No fewer than 30 winners have emerged in the fifth edition of Unity Bank Plc’s flagship business plan competition, Corpreneurship Challenge, which held across ten states last week.
The 30 winners who won cash prizes totalling N10 million emerged during the final business pitch in the fifth edition of the contest for NYSC 2021 Batch A Stream II Orientation Course, which took place simultaneously across ten NYSC camps in Lagos, Ogun, Benin, Abuja and Akwa Ibom.
Other NYSC camps where winners emerged also included Ogun, Kano, Sokoto, Enugu and Osun.
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.
The initiative attracted massive interests among the corps members, as over 1000 applications were received but only 100 were shortlisted for the pitching session from where the thirty winners emerged.
The contestants’ business plans which ranged from fashion, fish production, poultry farming, retail chains, piggery to beverages were assessed on originality, marketability, future employability potential of the product and knowledge of the business.
Recall that Unity Bank debuted the Entrepreneurial Development Initiative in 2019, to specifically target corps members, as part of efforts to contribute to job creation in Nigeria. The initiative has produced 48 winners since 2019 when it debuted.
Speaking at the finale in Akwa Ibom State, the overall winner, Lilian Agu, a graduate of Mass Communication and Chinese Language from Federal Polytechnic, Oko expressed gratitude to Unity Bank for the opportunity to actualise her dream of establishing a fashion outfit.
“With this money, I plan to buy an industrial machine, rent a studio, buy a generator and buy some fabrics and start from there. Unity Bank has made my dream come true. I am not from a rich home and I have been dreaming and working hard to start a fashion business, but this grant has made that dream a reality. God bless Unity Bank,” she said.
Also, speaking during the finale in Akwa Ibom NYSC camp, the Divisional Head, Retail, SME Banking and E-Business Directorate, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Olufunwa Akinmade, said the competition has proved to have a great impact on youth empowerment in the country.
“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.
“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 of labour.”
Represented by Mr. Etop Ukpe, the Uyo Regional Manager, Mr. Akinmade reiterated that “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.”
Hope PSBANK Collaborates With FG To Create 100 Jobs In Each Local Government
Hope Payment Service Bank, a subsidiary of Unified Payment Services Limited and Nigeria’s premier digital bank is collaborating with the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to create jobs for no fewer than 77,400 people across the country.
The employment opportunity is part of the exit strategy of the Federal Government’s Special Public Works Programme being executed alongside the bank by empowering 100 Nigerians in each of the 774 local governments.
Speaking at the official kick-off of the collaboration, the Managing Director, Hope Payment Service Bank, Mr. Ayotunde Kuponiyi noted that the digital bank serves as an enabling platform that would interface with 77,400 beneficiaries selected from the Special Works Programme of the FG to exit them into self-employment.
Kuponiyi stressed that the focus of the collaboration is geared towards empowering beneficiaries through the agency banking platform in carrying out financial services such as account opening, bills payments, fund transfer, cash in/cash for Nigerians while they earn commission in return with just the use of their smartphones.
According to him, this initiative comes at no cost to the beneficiaries as they can use their phones to carry out agency banking activities for which they earn commissions on each activity carried out. “Once on board, these beneficiaries will become HOPE PSBANK agents. They will undergo training on the various activities by the bank at no cost to them”, he added.
“We are very excited about this collaboration with the Ministry, which is in line with the thrust of the social objectives of Hope Payment Service Bank – poverty reduction through financial inclusion and diffusion of digital financial services”, he said.
CBN Grants Lotus Bank Non-Interest Banking Licence
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday, June 17, granted a non-interest banking licence to Lotus Bank Limited.
This was contained in a statement titled ‘CBN grants Lotus Bank licence to commence non-interest banking operations’.
The statement read in part: “Lotus Bank seeks to pursue the mission of creating value and growth for all through digital innovation and best-in-class customer experience for Nigerians.”
Commenting on the grants, the founder and managing director of Lotus Capital (the pioneers of non-interest finance in Nigeria), Hajara Adeola, said the bank was starting its operations on a solid foundation of experienced leadership and a strong advisory council of experts.
Adeola explained that the bank is managed by a team of seasoned professionals and financial experts led by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kafilat Araoye, who has over 25 years of commercial banking experience.
She added that the institution’s focus and guiding principle is ‘to deliver an alternative option to interest-based banking and to cater to the needs of not just the banked but also the underbanked and unbanked population.
According to her, non-interest banking was geared towards supporting the real sector and Lotus Bank aimed to improve financial inclusion in the country.
The founder of the bank, however, disclosed that it would operate transparent pricing models as it was the norm in non-interest banking.
The statement added: “Our values are deeply rooted in partnership. A critical component of our mission is the provision of innovative solutions that drive ethical prosperity for all stakeholders.
“We pride ourselves on digital solutions that provide our customers with the convenience of unlimited access to our services and products.”
“Our products and service offerings will include non-interest business financing, deposit products (current, savings and investment accounts) and personal financing.”
Fidelity GAIM Season 4 Final Draw To Hold On July 22
One of the leading financial institution in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank Plc, has announced plans to enrich the lives of fifteen Nigerians with a total of 39 million Naira at the final draw of the “Get Alert in Millions Campaign (GAIM)” Season 4 savings promo, slated for July 22, 2021.
The savings promotion, which is specifically aimed at promoting the culture of saving among Nigerians, is one of the bank’s many initiatives aimed at rewarding new and existing customers for their unwavering loyalty and patronage.
Despite the fact that the promotion was halted in 2020 due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic and the resulting global lockdown, hundreds of Nigerians have benefited from this unique reward scheme in which lucky customers are credited with millions of naira and consolation prizes via a draw system.
The Chairman, Promo Committee, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Richard Madiebo expressed his delight at the resumption of the savings promotion, stating that the campaign seeks to reward customers for their loyalty and patronage. According to Mr. Madiebo, for the past twelve years, the bank has empowered new and existing customers, providing an avenue for many to change their fortunes through its savings Promo.
He stated that the bank takes pride in keeping its promises, adding that the lender would continue to look out for innovative ways to satisfy and enrich its customers across the nation.
“And as we wind down on the 4th season of the GAIM promo, we are elated at the prospect of not only driving financial inclusion across Nigeria but also at the unique opportunity to enrich the lives of our customers especially in times of economic uncertainties”, noted Madiebo
Over the years, the leading tier two Bank has continued to intensify its efforts and innovate ways towards ensuring customer and stakeholder satisfaction. Through this promo, Fidelity Bank has promoted financial inclusion through digital channels and enriched the lives of its customers even in times of economic uncertainties.
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