business

July 18, 2022

NEO SENOKO

3 min read

Vodacom invests M1 million in local businesses

Vodacom invests M1 million in local businesses

Vodacom Lesotho Executive Head-Legal, Regulatory and External Affairs, Tšepo Ntaopane

Story highlights

  • Telecommunication giant partners with global body to empower startups
  • Primary objective of the project is to grow entrepreneurship

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VODACOM Lesotho Foundation has joined the global initiative, the Entrepreneurial World Cup (EWC) which is a global incubation contest open to aspiring young entrepreneurs across the world to pitch their business startup ideas online on the global stage for a share of US$ I million ( about M16 million) in prices.

Through the initiative, contestants will among others be able to leverage world class content in the entrepreneurship world to unleash their ideas, hone their pitching skills and engage with a global network of mentors.

The value proposition of the initiative is all about the entire experience that includes training, resources, connections, mentorships, life changing prices together with business opportunities and investment.

Vodacom Lesotho as the national host, is offering prices worth M1 million in cash and kind, towards the best top five startups from Lesotho with the grand price set at M200 000, the two best runner ups will take home M100 000 while the other two best performers will pocket M50 000 each. The prices will also include one-year incubation, coaching, coaching, mentorship and international study tour.

“The primary objective of our intervention is to ensure that we grow entrepreneurship. And the output out of growing entrepreneurship particularly in the youth will change our mindset towards entrepreneurship,” said Vodacom Lesotho Executive Head-Legal, Regulatory and External Affairs, Tšepo Ntaopane, during the official launch of the programme on Tuesday.

He said Vodacom Lesotho decided to join the initiative to give young Basotho entrepreneurs an opportunity to compete at a global stage where they shall create the necessary networks.

“This process is going to create the networks that will help entrepreneurs to link up with potential markets elsewhere as well as see what other markets are doing. The aim is to create an ecosystem that will be critical towards making our entrepreneurs to be visible. That is why we found it critical to partner with them,” Mr Ntaopane added.

The telecommunications giant has partnered with the other two local companies including Business Doctors and Bam Group Foundation.

In the early stages between June and August this year, startups will participate in a series of virtual training opportunities to sharpen their skills around areas such as customer and industry knowledge, personal and team skills, creativity and problem solving as well as business acumen.

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Between August and September, national competitions will be happening around the world with startups competing for national prizes and a chance to qualify for the EWC Global finals.  

In October the EWC group stage contestants shall participate in a combination of virtual training sessions and direct, one-to-one mentorship to prepare them for the global finals. November will subsequently see EWC top 100 have access to further training sessions with mentors, network with potential investors and compete on stage for $1 million in total prizes and support services.

Post EWC support, global finalists will then be enrolled in the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Starters Club, providing a global peer network, mentorship and other support services to help members reach their full potential.

The finals will feature top entrepreneurs where the final 25 startups will pitch their ideas and push the edge of innovation.

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