Home Business TotalEnergies announces 4th edition of “Startupper of the Year” Challenge

TotalEnergies announces 4th edition of “Startupper of the Year” Challenge

by Kwabe Ben

Following the success of the first three editions, TotalEnergies is now holding another Startupper of the Year Challenge.

For this 2024/2025 edition of the Challenge, TotalEnergies will support and reward young Kenyan entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 who have a business creation project or a startup under three years old, in any business sector. A local jury comprised of experts, business leaders, startup ecosystem participants, local sustainability stakeholders and representatives from TotalEnergies Kenya will select three winners.

For this special edition, organized against the backdrop of the Company’s centennial celebrations, 100 entrepreneurs from across the continent will be recognized and rewarded via three prize categories.


  • Innov’Up winner, for the best entrepreneur.
  • Cycle’Up winner, for the best project relating to the circular economy.
  • Power’Up winner, for the best project relating to sustainable, affordable energy.


Four additional projects in the Power’Up category will be selected by an international jury.


All project entries will be assessed against four criteria:

  • Relevance to sustainable development challenges
  • Innovation
  • Feasibility and development potential
  • Respect for gender equality and inclusion of women in the project


Winner in the three categories will each become a “Startupper of the Year by TotalEnergies” and will benefit from a monetary award of Kshs1,650,000, personalized support and a communication campaign to enhance their project’s visibility. Winners will also have the opportunity to promote their project during a celebratory event, the details of which will be released at a later date.


“This new edition reaffirms TotalEnergies’ commitment to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship and supporting the socio-economic development of African countries in which the Company is present. The Challenge strengthens the social fabric in local communities by helping the continent’s most innovative entrepreneurs carry out their projects,’” said TotalEnergies Kenya MD Eric Fanchini while launching the contest.


The Start Upper Challenge has produced, rewarded and supported 365 winners out of 40,000 applications received worldwide since its inception in 2015.


During the 2021/2022 Startupper of the Year Challenge in Kenya, TotalEnergies Marketing Kenya recognized three young entrepreneurs:

  • Nyaruai Muriithi – Nyungu Afrika
  • Paul Muhia – Zero- Emission Jua Ebikes
  • Joseph Nguthiru – Hyapak

Registration is open directly online at http://startupper.totalenergies.com. Interested applicants have until 18th June 2024 to complete their applications.



Startupper of the Year by TotalEnergies Challenge – Recap of Previous Editions


1st edition in 2016

·       34 participating countries across Africa.

·       24,000 applicants registered and 11,000 completed applications received.

·       102 winners, of which 52 in the “Ideas” category and 50 in the “Business Created” category.

·       Four Pan-African Grand Prize winners invited to Paris for a week to receive personalized support for their project.


2nd edition in 2019

·       55 participating countries worldwide.

·       50,000 applicants registered and 15,400 completed applications received, of which 65% from African countries.

·       165 winners.

o   Six Grand Prize winners selected, including three from Africa.

·       Six Grand Prize winners invited to Paris mid-March 2019 for a week of personalized support.

·       Selection in each participating country of a Top Female Entrepreneur to promote and support women entrepreneurs, with the 55 winners invited to Paris for a week in April 2019.

3rd edition in 2022

·       33 participating countries across Africa.

·       34,000 applicants registered and 13,800 completed applications received.

·       98 winners, including:

o   32 winners in the “Best business creation project” category

o   33 winners in the “Best startup under 3 years old” category

o   32 winners in the “Best female entrepreneur” category

o   And 1 applicant who won 2 prizes!

·       4 Grand Prize winners invited to Paris for a week in June 2022.


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