Young Zimbabweans Get $35k Under Total Startupper Challenge

Three  young and outstanding  Zimbabwean entrepreneurs walked away with cash prizes from the Total Zimbabwe  African Startupper Challenge which saw the Zimbabwean block releasing a total of $35 000 as seed funding to support local entrepreneurs.

The night of recognition was at Meikles Hotel, where the minister of Youth s and Indigenization Hon Patrick Zhuwao was the guest of Honour. He spoke passionately on how he wanted to see the vision move forward and continue to create a environment that allows Zimbabwean youths to achieve their dreams, and commended  Total for such an initiative that stirs innovation.

By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito

“We have also created a special Zimbabwe Young Entrepreneurial Strategy, YES this  will compromise 10 youths to the advisory board   from the different 10 provinces as we seek to drive an agenda that is oriented and driven by the young players themselves,” said the minister

The Total Zimbabwe Managing director Christopher Okonmah said Total was interested in seeing young entrepreneurs grow in Zimbabwe and their funding was going towards developing sustainable entrepreneurs.


Receiving their top awards tonight, young male contestant, Mr Mkhululi Ncube who ruled the roost when he walked away with the top prize of $18 000 for creating a harvest system which basically collects tomatoes which may have not made it for sale that day and saves them from being traded at a cheaper prize.

mkhluli Ncube Total Zimbabwe Startupper first prize winner

mkhluli Ncube Total Zimbabwe Startupper first prize winner

Please watch the full video interview below…


The second prize was given to an outstanding young female candidate Dr Mercy Manyuchi who created a charcoal collecting system, she walked away a proud $10 000 winner for the initiative.

mercy manyuchi Total Zimbabwe Startupper of The Year

mercy manyuchi Total Zimbabwe Startupper of The Year 1st runner up

Please watch the video here….

Young technoprenuer, Tawanda Chikosi may have finally received significant  local recognition for his persistence and undying  technoprenueral spirit where his road rules app made him scoop the $7 000 funding. He also took time  to invite his fellow team mates who helped made the dream a success to the podium for the grand photo shoot.

Tawanda Chikosi Total Zimbabwe Startupper of The Year 2nd runner up

Tawanda Chikosi Total Zimbabwe Startupper of The Year 3rd runner up

see mole photos here

The challenge which began last year searching for the most outstanding young entrprenuers saw a total of 218 applicants vying for the top posts but recently only 10 made it through before the final three contestants were announced today.

The top ten Total Startuppers who had initially made it to the list were:

Tawanda Chikosi, Tanaka Chiromo, Mutsawashe Chitando, Chiedza Kambasha, Musaida Mercy Manyuchi, Langton Tonderai Mujati and Tawanda Musvaire, Mkhululi Ncube, Lungelo Ndhlovu and Victor Tafadzwa Watambgwa.

Total was looking young players under the age of 35 who want to create businesses or develop a business that is less than two years and any kind of  project regardless of business activity as long as they have the characteristics common to creative startups, innovation, competitiveness, growth boosting and job creation.


Total engaged 34 countries namely Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Guinea, Republic of the Congo, Reunion, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe for the same African Startupper challenge.

Nicole Madziwa

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