By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
Twenty Nigeria university students are currently jostling for N3 million naira star prize stake by Edugist, organizers of Nigeria Student Venture Prize, to encourage undergraduates with lofty business ideas go into entrepreneurship upon graduation.
The Chief Executive Officer/CEO of Edugist, Mr. Elvis Boniface, stated this in Calabar yesterday during the unveiling of the programme of activities lined up for the 2021 edition of the Nigeria Student Venture Prize.
Boniface stated that 33 per cent of youths in Nigeria, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, are unemployed stressing that with the programme, youths with rare talent would be given technical/ financial assistance to enable them exploit their potentials.
Speaking also on the issue, the Head Deal Origination/ Investment, African Plus Partners Limited, Mr. Dipo Lawrence, said that the N3 million stake by Edugist is a kind of empowerment, designed to assist undergraduates with
entrepreneurial skills to start up their own small and medium scale enterprise that can grow to a mega business.
He said that over the years, students assisted by Edugist in the area of entrepreneurship had grown to become big time business tycoons, stressing that the organization is still interested in turning many undergraduates, who have business ideas into millionaires.
He said, “It seeks to support individual students who have identified a significant opportunity, and whose ventures have the potential to create impact at scale.
“The prize is agnostic with respect to what sector or industries ventures they are working in. Or even whether they are commercial, social or have blended approaches.”
Lawrence therefore charged students from Nigeria’s institutions of higher learning with lofty business ideas to apply, stressing that the application portal will be open for interested undergraduates to apply with their business ideas, adding that such applications will run for eight weeks.
He added, ”Twenty one finalists will be shortlisted and camped at a one week bootcamp for intense training on different aspect of practical business education, understanding the business environment, defining customer cluster, business plan proposal that convert, building a
team, leveraging digital, scaling and even more.”
He said that opportunity will be provided for students at the bootcamp for students to meet with captains of industries, top business executives and those who matter in Nigeria as far as entrepreneurship is concerned and mentors of the prize.
Mr Lawrence further stated that winner of the star prize shall proceed to represent Nigeria at the international level, where he or she can vie for $15,000 prize, where he will have opportunity to associate with business tycoons from Denmark and China.
According him, the initiative is a way of stimulating tertiary institution students’ entrepreneurial capacity and contributing towards nation building.