The Vodacom Lesotho Foundation in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) launched Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) at the event held in Maseru on Tuesday.
The EWC is open and accepting applications until 15th August 2022. The program offers a chance to pitch on a 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 Corporate Affairs Executive, Head, Mr. Tšepo Ntaopane said EWC is a national initiative aiming to curb the high unemployment rate.
He noted that Vodacom Foundation was challenged by the rate of unemployment in the country, saying most of the entrepreneurs are not eligible to get loans from the banks to boost their businesses hence they joined the global initiative of EWC.
He further noted that it is vital to invest in local entrepreneurship as this will boost the country’s economy.
Mr. Ntaopane stressed that the entrepreneurs will make a necessary network that will help grow their businesses, saying they will link with entrepreneurs from developed countries to learn entrepreneurship skills from them.
Also speaking, a Member of GEN Lesotho, Mrs. Ntšepeng Tšitsa said any start-up is welcome to apply and become an applicant, saying applicants must be legally registered or planning to register in Lesotho, and must not be over 7 years in business at the time of finals and EWC Global Winners from previous editions are not eligible to participate again in EWC 2022.
She noted that immediately after registration the applicants will get free training on entrepreneurship skills.
She said the local prize is worth M1, 000,000 in cash, saying winners will the best Top 5 Start-Ups from Lesotho.
“The Grant Prize; M200,000, Best Growth Stage; M100,000, Best Early Stage: M100,000, Best Idea Stage: M50,000, Best Social Enterprise; M50,000. The prizes will also include 1-year Incubation, Coaching, Mentorship, and International Study Tour,” she said.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.
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