Unizik graduate won N500,000 business grant
A Pharmacy graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Ejidike Vitalis has emerged the overall winner of Unity Bank’s flagship business plan competition for National Youth Service Corps members known as Corpreneurship Challenge.
The business plan competition produced a total of three winners including Ejidike Vitalis, Aromire Yusuf and Sanusi Adeola who emerged during the final pitch for NYSC 2020 Batch B, Stream 1B corps members, held at the Lagos NYSC Orientation camp on Monday.
A Zobo beverage processing plant business plan by Ejidike Vitalis, emerged the best plan, winning the N500,000 grant.
Other winners include a fish farm business plan by Aromire Yusuf which clinched the N300,000 business grant, while Sanusi Adeola’s Garri Processing plant business plan won the third place to take home N200,000 business grant.
A total of seven youth corps members pitched their business plan in agribusiness, fashion design, baking and confectionaries, etc.
The contestants’ business plans 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 targets corps members, as part of efforts to contribute to job creation in Nigeria.
Speaking during the finale, the Group Head, Retail and SME Banking, Unity Bank Plc, Mr Olufunwa Akinmade, said the competition was to encourage more youths with clear intentions to expand or start profitable ventures.
“The money we are giving is not a loan and we do not want you to lose money. So, you must learn that mistake is part of the business and constantly thinking about the challenge you will face in the business. Put the same energy you all have displayed today in your businesses as you face your post-service year ahead.
“Corpreneurship is what we started last year, we started last year with season one. We launched it in Lagos and in three other states which include Edo, Ogun, and Abuja. So, today we are in four locations as we speak right now; is been one year we have been running this and it has been hugely successful.”
Speaking further, he explained that the Bank will sustain the programme in order to achieve record impact on job creation. He said: “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 is there and we are offering them a financial, mentorship as well as business mentorship.”
On expectations from the winners, Akinmade said: “Our expectations are two folds; that they manage the money well such that at the end of the year in addition to the N500,000, N300,000, N200,000 that they won today, they will double it.
“Second, we want people, who at the end of the year, can become employers of labour. This is our first steps towards reducing unemployment in the market. It is a small step but a big one and so we expect them to be able to say I have two, three people working with me,” he said.
Commenting on his exploit as the winner, Ejidike Vitalis, said his drive for local content pushed him into Zobo drink production.
He said: “Our teabag Zobo drink needs expansion to meet our demand because of how it is naturally produced with ginger for easy consumption anytime and we appreciate Unity Bank for empowering us through this initiative.”