Union Bank Nigeria Plc has entered into partnership with Co-Creation Hub, a social innovation centre dedicated to accelerating the application of social capital and technology for economic prosperity, to promote enterprise ideas among Nigerians.
The support for the ideas is limited to financial inclusion, agriculture/food security and education. Under the partnership, Nigerians are encouraged to submit, tillMay 19 this year, their business ideas in those three sectors to Union Bank dedicated site for evaluation.
The finalists would be selected and trained on how to fleshing their projects after which three winners would emerge who would receive seed funds for grow their ideas. The first winner would receive N2m while the second and third winners would N1.5 m and N1 m respectively.
Speaking at the launching of the partnership for promotion of enterprise ideas among Nigerians, the CEO of Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa explained that the prizes are really important as seed funds but it is more about raising ideas that would impact on the society.
According to him, the idea to support enterprise ideas is part of Union Bank Centenary celebration as many stakeholders have made the Union Bank journey possible. “We therefore want to come together to tackle social challenges in a sustainable way to improve the economy”.
According to him, innovation is at the core value of the bank and the bank is committed to the cutting edge of innovation and to serve its customers. He promised that the bank would continue to look at variety of ways to tackle social challenges as “we are excited about today and the future”
Also speaking, Bosun Tijani, the CEO of Co-Creation Hub said Nigerians are quite passionate about Nigeria but regretted the absence of strong platforms to support their passion.
He said Co Creation Hub has built eco-systems to support innovations in Nigeria saying that the solutions to big problems sometimes come in small forms.
While appreciating Union Bank for taking this route of supporting enterprise ideas, Tijani said the smart thing for companies in Nigeria to do is to support small firms to grow.
He recalled that 98 percent of ideas’ support come from outside Nigerias, but according to him,Union Bank support represent a change. “The idea is to spot innovative people and support them”
Also speaking, Femi Longe, a director at Co-Creation Hub said they would embark on road shows across the country to sensitise them on the project.