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, grand winners will be selected by region, who will be offered additional support.

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

The challenge is open to startups and projects that are under two years old and have have a social and community impact.

In addition, the startup founder or project owners must not be more than 35-years old while their solutions must demonstrate feasibility and have the potential to benefit the broader public.

The first edition of the challenge — held in 2015 — aimed to encourage social entrepreneurship and to help innovative under 35-year olds develop their concepts or startups.

In the inaugural year, more than 11 000 applications were received, with 6642 meeting the challenging requirements. In all, 102 innovators were selected as winners with their solutions ranging from health, ecommerce to education.

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