LESOTHO chapter of the prestigious global business coaching contest, the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) has entered its final and decisive stage running from Monday to Thursday this week.
Nov. 22, 2022
3 min read
Entrepreneurship competition enters final stage
Chairman of Vodacom Lesotho Foundation, John Matlosa
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EWC is a strategic partnership of the two organisations, Vodacom Lesotho Foundation and Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). Introduced in June in Lesotho, GEN operates a platform of projects and programmes aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business.
The project focuses on fostering deeper cross-border collaboration and initiatives between entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and entrepreneurial support organisations among others.
The finals are a culmination of intense work which included identifying competitors through aggressive campaigns, training, road shows, and advisory campaigns among others.
Out of 25 participants whose projects made it to the final stage, five winners shall be selected in five categories of idea stage where a winner shall walk away with M50 000, early and growth stages at M100 000 each, and the grand prize of M200 000.
Another M50 000 shall be awarded to the best social enterprise.
The grand prize winner will also be given an opportunity to compete in the global 100 semi-finalists where the winner will be treated to a lavish package that includes international observation trips, an audience with globally recognised experts as well as a glittering trophy, and a $1million prize money.
Participants whose projects made it to the final stage have been invited to participate in the four-day high-intensity boot camp where they will undergo rigorous examination of the various aspects of their business ideas in order to give them the edge over the best that the world can offer.
These include passing tests such as market need, input sourcing, business planning, market matching, marketing, sustainability, equity and finance as well as growth among others.
The projects will be thoroughly screened to ensure their viability, implementability as well as their ability to suit modern business trends. The challenge is for Lesotho products and their drivers to teach the world something in the cut-throat environment of industrial diversity and transformation.
The competitors are expected to take the boot camp lessons to refine their projects for final judging in what will be an innovatively nerve-wracking, stimulating, tense yet enriching week.
The boot camp will feature virtual training and mentoring sessions targeted to their company’s current stage and growth trajectory.
“This week marks the beginning of a journey towards unlocking business opportunities for the young entrepreneurial innovators of Lesotho. For many, this will be a life-challenging moment. We remain truly humbled and excited about being part of what is about to unfold,” said the competition manager, John Matlosa during a media briefing on Monday.
The diversity of projects under the micro-scope ranges from agriculture and renewable energies, digital cleaning services, education and aquaculture as well as aviation just to mention a few.
The top four winners will also get an opportunity to attend a second boot-camp in Singapore plus all 25 participants will participate in a six-month business incubation programme run by the Vodacom Lesotho Foundation and GEN Lesotho through its local partners BAM Foundation and Business Doctors.
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“This is what is happening also with the NSDP II and this competition is about creativity and innovation. Let us be creative and innovative because we want to grow the economy,” said Ntšepeng Tšita-Tikiso of Bam Foundation on Monday.
GEN’s extensive footprint of national operations and global verticals in policy, research, and programs ensures that members have uncommon access to the most relevant knowledge, networks, communities, and programmes relative to the size of the economy, maturity of the ecosystem, language, culture, and geography.
It helps connect entrepreneurs and those who champion them.