Lagos - Richard Branson, the globally-renowned entrepreneur, has expressed delight at his company’s support of the Enterprise Challenge programme dedicated to supporting local youngsters by fostering new business ideas.
The British founder of the Virgin Group recently mentored two local young bright minds, Eseoghene Ise Odiete and Nasir Abdulqadir Yammama, who won the Enterprise Challenge – an online competition for Nigerians entrepreneurs aged 18-35 and living in Nigeria or studying in the United Kingdom.
“Innovation has been an important part of Virgin's heritage and I was pleased to see so many young Nigerians keen to embrace new ideas through the competition.
Many congratulations to Ese and Nasir who had fantastic business plans and I am sure they will have very bright futures," he said.
The British Council and Virgin Atlantic, in partnership with Zenith Bank, organised the Enterprise Challenge.
The apprentice-style competition took place over three rounds, during which candidates wrote an essay on their entrepreneurial journeys, created a video pitch for their businesses or business plans, and had their ideas scrutinised by a panel of experts in Nigeria and the UK.
The mentoring session between the two winners of the enterprise challenge competition and Richard Branson took place in London.
Odiete runs Hesey Designs – an online store selling African-inspired accessories, which also helps to empower and mentor other young African women.
Sharing her experience, she said, “It was an awesome experience meeting and learning from Richard Branson; one that will change my life and business and take it to a whole new level. I am super grateful for the opportunity.”
Yammama, a postgraduate student at Middlesex University in London, won with a business plan for a mobile phone app called Verdant to help crop farmers.
“The Enterprise Challenge has been a remarkable competition which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I believe it has not only developed my skills but exposed me to a whole new way of looking things from writing to pitching and presentation.
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