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Corpreneurship Challenge: Unity Bank Splashes N10M Grant On 30 Corps Members

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Corpreneurship Challenge Unity Bank Splashes N10m Grant On 30 Corps Members

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Unity Bank Entrepreneurship Development Initiative – Corpreneurship Challenge, targeted at empowering fresh graduates and Corp Members on one-year compulsory national youth service has, in its ninth edition of the Corpreneurship Challenge held across 10 States recently, doled out N10 million grant to 30 winners.

The winners emerged after a business pitch presentation held across 10 States; namely, Rivers, Delta, Sokoto, Edo, Abuja, Akwa-Ibom, Osun, Kano, Bayelsa, and Enugu, with each state producing three winners who took home cash grants of N500,000, N300,000 and N200,000.

The winners of this ninth edition included Corp Members focusing on developing entrepreneurship in renewable energy, fashion, beauty, agro-processing, confectionaries, etc.

Corpreneurship Challenge Unity Bank Splashes N10m Grant On 30 Corps Members
Left-Right: 2nd Prize Winner – Ilesanmi Olamide Phebe, 1st Prize Winner – Muoneke Gift & 3rd Prize Winner – Ekanem Moses Idorenyin – Winners of the recently held Corpreneurship Challenge Initiative at the NYSC Camp Rivers State.

Some of the winners at the Rivers State NYSC Orientation camp at Nonwa Gbam Tai included Muoneke Gift, whose business plan on renewable energy took home the grand prize of N500, 000; followed by Ilesanmi Olamide’s business proposal on beauty services to claim the N300, 000-business grant for first runner up. Ekanem Moses Idoreyin’s confectionary business proposal took home the N200, 000 grant.

The winners emerged after their business plans were assessed by a panel looking out for business ideas that demonstrate originality, marketability, future employability potential of the product, and knowledge of the business.

The Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge has gradually joined the league of some of the most impactful, youth-focused entrepreneurship development initiatives in Nigeria, empowering no fewer than 100 young entrepreneurs over the past three years.

Recently, one of the beneficiaries in Sokoto, Beulah Yusuf, who emerged as second runner-up in one of the editions successfully launched her recycling business with the grant received from the Bank. She unveiled her products widely acclaimed for addressing environmental pollution and waste management inefficiencies, underscoring the Bank’s motivations to sustain the initiative.

Corpreneurship Challenge Unity Bank Splashes N10m Grant On 30 Corps Members
Left-Right: 2nd Prize Winner – Ilesanmi Olamide Phebe, Unity Bank Plc Regional Manager, Port Harcourt/Uyo Region – Mr. Etop Uma Ukpe, 1st Prize Winner – Muoneke Gift NYSC State Co-ordinator – Mr. George Mfongtari, & 3rd Prize Winner – Ekanem Moses Idorenyin during Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge Business Pitch Presentation held at the NYSC Orientation Camp, Rivers State recently

Speaking during the finale at Rivers State NYSC Orientation Camp recently, the Group Head, Retail, E-Business, and SME Banking, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Olufunwa Akinmade, said the Bank was delighted with the impressive records the Corpreneurship Challenge has pulled so far.

“When we launched the initiative in 2019, we set out to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs that will disrupt the job market by creating much-needed jobs across all sectors. Today, we have come a long way and the Corpreneurship Challenge has lived up to its billing.”

Represented by Regional Manager, Port Harcourt Region, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Eto Ukpe, Akinmade reiterated the Bank’s commitment to sustaining the initiative and mainstreaming the Corpreneurship Challenge as a reliable and impactful entrepreneurship and business empowerment and mentorship program in the country.

“What we have today in the labour market is far from the ideal. However, it is not enough to keep complaining. We must make lemonade out of lemon. We believe that the Corpreneurship Challenge has proved to be one of the most creative approaches to tackling the intractable crisis we have in the job market in Nigeria.”

“Our goal is to expand this program to all 36 states and sustain it for as long as possible to achieve record impact. We continue to encourage the winners to continue to learn the rudimentary lessons necessary to build a successful business. We emphasize that the budding entrepreneurs who take part in this initiative constantly think about the challenges they will face and put the same energy they all have displayed in preparing for this contest in their businesses as they face their post-service year ahead.”

The Corpreneurship Challenge, which has earned the Bank national recognition for its impact on youth empowerment and job creation, has continued to elicit growing interest among the corps members, attracting over 2000 applicants and participation in every edition. 

In partnership with the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, SAED, the initiative prominently features a business pitch presentation that provides the participants with the opportunity to present their business plans and stand a chance to win up to N500, 000 cash in the business grant. 

So far, Unity Bank has invested over N100 million in the initiative which has now produced 118 winners since it was launched in 2019.

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Sterling One Foundation Wins CSR Award of Excellence

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Sterling One Foundation Wins CSR Award of Excellence

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Sterling One Foundation has won AS+A Communications’ Award of Excellence for Corporate Social Responsibility in recognition of its positive impact across Nigeria.

As part of its annual award ceremony and commemoration of its Managing Director’s 70th birthday, AS+A Communications awarded the Sterling One Foundation its Corporate Social Responsibility Award of Excellence at an event held in Lagos recently.

The award presented by the company’s Managing Director, Mrs. Adenike Shobanjo, was in recognition of the foundation’s developmental legacies in the areas of health, education, and environment, in partnership with its corporate partner, Sterling Bank.

