The University of Butler, Indianapolis, USA has indicated interest to assist some of the 2020 Ugwumba Fellows develop their business models and position them for global investments.
This cheering news facilitated by one of our partners in the US, InnoPower Indy was formalized few days ago during a virtual meeting with Professor Stephanie Fernhaber, a Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Butler University, USA and the facilitator, Mr. Emil Ekiyor, the CEO of InnoPower Indy USA.
According to Emil Ekiyor, “we are working with Professor Stephanie and the Butler University to leverage on the expertise of their students and staff to support young entrepreneurs in Africa like Bilkisu Garba and others, who are being raised by the Ugwumba Leadership Center.”
During her speech, Prof. Stephanie Fernhaber said that her department will commence this partnership relationship with the Ugwumba Leadership Center by studying “The Upcycle Architect”, which is a waste upcycling startup founded by Bilkisu Garba, the overall winner of the 2020 Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge in Abuja.
According to the Professor of Entrepreneurship, the first class will be about 3 days MBA class, introducing her MBA students to social impact this January, 2021. The students would work in teams to conduct an analysis of the business model and offer recommendations to the founder. She also announced that the second class, which is an undergraduate social entrepreneurship class would have 6 weeks to conduct an audit of “The Upcyle Architect” and also conduct business development researches in areas chosen by the founder, including market opportunities for her upcycled products in the US.
Bilkisu Garba, the CEO of the social enterprise was excited for the opportunity offered by the University to study and review her business model. She narrated a few challenges that she would like the students to research on, which included public acceptance of upcycled products in the market. According to her, people appreciate the beauty of the products but seem to be taken aback when they learn that such beautiful items of furniture and interior decors were upcycled from waste materials.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Remy Chukwunyere, the Executive Director of the Ugwumba Center for Leadership Development in Africa thanked InnoPower Indy USA for exposing their young entrepreneurs to global opportunities as being offered by the University of Butler, USA. He equally thanked Prof. Stephanie for accepting to judge some of the pitches during the 2020 Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge and for her continued interest in some of the startups identified during the grant competition. He informed that team at Butler University, USA that Bilkisu Garba is one out of over 5,000 young entrepreneurs in Nigeria that have benefited from the business development training and startup grant program of the Center.
He thereafter concluded the partnership meeting by assuring that the center founded by Ugwumba Uche Nwosu shall continue to raise a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators for the African continent. This according to Remy Chukwunyere is the contribution of the center to the job creation and economic development policies of the Government of Nigeria and those of other African nations.
TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY!