About UEC


The Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge is our job creation and impact investment program designed to empower young people in Africa turn their ideas, skills and passions into scalable business ventures.

We adopted an idea pitching and grant competition model, which sparks up healthy competitions, creativity, design thinking, information exchange among young entrepreneurs and innovators. All applicants for our grants pass through a compulsory Boot Camp and Live Pitching Competition and those with best ideas win our startup grants.

The Impacts So far…

Between 2018 and 2020, we have supported the birth of over 5,000 SMEs and startups in Nigeria since through our business development training and grant support.


First Edition

Click below to watch videos of the first edition of the Enterprise Challenge held in Owerri, Imo State on May 24, 2019.


Second Edition

Click below to watch the second edition of the Enterprise Challenge held in Abuja, FCT on August 30, 2019.


Third Edition

Click below to watch the third edition of the Enterprise Challenge held in Abuja, FCT on December 07, 2020.

December 07, 2021

UEC 2021 Finals @Merit House, Abuja

The Activity Timelines

Application Opens

October 01, 2021
Boot Camp

October 25, 2021
Preliminary Pitching

November 10, 2021
Grand Finale

December 07, 2021


Please, before you start your application, kindly go through this important Questions and Answers Section

You are eligible to apply for this grant competition if you are a Nigerian, either male or female between 18 and 30 years of age who has an idea that can be turned into a business or social enterprise.

As a non-partisan, non-religious and non-profit making development organization, the Challenge is open to every eligible citizen of Nigeria, despite their ethnic, religious, social statues as well as political affiliations.

We do not have preference for any sector of the economy, since all the sectors are important in the growth and development of the country. Whether you are operating in agriculture, solid minerals, information technology, health, logistics, etc, you are free to apply for the competition.

We are interested in early startups and those whose businesses are still at the ideation stage. The reason is because, we want to serve as angel investors to such persons whose ideas would have died with them if they do not participate in an impact investment program like the Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge

You do not have to worry about your present location. All the activities shall be implemented online, except the Grand finale, which shall hold in Abuja.

From wherever you are, you and your team can submit your application using the link provided to enable us admit you into the Boot Camp and other activities.

For emphasis sake, the schedule is as follows:

a) Application Opens: October 01 – October 31, 2020

b) Boot Camp: November 02 – November 10, 2020

c) 1st Preliminary Pitching: November 11 – November 20, 2020

d) Online Voting: November 20 – November 23, 2020

e) Announce Top 50: November 25, 2020

f) 2nd Preliminary Pitching: November 26 – November 28, 2020

g) Announce 10 Finalists: December 01, 2020

d) Grand Finale: December 07, 2020.

The Grand finale shall hold at the Benue Hall, Abuja International Conference Center.

NB: Other details shall be communicated to all the participants as the need arises.

As usual, the Board and Management of the Ugwumba Center for Leadership Development in Africa will not interfere in the decisions of our unbiased panel of judges.

From the start of the Online Boot Camp to the Preliminary Pitching, Online Voting and Final Pitching Competitions, all assessments of your performance will be done by our Facilitators and Panel of Judges. 

We introduced the Online Preliminary Pitching and Online Voting from the general public to enable us compare the assessments from our online audience with those of our Facilitators and Panel of Judges. 

This is in line with the fair play and transparency we are promoting.

If you have gone through the FAQs above and you are qualified, please, click HERE to apply

Investment Funds

1st Investment

2nd Investment

3rd Investment


Through the ugwumba enterprise challenge, we promote...

Innovation and Job Creation

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