Total, a global integrated energy producer and provider, has launched the “Startupper of the year Challenge” which provides a unique and exciting new opportunity for young innovators and entrepreneurs to get recognition, support and assistance in their various projects.

Starting your own business can be tough. It takes huge amounts of determination, ambition and discipline. Only those who are keen and consistent make it and become successful. In Africa and elsewhere, many young people aspire to start their own business and build a brighter future, this is why Total has created the Startupper of the year challenge. In their own words, “Ideas deserve a helping hand. Google, Facebook, Daily Motion, Twitter, Deezer, Airbnb and other leading names in the 2.0 economy all started as the brainchild of inspired young people.”

To be considered one has to be under 35 years, should  want to create a business or develop one that is less than two years old, be a citizen of one of these African countries: Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Guinea, Republic of the Congo, Re-union, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe

One is expected to consider the challenges that need to be tackled where you live, and how your innovations could address them. Show Total “how”, and you will receive their support such that they can help you transform your world. The challenge is looking for those who will inspire, create, invest, hire and produce.

In each of the 34 countries in which the contest will be held, a jury of business people led by a chairman will be created. It will have at least 10 members, including C.E.Os of Total’s affiliates in the country. The jury will include managers from national and international companies drawn from a wide variety of business sectors. They will evaluate the innovativeness, boldness and originality of your project, along with its social and economic impact, feasibility, sustainability and potential in terms of growth, development and employment.

The awards include assistance in getting the winner’s businesses off the ground, or development of a business less than two years old. Each winner will receive individual coaching. On completion of the coaching, total will provide financial support for their project.

The deadline for applications is January 31st 2016. You can apply for the challenge here.