The initiative is a joint endeavour with Darecha Limited, which is a Tanzanian micro-venture capital firm that seeks to explore ways that profitable small businesses owned by youth can raise venture capital. Venture capital is money provided to seed early-stage, emerging and emerging growth companies.
The effort’s mission is to support development of the middle class in the country, which the African Development Bank says is a pivotal driver of domestic consumption and entrepreneurship. The international financial institution has it that Africa’s middle class population will grow to 1.1 billion by 2060.
“Mo Entrepreneurs Competition is a collaborative effort between Mo Dewji Foundation and Darecha Limited to recognize and support the efforts of young entrepreneurs in Tanzania,” the not-for-profit organization said yesterday in a statement.
“The competition launches a platform that will enable Mohammed Dewji to support young entrepreneurs who are running highly potential start-ups but lack further support in form of growth capital, networks and mentorship, which could accelerate the growth of their business,” it added.
Dewji, who is the CEO of MeTL Group and chairman of Mo Dewji Foundation, is the 21st richest man in Africa and tops the list of tycoons in Tanzania and the whole of East Africa.
The statement said the competition seeks young entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30, who have the passion, drive, and determination to grow their start-ups, in order to increase their income and their contribution to the Tanzanian economy.
According to it, a minimum of three winners, to be announced in April, will be provided with investment support as start-ups or growth capital. They will also receive mentorship and networking support from Dewji.
In accepting the 2015 Forbes “Person of the Year” award, Dewji dedicated the prize to the youth of Tanzania, wishing them to “shine bright, conquer fear, embrace challenges and aspire to make the world a better place to live in”.