Three National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Batch B, Stream 1(B) members in Lagos have received grants totaling N1 million from Unity Bank for excelling in the bank’s ‘Corpreneurship Challenge’.
‘Corpreneurship Challenge’ is a business plan competition organised by the bank for NYSC members to encourage those with clear intentions to expand or start profitable businesses.
Mr Olufunwa Akinmade, Group Head, Retail and SME Banking, Unity Bank Plc, said these in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.
Akinmade said that a total of seven youth corps members of NYSC 2020 Batch B, Stream 1B corps members, at the Lagos NYSC Orientation camp on Monday pitched their business plan in agribusiness, fashion design, baking and confectionaries.
He said that three — Ejidike Vitalis, Aromire Yusuf, and Sanni Adeola — went home with grants for emerging winners.
Akinmade said a Zobo beverage processing plant business plan by Vitalis, a Pharmacy graduate from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka emerged the best plan, winning the N500,000 grant.
A fish farm business plan by Yusuf clinched the N300,000 business grant, while Adeola’s Garri Processing plant business plan won the third place to take home N200,000 business grant.
The contestants’ business plans were assessed on originality, marketability, future employability potential of the product and knowledge of the business.
Akinmade told the contestants: “The competition is 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 think 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; it’s been one year we have been running this and it has been hugely successful.”
He said that the bank would sustain the programme in order to achieve record impact on job creation.
“This is a programme that will stand the test of time, but all we are doing is to support NYSC 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.
“Our expectations are twofold; 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.
The first prize winner, Vitalis, is quoted as saying 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.” (NAN)