SMEs and Ventures

Unity Bank Plc Raises Corpreneurship Prize Money To N16 Million Per Stream As 30 New Winners Emerge

Unity Bank Plc, a retail lender in Nigeria, has recently increased the prize money for winners of its Entrepreneurship Development Initiative, known as Corpreneurship Challenge, in order to provide more resources and boost start-up capital for young entrepreneurs in the country. The prize money has been raised to 16 million Naira per stream.

As a result, the winners of the business pitch will now receive N800,000, N500,000, and N300,000 business grants for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions respectively. This is a significant increase compared to the previous editions of the Corpreneurship Challenge, where winners received N500,000, N300,000, and N200,000.

The Corpreneurship Challenge initiative was launched in 2019 with pilots in four states and has expanded to ten states in 2020. It is promoted in partnership with the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED). The initiative involves a business pitch presentation where participants can present their business plans and have the opportunity to win business grants.

In the recently concluded edition of the Corpreneurship Challenge for the 2024 NYSC Batch A, Stream 1 NYSC service, 30 winners were selected from various business value chains such as poultry farming, fashion, and pastries. The business pitch took place across the ten NYSC Orientation Camps in Rivers, Delta, Anambra, Abia, Oyo, Ogun, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, and Zamfara States.

One of the winners, Folorunsho Kolade, emerged as the overall winner with a poultry farming business plan and received the grand prize of N800,000. Samuel Ayodotun. J., who presented an innovative footwear venture idea called Basky Footprint, secured the second spot and won a cash prize of N500,000. Udoji Chibuike Peter, another corps member, claimed the second runner-up position with a venture plan in the footwear fashion value chain and received a grant of N300,000.

Furthermore, during the NYSC Orientation Camp at Nonwa Gbam Tai, Rivers State, Dan Betobong Samuel’s food production business plan secured the top position and won the grand prize of N800,000. Linda Christopher’s business plan for Lily Pastries came in as the first runner-up and received a grant of N500,000. Esther Jacob’s poultry value chain business pitch emerged as the second runner-up and was awarded a cash grant of N300,000.

Mrs. Adenike Ambimbola, the Divisional Head of Retail and SME Banking, expressed her appreciation to the Corps Members for their exceptional business plans during her speech at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Rivers State. She also assured them of the bank’s commitment to sustaining the Entrepreneurship Development Scheme.

In her congratulatory message to the winners, Mrs. Ambimbola stated, “Unity Bank takes pride in partnering with the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) scheme of NYSC to provide interventions and support to aspiring entrepreneurs with promising ventures through business grants. We understand the significance of investing in our youth and empowering them to drive positive change in our economy.”

Dr. Opeyemi Ojesina, the Head of SME Banking at Unity Bank, also spoke at the grand finale held at the Delta State NYSC Orientation Camp. He expressed his delight at the growing reputation of the Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge as a leading platform for business incubation and catalyst for entrepreneurship development in Nigeria.

He further mentioned, “Over the past five years, Unity Bank has consistently supported the Corpreneurship Challenge, witnessing its profound impact on youth empowerment and job creation across the country. The program has gained recognition for its innovative approach, seamlessly combining financial support, mentorship, and skill development to nurture aspiring entrepreneurs.”

Ojesina emphasized the invaluable mentorship provided to participants, connecting them with experienced professionals who offer essential insights, guidance, and a pathway to success. He highlighted Unity Bank’s belief that genuine empowerment goes beyond financial assistance to nurturing entrepreneurial skills.

Unity Bank has so far dedicated more than N120 million to the initiative, resulting in 369 winners since its inception in 2019. In 2021, the NYSC leadership honored Unity Bank with the “Icon of Youth Empowerment” award for the initiative’s significant impact. The Corpreneurship Challenge continues to attract increasing interest from corps members, with over 4,000 applicants participating in each edition.

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