South Africa is at a turning point right now, the unemployment rate is high and everyone is giving entrepreneurship a shot. It doesn’t matter if you are pursuing your dream fulltime or you have a corporate job and this is part time. Starting a business is hard work – what they don’t tell you is that you will use your own money for the first year or so. No one is going to buy into your idea even when they say that they will when you tell them about your business venture, people need to trust your business as well as you, as the founder of the business, and that takes time.
You would be lucky if you found someone to fund your dream, but South Africa doesn’t have that culture. Most of us have to put in the work and pray that the business doesn’t fail in the first three years. You need to build a network that will also be able to help you during tough times, with coaching and at times a loan. When the people of Total said that they are doing the ‘Startupper Of The Year’ challenge, I thought to myself that this is a great opportunity for those who are pushing this entrepreneurship journey. So here is the lowdown on how to get involved with the Startupper of the Year Challenge with Total.
Are you a young entrepreneur? Do you have a project you believe in? Is it innovative and does it address a social or community challenge in your country or for your fellow citizens? Then this is for you and this is how it works.
Total aims to support good ideas and projects that help address a widespread problem affecting communities in your country. It could be about providing educational opportunities, reducing child mortality, improving public health, developing access to electricity in rural areas, improving road safety on the roads or building houses with eco-friendly materials — in fact, anything that could make life better in your country. Tell us how your project will help more and more people over time, at home or even abroad. Tell us how it empowers people, improves living conditions, and contributes to overall economic well-being.
Anyone can change the world — teenagers or graduates, men or women. As long as you believe in your project and want to make things better, take this opportunity to participate. You could be the next Startupper of the Year or the Top Female Entrepreneur!