Government has commended Total Zambia for initiating programmes aimed at empowering youths and supporting enterprise development.
Speaking at the official launch of Total Zambia Start Upper Challenge in Lusaka, Commerce Trade and Industry Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe who was represented by Director of Foreign and Trade Lillian Bwalya said the initiative by Total Zambia to support youth entrepreneurship will help create jobs and wealth among youths.
Total Zambia’s new initiative, the ”Start upper of the year’’ Challenge, is a local contest aimed at identifying and rewarding young entrepreneurs through the provision of start up support worth K390,000.00 in prizes for the three best business creation.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said the initiative demonstrates true commitment to the Zambian cause and desire to be the benchmark in the industry whilst providing a service that the Zambia community deserves. She added that government is keen and will support such great ideas tailored to help young Zambians to accelerate their business projects.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said government is also aware of Total’s other programs such as Young Dealers, Awango Solar Lamps and Young Graduates program directed at encouraging the professional development of graduate students from CBU and UNZA through the offer of internship for an initial period of 18 months to acquire professional experience within the Total Group both locally and internationally.
And Total Managing Director Damien Ricour-Dumas said the launch of the competition is aimed at identifying and supporting start-ups in Zambia that demonstrate potential to lift communities.
Mr. Ricour-Dumas noted that many young Zambians aspire to start their own business and build a bright future hence the introduction of Start upper of the year Challenge.
He added that the initiative supports enterprises that are dealing with challenges in the community.
Mr Ricour-Dumas observed that entrepreneurs are problem solvers and the Start Upper Challenge asks members of the public to show how their business can make a difference in the community.
The competition is open to individuals up to 35 years at the time of submitting the business application which must be implemented within 6 months after selection of winners or have a business that is under development and is less than 2 years.