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Unity Bank Raises Corpreneurship Prize Money To N16m Per Stream As 30 New Winners Emerge | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Mar 7, 2024

 

In a bid to boost start-up capital and place more resources at the disposal of aspiring young entrepreneurs in Nigeria, retail lender, Unity Bank Plc has increased the prize money for winners of its flagship Entrepreneurship Development Initiative, known as Corpreneurship Challenge to 16 million Naira per stream.

Consequently, participants who emerge winners in the business pitch will henceforth win N800,000, N500,000, and N300,000 Business grants for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions respectively as against the previous editions in which the sum of N500,000; N300,000 and N200,000 were handed out to respective winners in the Corpreneurship Challenge.

Launched in 2019 with pilots in 4 states – Lagos, Edo, Ogun, and Abuja and scaled to 10 States in 2020, the Corpreneurship Challenge initiative is promoted in partnership with the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, SAED. The initiative features a business pitch presentation where participants have the opportunity to present their business plans and stand a chance to win business grants.

At the recently concluded edition of the Corpreneurship Challenge for 2024 NYSC Batch A, Stream 1 NYSC service, 30 winners emerged including upcoming entrepreneurs developing innovative solutions in several business value chains such as Poultry farming, Fashion, and Pastries, among others, after participating in the business pitch that took place across the 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 who pitched a Poultry farming business plan emerged as the overall winner to claim the N800,000 grand prize; Samuel Ayodotun. J. whose innovative footwear venture idea, Basky Footprint took the second spot to win the N500,000 cash prize; while another corps member, Udoji Chibuike Peter, whose venture plan on the footwear fashion value chain also emerged as the second runner-up to claim the N300,000 grant.

Also, at the NYSC Orientation Camp at Nonwa Gbam Tai, Rivers State, Dan Betobong Samuel’s business plan on food production claimed the top spot to clinch the N800,000 grand prize; while Linda Christopher’s Lily Pastries’ business plan emerged as the first runner-up to claim the N500,000 grant. Esther Jacob’s business pitch on the poultry value chain emerged as the second runner-up to win the N300,000 cash grant.

Speaking at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Rivers State, the Divisional Head, Retail and SME Banking, Mrs. Adenike Ambimbola commended the participating Corps Members for the quality of their business plans and pledged the Bank’s commitment to sustaining the Entrepreneurship Development Scheme.

While congratulating the winners, Mrs. Ambimbola said, “Unity Bank is proud to associate with the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) scheme of NYSC in providing interventions and support to budding entrepreneurs with promising ventures through the business grants to help turn these ideas into reality. We recognize the importance of investing in our youths and empowering them to drive positive change within our economy.”

Also speaking at the grand finale held in Delta State NYSC Orientation Camp, Dr. Opeyemi Ojesina, Head of SME Banking, Unity Bank expressed delight at the Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge’s growing profile as a leading business incubation platform and catalyst for entrepreneurship development in Nigeria.

He said, “Over the past five years, Unity Bank has steadfastly supported the Corpreneurship Challenge, witnessing its profound impact on youth empowerment and job creation nationwide. The programme has earned a reputation for its innovative approach, seamlessly integrating financial backing, mentorship, and skill development to nurture aspiring entrepreneurs.”

Ojesina further underscored the invaluable mentorship offered to participants, connecting them with seasoned professionals who provide crucial insights, guidance, and a roadmap for success. He emphasized Unity Bank’s belief that true empowerment extends beyond financial aid to the cultivation of entrepreneurial acumen.

So far, Unity Bank has invested over N120 million in the initiative, which has now produced 369 winners since it was launched in 2019.

In 2021, the leadership of the NYSC bestowed on Unity Bank the “Icon of Youth Empowerment” award in recognition of the impact of the initiative.

The Corpreneurship Challenge continues to elicit growing interest among the corps members, attracting over 4,000 applicants and participation in every edition.

By Jonah Nwokpoku

 

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