• Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

UNITY BANK BOOSTS ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Corpreneurship Prize Money Upgraded To N16M Per Stream As 30 New Winners Emerge

Unity Bank Plc, a retail lender, has taken a significant step to enhance start-up capital for aspiring young entrepreneurs in Nigeria by elevating the prize money for winners of its flagship Entrepreneurship Development Initiative, known as the Corpreneurship Challenge, to a substantial N16 million per stream.

Three of the winners at Delta NYSC Orientation camp pose for a photo with their cheques after emerging as winners

In an effort to empower emerging entrepreneurs, the revised prize money allocates N800,000, N500,000, and N300,000 business grants for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions respectively, surpassing the previous editions where the sums were N500,000, N300,000, and N200,000.

Launched in 2019 with pilots in Lagos, Edo, Ogun, and Abuja, and scaled to 10 states in 2020, the Corpreneurship Challenge initiative is run in collaboration with the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED). This initiative features a business pitch presentation where participants present their business plans, vying for the chance to win business grants.

A winner in Rivers NYSC Camp poses with Divisional Head, Retail and SME, Unity Bank, Mrs. Adenike Ambibola and an NYSC official

The recently concluded 2024 NYSC Batch A, Stream 1 edition produced 30 winners, including entrepreneurs with innovative solutions in various business value chains such as poultry farming, fashion, and pastries. The business pitch took place across 10 NYSC Orientation Camps in Rivers, Delta, Anambra, Abia, Oyo, Ogun, Kebbi, Niger Sokoto, and Zamfara States.

At the Delta State NYSC Orientation Camp in Issele-Uku, Folorunsho Kolade emerged as the overall winner with a poultry farming business plan, securing the N800,000 grand prize. Samuel Ayodotun. J. claimed the second spot with the innovative footwear venture idea, Basky Footprint, winning the N500,000 cash prize. Udoji Chibuike Peter, with a venture plan in the footwear fashion value chain, was the second runner-up, receiving the N300,000 grant.

One of the winners at Delta NYSC Camp with some members of the Unity Bank team

In Rivers State at the Nonwa Gbam Tai NYSC Orientation Camp, Dan Betobong Samuel’s food production business plan clinched the top spot, winning the N800,000 grand prize. Linda Christopher’s Lily Pastries emerged as the first runner-up, securing the N500,000 grant. Esther Jacob’s poultry value chain business pitch earned her the second runner-up position and the N300,000 cash grant.

Mrs. Adenike Ambimbola, Divisional Head, Retail and SME Banking, commended the Corps Members for their business plans at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Rivers State, pledging Unity Bank’s commitment to sustaining the Entrepreneurship Development Scheme. Mrs. Ambimbola expressed pride in Unity Bank’s association with the NYSC’s Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) scheme, providing interventions and support to budding entrepreneurs.

Dr. Opeyemi Ojesina, Head of SME Banking at Unity Bank, expressed delight at the growing profile of the Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge as a leading business incubation platform and catalyst for entrepreneurship development in Nigeria. He emphasized the initiative’s impact on youth empowerment and job creation, noting its innovative approach that integrates financial backing, mentorship, and skill development.

Head, SME Banking, Dr. Opeyemi Ojesina addresses the participants at Delta NYSC Orientation camp before the commencement of the pitch presentation

Unity Bank has invested over N120 million in the Corpreneurship Challenge, producing 369 winners since its launch in 2019. The NYSC recognized Unity Bank with the “Icon of Youth Empowerment” award in 2021, acknowledging the initiative’s impactful contributions. The Corpreneurship Challenge continues to attract growing interest, with over 4,000 applicants participating in each edition.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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