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Entrepreneur Competitions/Awards

Africa Awards for Entrepreneurs

Entries are now open for the Africa Awards.






From the Longitude Prize in the 18th century to Alfred Nobel’s laureate awards at the start of the 20th century, the power of prize programmes to catalyse innovation and inspiration is undeniable. Such prizes serve a purpose beyond recognition and reward alone – also raising awareness, creating role models and igniting ambition.

From our experience with previous prize programmes within Africa and globally, we have met remarkable entrepreneurs who never lost belief in themselves, even when confronted by overwhelming challenges but persevered to bring their ideas to fruition. As such entrepreneurs work to create businesses that meet the needs of those around them and by doing so raise the living standards of their communities while also creating something of lasting value for themselves, their employees, their communities and their nations. The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship is honoured to provide a platform upon which they may continue to inspire a new generation of African entrepreneurs.


  • To promote the value of entrepreneurship as a driving force of today’s Africa
  • To celebrate the standards of business excellence within Africa
  • To encourage small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to embrace the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship
  • To build strong networks of African entrepreneurs as a source of learning and sharing of best practice
  • To attract more venture capital inflows towards good businesses across Africa



Applicant Criteria

Small and medium sized, for-profit enterprises who are headquartered in Africa may apply. A local subsidiary of an African-headquartered company may apply provided it meets the eligibility criteria on its own.  Please note the minimum qualifications of turnover between US$ 1 – 15 million; demonstrated profitability; and more than 10 employees.

Closing Dates for Entries

24 August 2011

Contact Details

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Company Posts

Enter The Total Startupper Of The Year Challenge

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? Register and apply now. You could be the Startupper of the Year!

Total South Africa



Startupper of the year challenge

After the success of the first Challenge in 34 African countries, this year’s has been extended to a total of 55 countries around the world.

3 winners from each country will receive financial support, extensive publicity and coaching. From among these 3 winners per country, we will select grand winners by region, who will be provided with exposure.

This year, a Top Female Entrepreneur category has been introduced. During the first Challenge, women accounted for almost 25% of the winners, even though they only made up 13% of the applicants.

Related: Business Plan Format Guide

With this special award this year, we hope to give the women entrepreneurs an extra push to take part. It is also aligned with other Total initiatives for women.

The 2018/19 Challenge

We aim 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!

Enter the Total Startupper Of The Year Challenge Here

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Entrepreneur Competitions/Awards

35 Young South African Change-Agents Seek To Solve Global Consumption Challenges

LifeCo Unltd SA calls university students to apply to Global Entrepreneurship Summer School





Social impact enterprise LifeCo Unltd SA, in partnership with Social Entrepreneurship Akademie, is inviting entrepreneurially-minded university students to apply to the Global Entrepreneurship Summer School (GESS).

Thirty-five young South Africans will join 105 fellow global change-agents from Germany, China and Mexico on a seven-day programme to develop innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to solve the global challenge of consumption.

Developing young minds

“GESS is a programme that develops young entrepreneurs, and challenges them to create innovative, high-impact businesses that solve society’s myriad challenges. Through GESS, we are striving to build a generation of champions who will challenge the status quo and go on to change the world,” says Pat Pillay, LifeCo’s chief executive officer. “This year, we are hosting the summer school in Cape Town, which is a huge privilege.”

According to GESS consumption is one of the major drivers responsible for global resource use, environmental pressures and impact on society.

The United Nations has stated that if the worlds’ population should reach 9.6 billion in 2050, we would need almost the equivalent of three planets to support us with natural resources in order to sustain the globe’s current lifestyle. Thus, it is necessary to develop innovative solutions towards this problem and its consequences

A gathering of nations

GESS is organised in conjunction with six leading university-based entrepreneurship centres in Munich, Shanghai, Mexico City and Cape Town. This will be the first time the event will be coming to Africa, bringing together 140 young people from different nationalities

Click here to apply or go to for more information. Applications are open until 16 April 2018 (1pm CEST).

GESS Cape Town 2018 is endorsed by the Department of Higher Education and Training through the Entrepreneurship Development programme in Higher Education.

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Entrepreneur Competitions/Awards

Business Launchpad Competition

The Business Launchpad is South Africa’s biggest entrepreneur competition. It focuses on both start-ups and business expansion.






The  Business Launchpad is the country’s biggest entrepreneur competition. During 2009 more than 6 000 people registered to enter their business idea or expansion plan across 10 industries.


The Business LaunchPad competition aims to create an opportunity for anyone with a business idea or existing business, and who finds it difficult to secure conventional commercial funding, to be considered for access to start-up or expansion funding.

Entry criteria

Any South African citizen or permanent legal resident over the age of 18 may enter.

Note: Section 21 companies, Public Benefit Organisations and other non-profits may not enter as the competition funding partners do not provide grants or funding to non-profit entities.


To be confirmed

Closing date for Entries

Visit the Business Launchpad website for details

Contact details


Tel: +27 21 422 0690

+27 11 234 2526

+27 31 312 4233

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