Total Uganda has awarded sh130m to the top three winners of the Startupper of the Year by Total challenge, as seed capital to kick-start and fund their business ideas.
The winners included; Samuel Malinga- a consultant at Sanitation Africa who walked away with sh65m, Arthur Woniala- founder of Khainza who walked away with sh40m and Gloria Nakyejwe Kalyango- proprietor of Eco-technologies who walked away with sh25m.
The prize money was handed over at a gala held at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel. The ceremony followed a four-month search for the most innovative and entrepreneurial business ideas by Total Uganda and Total E&P. The competition kicked off on November 03, 2015 and ended on March 12, 2016.
Speaking at the awards’ ceremony, Total Uganda’s managing director, Florentin de Loppinot, said the competition received over 190 entries from Uganda alone and out of these, 10 competitive participants were chosen by a jury of ten.
“The 10 participants presented their projects to the jury on March 12, 2016 after a week-long boot camp at Garuga Beach Resort Hotel. Tonight, we honour the best of the best of Uganda’s young brilliant minds that were brave enough to share their dream with us,” Loppinot said.
The challenge is part of Total Uganda and Total Group’s initiative to promote socioeconomic development in Uganda and on the African continent, bringing to life the brand’s thematic “energizing life”.
Speaking at the same event, Total E&P’s general manager Adewale Fayemi, noted that:
“This is testimony of what our youth are capable of and since the fact stands that Uganda’s population is largely below 40 years of age, I want to urge the government of Uganda and corporate entities to put their energy and resources into supporting initiatives of the youth to drive faster economic growth,” Fayemi said.
In addition to the sh130m financial support, the winning projects will be granted the title “Startupper of the year 2016 by Total” and coaching from Total Uganda on how best they can improve their projects for better results and resource utilisation among other things. The seven finalists who didn’t make it to the top three were also awarded free Total Gaz cylinders worth, each and certificates of merit.