StarNews And Global Black Economic Forum Launch Business Competition In Nigeria


Africa’s leading video streaming platform, StarNews Mobile and the Global Black Economic Forum (GBEF), today announced a call for applications for the launch of their Business Competition in Lagos, Nigeria. Held in partnership with MTN and  United Nations Agency for International Development (USAID), the initiative will empower Nigeria’s most promising businesses that are classified as Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with invaluable investment and partnership opportunities from the USA.


Held over 10 weeks between April 8th to June 14th, hosted exclusively on the StarNews Biz Channel on the StarNews platform, this competition offers a platform for emerging entrepreneurs to showcase their ventures and gain national visibility. With subscribers voting for their favourite candidates, the top 20 contestants will seize the spotlight and make their mark on the business landscape.


The StarNews Business Competition in partnership with GBEF delivers a unique opportunity for thriving Nigerian SMEs to access mentoring, funding, partnerships and socio-economic development tools through the Global Black Economic Forum. With the prospect of securing cash prizes through StarNews worth up to NGN5,000,000, getting access to StarNews’s network of investors and the opportunity to gain national visibility by having their business on the StarNews web platform. The top three winners will also receive coaching from GBEF’s Academy for Advancing Excellence and become part of GBEF’s ecosystem of global leaders committed to social and economic justice across the Black Diaspora.  Previous speakers at GBEF convenings from the entertainment sector include Wyclef Jean (Haitian Musician & Activist), Debra Lee (Former CEO of Black Entertainment Television – BET) and Ceci Kurzman (Founder of Nexus Management Group). Applications will close on April 5th 2024.


Speaking on the competition’s launch, Guy Kamgaing, Founder and CEO at StarNews Mobile, says “The StarNews Business Competition is a passion project close to our hearts at StarNews Mobile. It’s about discovering the most promising business entrepreneurs and creators in Nigeria, opening up global opportunities for them and providing them with the resources and tools to achieve their goals.  By partnering with MTN, USAID and GBEF, we want to be a platform of empowerment for these SMEs by helping them give back to the communities that are supporting them.”

According to the US Embassy and Consulate for Nigeria, over 80% of Nigerian startups are incorporated in the United States and more than 60% of venture capital funding in Nigerian startups accounted for by the US. In 2023 alone, Nigerian startups raised a total of $398mn however, this signalled a 66% funding decline compared to 2022 due to the global economic downturn, reinforcing the massive need for a fresh injection of capital and business support for Nigeria’s emerging SMEs.


Alphonso David, President and CEO of the Global Black Economic Forum notes that, “Our partnership with StarNews Mobile is a critical resource as we continue to build the collective strength of entrepreneurship across the Diaspora. Building a sustainable ecosystem of Black entrepreneurs in the United States and across the African continent is essential to create a future that makes economic opportunity and economic freedom a reality for all.”

A sister company to ESSENCE, GBEF advances its work by convening global summits and conferences, bringing together world leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, celebrities and civic leaders to address the most challenging problems facing our communities. GBEF’s Academy for Advancing Excellence facilitates workforce and leadership development strategy, addressing the talent pipeline & employee lifecycle, providing leadership development & coaching, and conducting institutional assessments & research. GBEF also develops and implements economic and social justice policy recommendations with partners ranging from civil and human rights organisations to government entities and corporations that advocate for economic opportunity, social justice, and health equity through thought leadership, advocacy and litigation.

Launched in 2017, StarNews Mobile empowers African content creators with the unique opportunity to monetize their work through a subscription model, boasting over 4 million subscribers and a thriving community of more than 120 content creators. With a strong presence across six countries including Cameroon, Nigeria, Côte D’Ivoire, Congo, Benin and Ghana, the platform has also established key partnerships with major telecom operators such as MTN and Orange.


To-date, StarNews Mobile has secured over $8mn in funding with its most recent raise – a $3mn pre-Series A funding round in October 2023 – led by Janngo Capital with participation from French football players Aurélien Tchouaméni, Jules Koundé and Mike Maignan.