March 2, 2016

MTN/Jumia Entrepreneurship Pan-African Challenge for Students, Entrepreneurs and Investors ($75,000 Prize & Fully Funded Trip to Cape Town, South Africa)

MTN/Jumia Entrepreneurship Pan-African Challenge

Contest(s) Offered: Business ideas
Contest Level: Entrepreneurs, Students, Investors
Provider: Jumia (also MTN, Facebook, GetSmarter)
Country to Contest in: African countries

Scholarship Description
Are you an entrepreneur? Do you have a business idea? Apply to the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge by Jumia, a competition giving teams the opportunity to win over $75,000 in prizes, including investment, cash, and in-kind awards.

Teams will also have the opportunity to meet and network with early stage investors, experienced business professionals and successful entrepreneurs who will serve as judges for the competition.

The Pan-African competition is bringing together over 1000 entrepreneurs, students and investors, to collaborate on ways to amplify and consolidate the continent’s entrepreneurs. Targeting more than 60 universities in 13 countries across Africa, the competition will challenge students to develop a unique digital application or smart solution that will solve a tangible problem faced on the continent.

Teams may be comprised of 2 or 3 individuals with at least one member currently enrolled at in an African university or a recent graduate (Academic year 2014 – 2015 or 2015 – 2016) of an African university.

Evaluation Criteria:
The review team (encompassing campus captains and selection committee) will be evaluating applications according to four main areas (which are underpinned with more specific criteria). Particularly, participating teams should make sure that their business plans will: fit to African market, be operationally feasible, be innovative and contain relevant financials.

The general assessment scheme can be found below:

1). Formal Requirements
  • Executive Summary (2pages)
  • Financial Statement (proforma, basic information)
  • In Line with the Subject
2). Organization
  • Need Identification (You must Clearly state a problem, which you are hoping to solve)
  • Solution (Well-defined solution as an answer to previously identified problem)
  • Monetization (You should illustrate your pathway to monetizing the proposed solution)
3). Content
  1. Fit to African Market (external analysis)
    • Macro Trends – Environment
    • Competitive Landscape
  2. Operational Feasibility (internal analysis)
    • Internal Competencies
    • Management Team
  3. Innovativeness
    • Novelty Aspect (Clear proposition of breakthrough innovation)
    • Added Value (Presentation of a clear path to tangible value creation to customers thanks to suggested innovation)
    • Societal Impact (strategy and operations aligned for responsible and sustainable business)
  4. Financials
    • Income Sources (Identification of a way, in which a business is going to generate money)
    • Investment Ask (Accurate identification of financial needs & plan of utilizing potential funds)
4). Presentation
  • Time Management
  • Design (Appropriate use of audio & visuals)
  • Delivery
Eligible groups
Citizens of African countries

Areas of focus
Reflecting both the MTN Solution Space’s and Jumia’s passion for responsible e-business, the focus will be on sustainable and responsible digital solutions for the African market. The main criteria that will be evaluated are: Fit to African Market; Operational Feasibility; Innovation and Financials.

Contest duration
Campus Presentation, Live Pitches: April 1st – 8th 2016
Finalists Announced: April 16th 2016
Entrepreneurship Festival: May 27th 2016

Contest benefits/Prize
There will be cash prizes for the 3 finalist teams, as well as a trip to Cape Town, South Africa to present at the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge powered by Jumia Festival in May 2016.

The winners will be announced at the festival with the top team being awarded the opportunity for incubation at the premises of either MTN Solution Space in Cape Town, or at one of 9 Jumia offices across the continent.

MTN Solution Space:
Winners will receive incubation from the MTN Solution Space for 3 months with access to resources, networks and facilities. This includes the option to extend for an additional 9 months based on key milestones agreed.

Opportunity to work from one of Jumia’s offices across Africa in the following cities: Cairo, Egypt; Accra, Ghana; Nairobi, Kenya; Casablanca, Morocco; Lagos, Nigeria; Dakar, Senegal, Kigali, Rwanda and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

GetSmarter, South Africa’s top online learning institution, will be awarding the top 20 students a UCT or UCT GSB online short course.

Benefit from the Facebook Start Program and receive up to $15,000 worth of tools and services needed to build your mobile application.

Method of Application
Please note that the Application, Executive Summary and Video Pitch (optional, but highly encouraged) must be completed no later than 23:59 pm GMT, Sunday, March 27, 2016. To start your application, visit the Application Page of MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge.

It is important to visit the official website (link to it is below) for complete information on this competition.

Applications opened on February 15th 2016, and will close on March 27th 2016

The MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge powered by Jumia was born out of the desire to contribute to building a stronger and more sustainable business environment in Africa and to boost the entrepreneurial spirit of Africa.

It is a Pan-African challenge and invites teams from across the continent to compete for over $75 000 in prizes, including investment, cash and in-kind awards. Teams will have the opportunity to meet and network with early stage investors, experienced business professionals and successful entrepreneurs who will serve as judges.

Application Deadline: 27 March 2016
Open to International Applicants: No (ONLY Africans)

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: Scholarships in Africa for International Students


  1. This is a great opportunity. I have one concern though. What about African students studying in another continent? How does this apply to them?

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    1. @Perewari, you have a valid point. So I think this is an issue that may be addressed by the sponsors in the second, and subsequent, editions of this challenge coming up in future.