No fewer than 30 winners have emerged in the fifth Unity Bank Plc’s flagship business plan competition, Corpreneurship Challenge, which held across 10 states last week.
The winners, who won cash totalling N10 million, emerged during the final business pitch in the fifth contest for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Batch A Stream II Orientation, which took place simultaneously across ten NYSC camps in Lagos, Ogun, Benin, and Akwa Ibom states as well as Abuja.
Other NYSC camps where winners emerged included Ogun, Kano, Sokoto, Enugu and Osun states. As in the previous editions, the cash prizes included a N200,000 business grant for each of the second runner ups; N300,000 business grant for the first runner ups and a star prize of N500,000 for each of the ten winners.
Some of the winners included Monday Love Sheba, Adeoye Janet and Essien Nsikak in Bayelsa camp, while Agu Ogechukwu Lilian, Obichukwu Victor and Abiona Elizabeth emerged as the winners in the Akwa Ibom State camp.
In Ogun, Olisa Sofia, Chiamaka Goldleen and Ifeanyi Onoh emerged winners to claim the cash prizes. Ekpenyong Paul Gabriel also emerged as the winner in Sokoto.
Speaking during the grand finale in Akwa Ibom NYSC Camp, the Divisional Head, Retail, SME Banking and E-Business Directorate, Unity Bank Plc, Olufunwa Akinmade, said the contest had proved to have a great impact on youth empowerment.
“The Unity Bank Corpreneurship has a very positive impact, not only for the corps members but for the entire youth population in Nigeria. It is a way to support the young men and women who are just graduating from university to grow,’’ Akinmade.
“You will agree that it is not easy today to come out of the university and get a paid job, and so at this tender age, it is good that they imbibe that culture of entrepreneurship, and then with the financial support that they get from Unity Bank and the knowledge that they have acquired through the competition, they will be able to grow from job seekers to employers.”
Represented by Etop Ukpe, the Uyo Regional Manager, Akinmade reiterated: “The grants are not a loan and the winners are expected to channel the funds to profitable ventures to achieve the objectives of the scheme.”
Going down memory lane, Mr. Akinmade recalled that what started in 2019 with a pilot in four states have now expanded to ten additional states and is well on its way to achieving national coverage.
He said: “We started Corpreneurship in 2019, with a launch in Lagos and in three other states which included Edo, Ogun, and Abuja. So, today we have expanded it to ten locations, and it has been hugely successful.
“This is a programme that will stand the test of time, but all we are doing is to support NYSC corps members to start their own business no matter how small and then grow with it. Unity Bank will continue to be part of their journey, to offer them a startup capital as well as business mentorship.”