Monday, 15 February 2016

British Council, Virgin Atlantic, Zenith Bank, Samsung launch second Enterprise Challenge competition

British Council Nigeria's Profile Photo

Let the ‘Challenge’ begin!

British Council, Virgin Atlantic, Zenith Bank and Samsung call for entries as they launch the second Enterprise Challenge competition to find Nigeria’s young entrepreneurs
The British Council, Virgin Atlantic, Zenith Bank and Samsung have launched the second Enterprise Challenge (#ECNG2016). The competition is designed to test the business skills of young Nigerian entrepreneurs aged 18-35 years. It will take place in three task cycles over an intensive four week period.
Recognising that skill and knowledge acquisition are critical components to developing successful entrepreneurs and their ventures, the Enterprise Challenge has introduced a ‘Boot Camp’ style event delivered by The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. The three-day event is designed to provide a core grounding in business principals in theory and practice. It will also explore synergies within local and global business contexts and promote networking opportunities for the top candidates with established, successful Nigerian entrepreneurs.

Made up of three tasks, the competition provides a platform for young, brilliant entrepreneurial minds to further develop their business skills and bring their innovative ideas to the fore for possible future development.
Lucy Pearson, Acting Country Director of British Council Nigeria comments: “The work of the British Council in education and the wider society helps transform not only national education systems, but builds more inclusive, open societies and increases young people’s opportunities for a better future. The Enterprise Challenge fits perfectly into this remit, effectively helping to develop the flourishing talent within Nigeria. After all, entrepreneurs make a difference not only to their immediate families and communities, but as the business leaders and employers of the future.” Lucy adds: “Nearly 2,000 budding Nigerian entrepreneurs entered the first competition in 2014, and we’re hoping for an even greater response this time round.


“Virgin Atlantic is delighted to support the Enterprise Challenge for a second time,” says Adrian Bird, Country Manager West Africa. “Entrepreneurship has, and always will be an inherent part of Virgin’s DNA, and we’re proud to foster this spirit in one of our most important markets, Nigeria. “We celebrate 15 years of flying between Lagos and London in 2016 and I can’t think of a better way to underline our commitment to the country and our customers than through an ongoing investment that supports the future business entrepreneurs of Nigeria.”
Sola Oladipo Executive Director Zenith Bank Plc says: “One of the biggest hurdles in business – particularly for young entrepreneurs – is connecting with those who ‘know’, and have already succeeded, and finance. The Enterprise Challenge addresses both these and we’re proud to be a partner.”
Samsung Electronics West Africa, Head of Corporate Marketing, Mr. Koye Sowemimo,adds: “We at Samsung deeply understand the importance of encouraging the average Nigerian youth to innovate and create products, as well as become wealth generators for themselves. To this end, we strongly support this initiative by British Council and Virgin Atlantic and are throwing our complete weight behind this project. We challenge Nigerian youth to explore their capabilities and talents to create products and services that will grow into big and deeply rooted brands in the near future.”

The winners willreceive a financial grant worth N1.5m and N1m for first and second respectively, and will all benefit from continued support from the initiative’s partners. In addition, the overall Enterprise Challenge champion will receive a fully-funded scholarship to attend a five-day entrepreneurship foundation course at the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africaplus a mentoring session in London with world renowned entrepreneur and Founder and Chairman of Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson.
In 2014, Eseoghene Odiete and Nasir Yammama were named winners of the inaugural Enterprise Challenge, beating more than 1,881entrants to the coveted title. Ese founded and runs Hesey Designs (, an online store selling African-inspired accessories, through which she empowers and mentors young African women. Nasir created a remarkable mobile phone app called Verdant (, which aims to help crop farmers across Nigeria.
Since winning, both Ese and Nasir have successfully developed their businesses; investing in technology, machinery and marketing to support their commercial and ideological aspirations. Hesey Designs is no longer seen as a local company but a credible and growing international brand. And Verdant has successfully graduated from the design and development stage, into a fully functional pilot running in Kastina State ahead of its nationwide launch.
For information on competition rules, regulations and criteria for participation please visit:

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