Total Fiji Announce Winners Of Startupper Of The Year By Total Challenge

The first prize winner in each country will see their project presented to the internation­al grand juries that will pick the six Grand Winners from all 55 countries.
08 Mar 2019 19:05
Total Fiji Announce Winners Of Startupper Of The Year By Total Challenge
2018-2019 Startupper of the Year by Total challenge second winner Nakita Lewasau Bingham-Irvin (second from left) with guests at the presentation.

Honey Love Apiary Fiji has walked away with the first prize for the 2018-2019 Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge in Fiji.

Letila Uluiqalau Takala the main brain behind Honey Love Apiary Fiji project re­ceived her award along with Nakita Lewasau Bingham-Irvin and Rakin Wahed last night at Holiday Inn Suva, Fiji.

Ms Bingham-Irvin’s Tasty Island Treats Kitchen Collective project came in second place while Mr Wahed’s Project: Pasifika Heartbeat came in third place.

These young entrepreneurs will receive fi­nancial support of up to $30,000 for the first prize to develop their project.

Ms Takala was also awarded the winner of the Top Female Entrepreneur award, a new addition to the 2018-2019 Challenge to support women in business.

They will also receive personalised support and coaching from Total Fiji and a communi­cations campaign to publicise their project.

About Honey Love Apiary Fiji

Ms Takala’s Honey Love Apiary Fiji pro­ject is about an Apiary start up that would in turn become an eco-tourism site. She also hopes to also infuse it as the first ever Apiary School in Fiji and the South Pacific with all necessary facilities pertaining to the school set up.

Ms Takala will leave for Paris, France to undergo personalised support and coaching with the Total staff in France

“I am humbled and honoured to have to re­ceive this award as Total’s Startupper of the Year challenge first winner and also as the top female entreprenuer of 2019,” Ms Takala said.

“This win would not come about if I had not responded to the call of our very own hon­ourable Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimara­ma to all youths especially school leavers to an initiative which I believe started in 2013.


Letila Uluiqalau Takala with guests at the awards presentation.

Letila Uluiqalau Takala with guests at the awards presentation.

How she came to know about 2018-2019 Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge

“In 2016, I came across an advertisement in our local newspaper for a scholarship pro­gramme to do a Certificate III in Commercial Agriculture,” the Levuka native said.

“The scholarship’s main aim is to push school leavers, youths to venture into lucra­tive areas of farming utilising our acres and acres of idle fertile land and become Fiji’s fu­ture commercial farmers.

“As a single mother at that time, a full time care giver to my stroke mother and a guardi­an to my younger siblings, I was so motivated by that advertisement so I took up the course.

“I wish to thank the honorable Prime Minis­ter for that initiative because that was where I develop my interest in bee keeping.

“What started as a dream is now turning into reality by a challenge put up by Total Fiji Ltd last year on social media and On TV which inwardly bothered me until I finally submitted my Idea online.

“To Total (Fiji) Pte Ltd, I wish to take this time to sincerely thank you for this is such a unique opportunity as this win will surely kick start my business idea, not only am I getting financial support, but also extensive publicity, coaching and mentoring.

“I wish to acknowledge and thank the Fiji National University’s College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Koronivia Campus for your guidance, teaching and mentoring.

“I also wish to thank and congratulate my fellow finalists for their perseverance to reach this stage because we are all winners in our own personal way.

“Last but not the least I wish to thank all my family and friends for their love and support and I also wish to thank my father in heaven for the knowldege and wisdom he bestowed upon me because without him I am nothing.”

About the Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge

The 2018-2019 Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge, held simultaneously in 55 countries — 37 of which are in Africa, 11 in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East region, four in the Americas, and three in Europe — reaf­firms Total’s commitment to social and eco­nomic development in host countries world­wide.

By helping innovative young entrepre­neurs to realise their projects, the Challenge strengthens the local social fabric.

The second Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge received nearly 50,000 entries, of which more than 15,000 were fully completed. In all, 825 finalists presented their projects to a jury of experts, with 165 winning prizes.


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