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Unity Bank invests over N100 million in Corpreneurhip Challenge to support recent graduates

As part of its commitment to drive economic growth by supporting the next generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs, Unity Bank has supported as many as 400 fresh graduates over the past five years through its entrepreneurship development initiative, also known as Corpreneurship Challenge. It has also invested over N100 million to support the graduates.

The Corpreneurship Challenge initiative was launched in 20219 with pilots in 4 states – Lagos, Edo, Ogun and Abuja and was scaled up to 10 states in 2020. The initiative is promoted in partnership with the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, SAED. The initiative involves a business pitch presentation where participants, who are mainly fresh graduates participating in the mandatory one-year NYSC service, are given the opportunity to pitch their business plans and stand a chance to win business grants.

The bank recently increased the prize money to 16 million Naira per stream, giving winners the chance to win N800,000, N500,000 and N300,000 in corporate grants for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively. In previous editions, the Corpreneurship Challenge awarded N500,000, N300,000 and N200,000 to winners.

The Head of Department, Digital Banking and Fintech Partnerships at Unity Bank, Mr. Olufunwa Akinmade, who led the pioneering team that designed the initiative and launched the pilot, reflected on the impact of the initiative, saying: “The Corpreneurship Challenge has proven to be a viable enterprise development and empowerment initiative due to its high level of success in supporting budding entrepreneurs in its target group, as well as the magnitude of the problem it is designed to solve for the Nigerian economy.”

Olufunwa expressed his satisfaction with the growing stature of Corpreneurship Challenge as one of the leading sector-neutral business incubators in Nigeria. He said the bank is committed to sustaining the programme to create more impact and thus boost employment, with young entrepreneurs taking the lead.

Also speaking, the Head of Department, Retail and SME Banking, Ms. Adenike Ambimbola, said: “We have seen the positive impact of the Corpreneurship Challenge over the past five years because of its innovative approach to youth empowerment and job creation, including a holistic strategy to support budding entrepreneurs with mentorship and skills development, in addition to financial support.”

Since its launch, the Corpreneurship Challenge Train has travelled across Nigeria, stopping in 10 states per region to help realise the dreams of young graduates and aspiring entrepreneurs, thereby supporting the growth of the SME sector in Nigeria.

The last edition was held in 10 states including Taraba, Kogi, FCT, Lagos, Yobe, Ogun, Ebonyi, Enugu, Adamawa and Imo State. There were three winners in each state, bringing the total number of winners for the edition to 30.

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