. With this special award this year, Total hopes to give women entrepreneurs an extra push to take part. It is also aligned with Total other initiatives for women.

Each winner will be awarded the “Startupper of the Year by Total” label and receive financial support of at least R150 000 up to R500 000, plus professional coaching and extensive publicity to advertise their project.

A grand jury will meet subsequently to select three Grand Winners for the entire continent, from among the first-prize winners in each country.