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100 African Startups as TotalEnergies Celebrates 100 Years of Empowering African Innovation

100 African Startups as TotalEnergies Celebrates 100 Years of Empowering African Innovation. In a milestone year marked by a century of operation, energy giant TotalEnergies is lighting the path for Africa’s future by recognizing and rewarding 100 of the continent’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The 4th edition of the “Startupper of the Year by TotalEnergies” Challenge takes on a special significance as it coincides with TotalEnergies’ 100th anniversary, underlining the company’s enduring commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship across Africa.



A Continent on the Rise: The African Startup Landscape

Africa is experiencing a dynamic entrepreneurial boom. According to a 2023 report by Partech Africa, the continent saw a record-breaking $7.4 billion invested in startups in 2022, reflecting a 21% increase year-on-year. This surge in investment highlights the immense potential of African entrepreneurs and their ability to address critical challenges faced by the continent.

However, despite the positive trends, African startups often face hurdles. Access to funding, mentorship, and market reach can be limited. Initiatives like TotalEnergies’ Startupper of the Year Challenge play a crucial role in bridging these gaps and empowering young innovators to turn their ideas into reality.

Celebrating Innovation: The Startupper of the Year Challenge

Launched in 2015, the Startupper of the Year Challenge has become a signature program for TotalEnergies, recognizing and rewarding innovative business projects across its global operations. The 2024/2025 edition, specifically focused on Africa, marks a significant expansion. With a presence in 32 African countries, TotalEnergies is casting a wide net to identify and celebrate the continent’s brightest entrepreneurial minds.

Three Pillars of Recognition: The Award Categories

This year’s Challenge boasts three distinct prize categories, each catering to specific areas of innovation crucial for Africa’s development:

  • Innov’Up: This award recognizes the overall “best entrepreneur,” highlighting an individual whose project demonstrates exceptional creativity and the potential to create significant social and economic impact.
  • Cycle’Up: This category focuses on the circular economy. The winning project will showcase innovative solutions that promote resource efficiency, waste reduction, and environmentally sustainable practices within African businesses.
  • Power’Up: With a focus on energy, this award seeks to identify startups developing solutions that promote access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy – a critical need across Africa.


Beyond Recognition: Empowering Startups for Success

The Startupper of the Year Challenge offers far more than just recognition. Each of the 100 selected entrepreneurs will receive a significant financial reward. In Nigeria, for instance, the winning entrepreneur will receive a cash prize of NGN 8,000,000 (approximately USD 18,000 based on current exchange rates). This financial boost can be a game-changer for early-stage startups, allowing them to invest in critical areas like product development, team expansion, and market outreach.

The Challenge also provides personalized support to the winning startups. This may include mentorship from industry experts, access to business development resources, and networking opportunities with established firms. TotalEnergies recognizes that financial backing alone is not enough. The program offers a comprehensive package designed to empower the winners to navigate the challenges of the African business landscape and propel their ventures towards sustainable growth.

Building Visibility: A Platform for Impact

Increased visibility is another key benefit offered by the Startupper of the Year Challenge. Winners will gain access to a robust communication campaign designed to elevate their projects on a regional and potentially global scale. This exposure can attract potential investors, partners, and customers, accelerating the growth trajectory of these innovative businesses.

The Challenge culminates in a celebratory event, offering the winning startups a platform to showcase their projects to a wider audience. This event presents a valuable opportunity for networking, collaboration, and knowledge sharing among Africa’s most promising young entrepreneurs.

A Legacy of Innovation: TotalEnergies’ Commitment to Africa

TotalEnergies’ commitment to Africa extends far beyond the Startupper of the Year Challenge. The company has a long history of investing in African economies, with a strong focus on developing local talent and expertise. Their various initiatives include skills development programs, university partnerships, and support for local content development programs within the energy sector.


The 2024/2025 Startupper of the Year Challenge represents a significant milestone in TotalEnergies’ ongoing engagement with Africa. By recognizing and empowering 100 young innovators, the company is not only celebrating its own centennial but also investing in the future of the continent. These young entrepreneurs have the potential to become the driving force behind Africa’s economic and social transformation, shaping a brighter future for generations to come.

The Road Ahead: Joining the Challenge and Shaping Africa’s Future

The Startupper of the Year Challenge presents an exciting opportunity for Africa’s budding entrepreneurs to propel their ventures forward and contribute to the continent’s progress. Here’s how you can be part of this journey:

  • Eligibility: The Challenge is open to young entrepreneurs from any of the 32 African countries where TotalEnergies operates. Participants must be above 18 years old and have a registered business in Africa. The business project itself should be less than two years old.

  • Application Process: The application process is designed to be simple and accessible. Aspiring participants can submit their applications online through the dedicated Startupper of the Year Challenge website ( The application typically requires information about the entrepreneur, their business idea, the project’s social and environmental impact, and its growth potential.

  • Selection Criteria: A rigorous selection process will be conducted to identify the 100 most promising startups. A jury composed of industry experts, investors, and representatives from TotalEnergies will evaluate applications based on specific criteria. These criteria may include:

    • Innovation: The originality and creativity of the business concept.
    • Social and Environmental Impact: The potential of the project to address critical challenges faced by African communities and contribute to a more sustainable future.
    • Market Potential: The project’s scalability and potential to achieve significant market share.
    • Business Model: The strength and sustainability of the venture’s financial model.

A Call to Action: Become a Part of Africa’s Innovation Ecosystem

The Startupper of the Year Challenge is a powerful platform for Africa’s young innovators to showcase their talents, gain recognition, and secure the resources needed to turn their ideas into reality. If you are a passionate entrepreneur with a game-changing solution for Africa’s challenges, we encourage you to visit the Startupper of the Year Challenge website and apply today.

By joining the Challenge, you have the opportunity to become a part of a vibrant community of like-minded individuals, shape the future of African business, and contribute to a more sustainable and prosperous continent. Together, let’s celebrate 100 bright sparks of innovation and ignite a wave of positive change across Africa.

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TAGiAfrica™ is a Web3 Magazine that is documenting the African journey in the crypto and blockchain industry for over a decade. We are the Pan-African magazine that covers business, technology, Blockchain, Crypto and Innovation.We are the essential resource for anyone who wants to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in Africa. The magazine is also a valuable resource for businesses that are looking to expand into Africa and committed to promoting African entrepreneurship and innovation.

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