The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and Vodacom Lesotho Foundation have announced the kick-off of the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC). The announcement was made at the Maseru event held yesterday. The program will provide access to international mentors and investors and the opportunity to pitch on a worldwide stage for a part of US $1 million in global prizes, local investments, and incubation.
Speaking at the event, Vodacom Corporate Affairs Executive, Head, Mr. Tšepo Ntaopane, said EWC is a national initiative aiming to curb the high unemployment rate.
He mentioned that the unemployment rate in the nation was a problem for the Vodacom Lesotho Foundation and that most business owners couldn’t secure bank loans to expand their operations, so they joined the EWC’s worldwide project.
Mrs. Ntepeng Titsa, a member of GEN Lesotho, also stated that any startup is welcome to apply and become an applicant. Still, applicants must be legally registered in Lesotho or intend to write and must not have been operating for more than seven years at the finals. She mentioned that applicants would receive free entrepreneurship skills training immediately after registering. Titsa said the M1,000,000 local prize would go to the top five Lesotho-based startups.
Specifically, the eligibility criteria include:
- Participation requires no admission, and startups from anywhere in Africa are welcome to apply.
- The applicant(s) must be duly registered in their country of residence or have plans to do so
- They must be below seven (7) years at the time of the Global Finals
- Previous EWC Global Winners are not permitted to take part in the EWC in 2022
- Employees of the competition’s organizers, their affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotional agencies, suppliers, and members of their immediate families are not permitted to enter
Phases of the Entrepreneurship World Cup
Registration: Applicants are on-boarded automatically by the competition website and segmented into appropriate categories based on their stage: Idea, Early, Growth.
EWC Accelerates: Applicants are invited to participate in EWC Accelerates and learn from a series of virtual training opportunities to sharpen their skills regardless of their stage (e.g., pitch training).
EWC Qualifiers: Applicants compete against others from their country in EWC Qualifiers (competitions) worldwide. Applicants will compete in a Global Pool for countries without a national organizer. up to 250-300 contestants advance past the EWC Qualifiers to the EWC
Bootcamp + EWC Group Stage: All EWC Group Stage contestants are invited to participate in E structured virtual boot camp comprising two or three cohorts organized by Idea Stage, Early Stage, and Growth Stage. Teams participate in E cohort-level workshops and direct one-to-one mentorship sessions designed to explore unique challenges, uncover relevant solutions, and refine their pitch End presentation.
Assessment + Global Finalist Selection: EWC Group Stage contestants are evaluated based on the results of due diligence and other factors tied to the boot camp. The top 100 are selected ES the “EWC 100” Global Finalists.
Global Finals: The EWC 100 are invited to participate in an intensive preparation boot camp before competing for prizes, including a share of $1M and millions of dollars worth of in-kind services and support.
Post–EWC Support: EWC 100 are enrolled in the GEN Starters Club, providing a global peer network, mentorship, and other support services to help members, especially after the EWC, reach their full potential. Other partners may be engaged to provide post-EWC support.