A total of 30 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) won cash prizes and business grants totaling N10 million in the sixth edition of Unity Bank’s Expanded Business Plan Competition, known as name of Corporate Challenge.
Unity Bank is currently present in 10 states of the federation where three winners each emerged from the Corpreneuship Competition Lot B orientation course held last week.
The states whose winners emerged included Lagos, Ogun, Benin, Abuja, Akwa Ibom, Kano, Sokoto, Enugu, Osun and Kwara.
According to a statement, as in previous editions, the cash prizes included a 200,000 naira trade subsidy for third place winners; Business grant of 300,000 N for second place and a star prize of 500,000 N for the winners.
Among the winners were Yahaya Muhammad, Alade Ayinde and Omolola Kehinde in the Kano NYSC camp, while Chiamaka Nweke, Nduke Oduobuk and Victoria Adesope emerged victorious from the Enugu State camp.
In Lagos, Aliu Haira Abimbola, Uzoechi Ihuoma Augustus and Adesanolu Lukmon Abiodun emerged victorious to claim the cash prizes.
One of the Abuja laureates, Ebingha Ogbe John, appreciated the opportunity of Unity Bank which she said helped her present her business to the world. “I thank Unity Bank for making my project, Mama’s Ally Crashfish, come to life in this Abuja,” she said.
The initiative continues to generate growing interest among the members of the corporation, as more than 2000 applications were received, but only 100 were shortlisted for the pitch sessions where the thirty winners emerged.
Applicants’ business plans, which ranged from software solutions, fashion, fish production, poultry farming, beekeeping, retail chains, pigsty to drinks, were assessed depending on the originality, market value, potential future employability of the product and knowledge of the company.
Unity Bank launched the Entrepreneurial Development Initiative in 2019, to specifically target members of the body, as part of efforts to help create jobs in Nigeria. It continues to gain traction, becoming bigger and better at training corps members who have successfully executed multiple editions of the program in partnership with the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED).
The bank has invested more than 80 million naira in the initiative, which has now produced 58 winners since its launch.
Speaking at the FCT NYSC Camp Finals, Division Head, Retail, SME Banking and E-Business Directorate, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Olufunwa Akinmade, said the competition has proven to be a great tool for empower new graduates in the country. .
“The Business Challenge is a creative entrepreneurial development initiative by Unity Bank in conjunction with the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC. It aims to stimulate job creation through entrepreneurship.
“With the increase in youth unemployment in the country, it makes perfect sense to consider the alternative to entrepreneurship.”
“As corps members enter the workforce after their youth service, not all will have the opportunity for paid employment. But with what Unity Bank is doing, a lot of them will get the support they need to start a small business and even become a workforce employer ”.
“We encourage corps members to take the opportunity offered by Unity Bank business seriously. And to those who have emerged as the winners today, we ask them to use their grants wisely. Unity Bank remains committed to empowering young people through initiatives like this one because we know that the foundation of the economy is entrepreneurship.
Zone Manager, North West, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Mustapha Idris Baba, implored the winners to use the funds wisely to support the business venture that won them the grant.
This edition follows the enlarged Corporate Challenge which started during the 5th edition in June of this year.