Good morning and happy holidays, good people of Nigeria!
As we prepare for the grand finale of the 2020 edition of the Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge, which we have nicknamed, the #UECLockDownEdition, we would like to take a few minutes to share with you some of the highlights of the last edition.
The #UECAbujaEdition, which was the second edition of the Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge, took place in Abuja, FCT on August 31, 2019 at the Abuja International Conference Center.
Following the success of the first edition of this model in Owerri and the impressive feedback we got from the participants, we saw a need to expand the scope of this idea pitching and grant competition to enable youths from across the country access this business development support we are offering.
Coming to Abuja to implement a nationwide event as announced by our President, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, barely two months after the Owerri edition was not an easy task but our indefatigable Executive Director, Remy Chukwunyere surmounted all the challenges.
A number of partnership meetings were held with critical stakeholders in the sector, including the Central Bank of Nigeria; Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments; SMEDAN; Abuja Enterprise Agency; PIND Foundation; Afrigrants Resources Foundation; etc.
As a result of the nationwide coverage, the Abuja Edition led us into developing an Online Boot Camp, to enable all the applicants from across the country participate in the Ugwumba Enterprise Academy, virtually.
The virtual platform provided an opportunity for our Resource persons drawn from around the world and participants to learn, interact and discuss their business ideas under the closed platform.
About 500 youths (both male and female) who applied for the Abuja edition were admitted into a 7 days virtual Boot Camp, where they were exposed to the concepts of Ideation, Pitching, Business Modelling, Design Thinking, Financial Literacy, Digital Skills, etc.
Immediately after the Enterprise Academy (Boot Camp), there was a preliminary pitching competition, where video pitch decks submitted by all the participants were assessed based on their value addition, scalability and income generating potentials. This exercise was necessary to enable us screen down the participants to the top 10 finalists that were invited to Abuja for the final pitching competition.
During the grand finale at the Abuja International Conference Center on August 31, 2019, Thelma Ekiyor, the Managing Partner of SME.NG and Founder of The Funding Space presented the keynote paper, alongside the Executive Director of PIND Foundation, Dara Akala represented by Chime Asonye, their then Niger Delta Advocacy Manager.
Major stakeholders from both Government and private sectors, such as Central Bank of Nigeria; SMEDAN; Abuja Enterprise Agency; Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation; Afrigrants Resources Foundation; Juremi Foundation; African Youth Development Foundation; etc were in attendance.
There were several good will messages from our partners, VIPs and Hon. Members of the Federal House of Representatives from the National Assembly in attendance, who commended the efforts of the Ugwumba Leadership Center in creating job opportunities for Nigerian youths.
At the end of the final pitching competition, our star prize winners emerged as follows:
a) Ugochukwu Mbaka, CEO of Mupo Energy (1st Prize of N1m)
b) Gift Muoneke, CEO of Greenera Technologies (2nd Prize of N700K), and
c) Godsgift Ayaowei, CEO of DeGiftons Crafts (3rd Prize of N500K).
Those who scored 4th to 10th positions also went home with consolation prizes of N50K each.
The impact of the Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge on these young entrepreneurs in Nigeria has continued to resonate around the world. Few weeks after the challenge, our star prize winner, Ugochukwu Mbaka was invited to Lagos for the 2019 Funding Space organized by SME.NG, Afrigrants Foundation and their partners for the Youth Innovation Challenge, where he again won their star prize of N1m.
Again, this year, our second star prize, Gift Muoneke and his team applied for the 2020 Funding Space event and won the 2020 Youth Innovation Challenge star prize of N1.5m.
Of a truth, no one participates actively in the Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge and remains the same. They are usually equipped with the resources, both financial and non-financial they need to succeed in life as entrepreneurs.
The call for applications for the third edition of the Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge, which opened on October 01, 2020 is still on and will close by 11.59pm on October 31, 2020.
For anyone that is interested, please, visit www.bit.ly/uec2020 now to apply before the October 31, 2020 deadline.
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