Total Malawi rolls out young entrepreneurs contest: Dangles K11m for ‘ Startupper challenge’

Total Malawi has launched ‘Startupper of the Year Challenge’, a contest aimed to identify, reward, and provide support to three young entrepreneurs with best business development proposals.

Total MD with members of the jury

Total MD with members of the jury

Total Malawi officials in a group photo with members of the jury.

Total Malawi officials in a group photo with members of the jury.

The contest, also launched in 32 African countries, is geared to support young innovative entrepreneurs below the age of 35.

Speaking during the launching ceremony in Blantyre on Friday, Total Malawi Managing Director Seggie Kistasamy said the programme will not only provide financial support but also customized coaching, reward and visibility for the entrepreneur.

Kistasamy said they would like to see young entrepreneurs take an active role in developing the local economy and to become less reliant on imports.

“We are interested in all the projects regardless of the type of business or activity. There is no formal limitation or restriction in terms of business sector but economic and social criteria such as innovation, expertise, development prospects, profitability, age of the entrepreneurs, sustainable added value and job creation, local transformation, substitution to imports,” said Kistasamy.

He also said Total Malawi, as global brand, is committed to contributing towards the development of the country’s economy and they will be investing over K8 million over next few years.

“As a global brand, committed to better energy, we continue to upgrade our facilities to comply with benchmark standards and innovative solutions.

“As our world is changing, we’re changing too! For we are committed to doing everything we can to bring you better solutions and better energy. Importantly we remain a key stakeholder in Africa. Where ever we operate we are committed to ensuring that our activities create value and opportunity for local communities,” said Kistasamy.

Total Malawi is the 4th largest global oil and gas company and operates in more than 130 countries.

The contest, whose application process started on November 1 2015 and free and open to all Malawian citizen, is targeting individuals below 35 years and who have been in business for less than 2 years. Those with business concept with potential better the economy will also qualify, according to the company.

Applications will be filled and submitted online; and can apply until January 31 2016.

A jury of professionals will then select ten best proposals based on how innovative, original and bold the project is, its development potential and its capacity to improve living conditions of the populations.

The finalists’ list will be published on the contest website by February 28 2016.

The candidates will have to defend their proposals by March 15 2016 and thereafter the jury will pick the best three business proposals to be announced during the awards ceremony to place between March and April 2016, according to Total Malawi.

The prize money–K11 million–will be split between the three winners.

A ten member jury comprises Maynard Nyirenda (chair), Davie Kavinya of Inde Bank, Ndione Chauluka of TEVET, Dye Mawindo of Office of Director of Public Procurement (ODPP), Harlod Jiya of National Bank of Malawi, Felix Maoni of Polytechnic, Dorothy Chapeyama of Reunion Insurance, Julia Mvula of NBS Bank, Jerina Thornicroft of Luckay Haulage and Kistasamy, Total Malawi MD.

While business magnate Jimmy Korea Mpatsa of Mpatsa Holdings is the Honorary Patron.

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This is really good news Total Malawi, but the amount of money being put forward is too little to make a significant economic impact to the people. But in its all, its a good move. Bravo Total.

kaunda manda

It’s a good initiative but the impute is too little. Maybe it is a starting point we shall apply thanks.


Some of us have proposals with required capital outlay of more than 40 million.Where do we go now?If am not mistaken 8 million is too little.However, its a good initiative.Thanks!


Good move Total.

Sir Allani Shuga

I will grill you with alot of questions.Malawians lack creativity alot.They like copying business from each other.If one has a minibus,everybody would like to engage in the minibus business.Let see and wait.


This is good cos as a young man,i have a lot of great business ideas and the resources i intend to use are found locally.But am a bit disapointed that the fourth largest oil and gas producer in the world is not ashamed to publicly announce that it intends to invest “just” K8 million,really?Or is a typing error by the reporter?


Youths please comment on this. Don’t just busy going to Sand Festival!


good initiative- will help clear out the “paper-pushing/houseboy/rote-learning” mentality that is embedded in our DNA.

Alick Kalima.

Bravo Total. Please may you deliberately involve Ministry of Youth in this project.

Malawian Q

Kufuna kubela ana their ideas basi. Why limit the age to only 35. This should be open to all age group– who can came up with a productive idea which is great for the Nation.

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