A budding IT firm, Articulate Technologies Concept tops seven other winners to get maximum N1.5 million in the 2nd edition of the Entrepreneurship Development Project (EDP) organised by the Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) recently to reward young Nigerians with outstanding business ideas.
Dignitories at the grand finale of the 2nd Business Plan Competition organised by the Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation in Lagos
The Renaissance reports that a total of N7.45 million was distrubuted to the young entrepreneurs in two categories of the competition: Growth Track Category and Idea Track Category for their innovative and enterpreneural skills.
Winners under Growth Track Category are Akorede Ahmed A. of Articulate Technologies Concept (web and software development) which won N1.5 million and Mohammed Oladimeji Kazeem of ImanJRafah Venture Farms (agroallied farm), who also went home with N1 million.
Risqiyyah Folashade Abubakar of Folarisq Empowerment, and Badru Qudrah Iyabode – Project Coordinator of Catering Servises, Bakery and Confectionery pocketed N750,000 and N500,000 respectively.
Under the Idea Track Category, Abdulfatah Sadiq Murtala, (B.Engr Agric) won N1 million, Mariam Musa of Mee Fashion, received N750,000, Mallam Idris Sanni Toheeb of Teacherpreneurs got N500,000 while Alarape Rukayat Olatunde won N250,000.
The young entrepreneurs also received plagues at the grand finale of the competition held in Lagos.
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Z&S Foundation, Prince Sulayman Olagunju remarked that the Business Plan Concept was an aspect of ZSF Entrepreneurship Development Project (EDP).
He said that the concept started in 2015 with a view to bring together business-minded Nigerian youths to compete and showcase their creative ideas and business plans.
”It is no longer news that the economic hardship has been worsened by increase in youth unemployment, Boko haram insurgency, militancy/terrorism in the Niger delta, kidnapping cum armed robbery in the south-east and south west respectively.
“The high cost of living confronting the Nigerian youths can be effectively eradicated through designing and implementing appropriate entrepreneurial programmes to engage them productively.
”The EDP was also meant to empower the Nigerian youths with adequate seed capital and appreciate the role of Nigerian youths in nation building.
”The tree we planted together just one year ago, has grew up favourably and it has started yielding beneficial fruits that gave us more impetus to continue this competition despite low sponsorship,” Olagunju said.
He urged all the beneficiaries to utilise the fund judiciously to take their businesses to the next level as a demonstration of competence and confidence repose in them by the team of experts.
Also speaking, Mallam Ahmed Ma’aruf, the Operation Manager of the Foundation remarked at the occasion that the initiative was tailored towards empowering young Nigerians with business ideas either at conceptual level known as “Idea Track” or transitional stage known as “Business Growth”.
”Number of participants increased from 128 last year to 165 this year and the consultant and all experts, involve in the selection process, did a marvellous job to produce the winners.
”They have indeed performed very well and all of them deserved to be commended and handsomely rewarded.
The Chairman of the occasion, Ambassador Adamu Babagida Ibrahim, said there is no better time to encourage the ZSF noble and lofty project than now.
“Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation’s intervention, at this auspicious time, is a welcome development that should be supported by well-meaning individuals and corporate citizens.
“This type of intervention is necessary in order to complement the efforts of government in the delivering socio-economic welfare services to the less privileged Nigerian youths.
“I commend the board and management team of Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation for encouraging the Nigerian youths to be job creators and not job seekers.
“The practical steps taken by the foundation is a testimony of its commitment and passion to empower the Nigerian youths through the window of its entrepreneurship development project code-named business plan competition.
“You will agree with me that this one way developing the Nigerian youths as well as contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.
“I am equally filled with joy to know that not only the finalists will be rewarded with prizes and certificates of participation but all the runner-up contestants will also be appreciated financially by the foundations as a way of encouraging them to do better in the years ahead,” Ibrahim said.
He implored well to do Muslims and non-Muslims to support the entrepreneurship initiative so that individually and collectively, we move the Nigerian project forward.”
By Oluwashina Iyanda
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