Pita Ochai

After the jury of local experts selected the winners of the 2018-2019 Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge in Nigeria, they were presented with their awards at an official ceremony held on February 13 at Oriental Hotel, Lagos.

The three winners of the Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge in Nigeria are Ogunbanjo Olumide, AgroData Network: AgroData Network promotes organic farming via community-based beekeeping providing farmers with free beehives. The company deploys natural techniques to keep the bees within the ecosystem.

Obaoye Justus, Carido Automobiles Service Technology: Carido is an on-demand automobile service technology which aggregates automobile maintenance demands through mobile devices and thereafter facilitates their fulfilment through select offline services performed by competent and vetted mechanics.  

 Ijir Aondosoo, My Waste, My Energy: My Waste, My Energy converts rice husk waste to an energy source and provides a sustainable form of domestic energy, reduces environmental degradation and deaths associated with respiratory diseases as Nigeria record 93,000 deaths annually due to smoke from firewood. 

These young entrepreneurs will receive financial support of up to N6million for the first prize to develop their project. They will also receive personalised support and coaching from Passion Incubator and a communications campaign to publicise their project.

The winner of the Top Female Entrepreneur award, a new addition to the 2018-2019 Challenge to support women in business went to Omotosho Oghenekevwe, Isabiwork: Isabiwork is an app which helps customers easily locate the nearest artisan or service provider in their location thereby bridging the digital divide between artisans and their potential customers.

The jury also awarded the Young Entrepreneur prize to Emmanuel Ezenwere, Arone Aerial Services: Arone is bridging the gap between rural and urban health care services in sub-Saharan Africa by transporting medical supplies from medical storage and distribution centres to primary healthcare centres using autonomous delivery drones.

The 2018-2019 Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge, held simultaneously in 55 countries — 37 of which are in Africa, 11 in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East region, 4 in the Americas, and 3 in Europe — reaffirms Total’s commitment to social and economic development in host countries worldwide. By helping innovative young entrepreneurs to realize their projects, the Challenge strengthens the local social fabric.

 The second Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge received nearly 50,000 entries, of which more than 15,000 were fully completed. In all, 825 finalists presented their projects to a jury of experts, with 165 winning prizes.

The first prize winner in each country will see their project presented to the international grand juries that will pick the six Grand Winners from all 55 countries.

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