The British Council, Zenith Bank Plc, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Samsung on February 3, 2016 launched the second cycle of the Enterprise Challenge.
Designed to test the business skills of young Nigerian entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years, the competition, which is made up of three tasks, according to its organisers, provides a platform for young, brilliant entrepreneurial minds to further develop their business skills and bring their innovative ideas to the fore for possible future development.
This was disclosed at a press chat held in Lagos last week Friday and compered by Mr. Desmond Omovie, Communications Manager, British Council.
Speaking at the event, Director, Education & Skills, British Council, Tomi Soyinka, said the Enterprise Challenge aimed to develop capacity and provide a platform for young people to develop their ideas.
According to her, they received about 2000 applications from across the country in 2014. But in 2016, they recived10, 000 submission and 20 brilliant people were selected in the first two tasks of the Enterprise Challenge. “The three-day event is designed to provide a core grounding in business contexts and promote networking opportunities for the top candidates with established, successful entrepreneurs.
“After the boot camp, the finalists will face the final panel of judges. The winners will receive a financial grant worth N1.5million and N1m for the first and second respectively, courtesy Zenith Bank plc. They will all benefit from continued support from the initiative’s partners. In addition, the overall Enterprise Challenge champion will receive a fully-funded scholarship to attend a five-day entrepreneurship foundation course at the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africa plus a mentoring session in London with world renowned entrepreneur and Founder and Chairman of Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson.”
Also speaking, Airport Manager, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Justin Bell, said the in 2015, Virgin Atlantic celebrated 15 years of flying Nigeria–London. “We recognise and support the drive of Nigerian people towards education. We are absolutely overwhelmed and delighted to be part of the sponsorship of the Enterprise Challenge. We are overwhelmed by the turn out of this year’s Enterprise Challenge submission,” he said.
Director, Business-to-Business, Samsung, Mr. Charles Ojei, said, “We have always been there, supporting various youth entrepreneurship, innovation and so on. The core of achieving the success of the Enterprise Challenge competition is technology.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Branson Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa, said Branson Centre, set up to assist inspiring entrepreneurs through training programmes, mentorship initiatives, will be excited to have people from Nigeria going through the same entrepreneurship journey.
On the June 14, 2014, Eseoghene Ise Odiete and Nasir Yammama emerged winners of the maiden edition of the competition. They had the opportunity to meet with and be mentored by one the UK’s foremost entrepreneurs and Chairman of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson. Ese founded and runs Hesey Designs, an online store selling African-inspired accessories, through which she empowers and mentors young African women. Nasir created a remarkable mobile phone app called Verdant, which aims to help crop farmers across Nigeria.