The Vodacom Lesotho Foundation in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) launched the Entrepreneurship World Championship (EWC) at an event held in Maseru on Tuesday.
EWC is open and accepting applications until August 15, 2022. The program offers the opportunity to present yourself on the global stage for a share of US$1 million in global prizes, access to international mentors and investors plus M1 million in local prizes and local incubation.
Speaking at the event, Vodacom’s Executive Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Tsepo Ntaopane said that the EWC is a national initiative aimed at combating the high rate of unemployment.
He noted that the Vodacom Foundation was challenged by the unemployment rate in the country, saying that most entrepreneurs do not have the right to get loans from banks to boost their business so they joined the EWC global initiative.
He further emphasized that it is vital to invest in local entrepreneurship as it will boost the country’s economy.
Mr. Ntaopane emphasized that the entrepreneurs will create the necessary network to help grow their business, saying they will connect with entrepreneurs from developed countries to learn entrepreneurial skills from them.
Also speaking, GEN Lesotho member, Ms Ntšepeng Tšitsa, said any start-up is welcome to apply and become a candidate, saying applicants must be legally registered or planning to register in Lesotho and must not have more than 7 years of business at the time of the finals and EWC global winners from previous editions are not eligible to participate again in EWC 2022.
She noted that candidates will receive free training on entrepreneurial skills immediately after registration.
She said the local prize is worth M1, 000,000 in cash, saying the winners will be the top 5 start-up companies from Lesotho.
“Grant award; M200,000, best growth stage; M100,000, Best Early Stage: M100,000, Best Idea Stage: M50,000, Best Social Enterprise; M50,000. The awards will also include a one-year incubation, coaching, mentoring and an international study trip,” she said.
Applicants can apply at www. entrepreneurshiworldcup.org.ls for local awards and www.entepreneushipworldcup.com for international awards or can call 22311541 for more information.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Government of Lesotho.
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