Mrs. Shobanjo during her opening remarks explained that her company hosts this annual event because of how important it considers social impact work and the role that corporate organizations play in ensuring that the transformation it brings is widespread and has long-term effects.

While presenting the award to Sterling One Foundation, she applauded the efforts of Sterling Bank in setting up the Foundation and empowering them to make a lasting impact in society.

She further charged businesses operating in the country to prioritize corporate social responsibility for the development of the nation.

In her words, “There are influential, well-placed, and endowed Nigerians who sit in their closets without any care for the underprivileged. This event is to encourage them to come out and join us in building a just and egalitarian society.”

“This award is in recognition of all the successes that Sterling has achieved over the years as a socially responsible organization, most especially in areas of health, education, and agriculture,” said Shobanjo.

Accepting the award, the CEO of Sterling One Foundation, Mrs. Olapeju Ibekwe, thanked the organizers while stressing the organization’s focus to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as a way of improving the livelihood of Nigerians and Africans living in underserved communities.

She said that Sterling One Foundation’s focus areas; education, health, climate action, gender equality, and food security are all critical areas that require urgent attention for progress to happen.

She went on to highlight that; “In 2023, the Sterling One Foundation plans to focus on expanding its education programs to reach more out-of-school children, train and fund at least 100,000 youths, plant 10 million economic trees and adopt key primary health centers in at least 10 states through key partnerships.”

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Promoting Private Sector Investments; IFC Visits BUA Cement HQ In Lagos

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Promoting Private Sector Investments; IFC Visits BUA Cement HQ In Lagos

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Abdul Samad Rabiu, CFR, CON, Chairman, and Founder of BUA Group today received a delegation from the International Finance Corporation led by Sérgio Pimenta, Regional Vice President for Africa, at the BUA Cement HQ in Lagos State.

Left-Right: Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA, in a discussion with Sérgio Pimenta, Regional Vice President for Africa, International Finance Corporation (IFC) during a working visit of the IFC to BUA Cement HQ in Lagos.

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E-Commerce Trends In Nigeria For 2023

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E-Commerce Trends In Nigeria For 2023

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The rise of digital commerce has given birth to new ways for e-commerce retailers to improve their businesses and deliver an exceptional customer experience.

This is due to the industry’s constant adaptability to meet new demands and opportunities to create a seamless shopping experience by offering consumers a wide variety of products and services and finding new ways to connect with consumers through digital storefronts.

As a business owner or someone involved, staying current with market trends is critical to capitalize on upcoming opportunities and lessen the impact of potential disruptions.

Over the last three years, e-commerce has significantly grown, pushing millions more consumers to shop online. In 2023, the e-commerce industry is set to slowly take over the world, as revenue in the market is projected to reach US$9.02 billion in 2023.

Here are some of the most significant and disruptive e-commerce trends that could be adopted to enhance customer experience while also expanding businesses:

The Rise of Social Commerce

A trend that is expected to gain momentum in 2023 is the use of social media for e-commerce. Many businesses in Nigeria are already using platforms like Facebook and Instagram to sell their products, but this trend is expected to increase in the coming year as social media is a powerful tool for reaching potential customers and building brand awareness. Businesses that take advantage of this trend will be well-positioned for success.

The Rise of Omnichannel

Shoppers are no longer limited to a single device or channel as they research products, compare prices, complete a sale seamlessly across channels, and flip between devices without losing their place in the purchase journey. According to the National Communication Commission (NCC), 89% of internet users make purchases online, with another 24% planning to do so in the near future.

This trend has led many e-commerce platforms, like Jumia, to ensure that their channels can be accessed regardless of the platform or channel. As a result, consumers can log in to their accounts through the app or website on any device of their choice. This ease of shopping is expected to contribute to an increase in online sales.

Seamless Payment Options

Nigeria’s economic policy is gradually shifting towards cashless payment, with digital and electronic banking being implemented nationwide. Furthermore, following the announcement of the new withdrawal limit by the Central Bank of Nigeria, more transactions are expected to be conducted electronically.

This demand for electronic transactions has attracted payment facilitators from all over the world as Nigeria’s online commerce and financial technology industries are strengthened by a fast-growing youth population, expanding consumer power, and increased smartphone penetration. This is especially important for small businesses that use payment solution providers to ease the payment process for their customers. Payment Solutions Service Providers, like JumiaPay, can take advantage of these opportunities in the market.

Beyond this, payment solution providers, like JumiaPay, would also benefit from offering services for electricity bills payment, TV subscriptions, and airtime/data recharge to their consumers.

Consumer Personalization

Another important trend in 2023 is the increasing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in e-commerce. These technologies can help businesses personalize their customer interactions, improve the accuracy of their recommendations, and make more informed decisions.

Personalizing a customer’s online shopping experience is crucial to increasing online sales and bolstering e-commerce success. Users are growing weary of algorithm-powered interfaces instead of user-generated or user-inspired interfaces and longing for tailored and customized experiences. Customers want to believe someone is paying attention to them behind a computer screen. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate; it might be as straightforward as a customized email, a carefully chosen discount code, or something else.

Overall, the e-commerce industry in Nigeria is expected to see significant growth in 2023, driven by rising smartphone adoption, a growing middle class, and government support. Businesses that are able to keep up with these trends and adapt to the changing market will be well-positioned for success in the coming year.

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