It was a crossfire of innovative ideas at the Entrepreneurial Action In Us (ENACTUS) competition held last week at the Civic Centre on Victoria Island, Lagos. Students from about 25 tertiary institutions presented their entrepreneurship projects to compete for the first prize at the four-day contest.
A panel of judges comprising business leaders and industry professionals evaluated the students’ projects, which were aimed at solving challenges facing rural communities and improving the lives of people in an environmentally sustainable way.
The event with the theme: Redefining the future, started on Monday with a cultural fair, where the participants showcased their cultures. This was followed by the opening round on Tuesday. The participating schools were divided into four groups, with each having four to five contesting teams.
The opening round was greeted with pulsating moments, as students slugged it out to move to the next stage. At the end, 12 teams progressed to the semi-final stage, including the 2015 champion – Federal Polytechnic, Kaduna (KADPOLY) – and a new entrant, Covenant University (CU).
Other teams that moved to the semi-final included Ekiti State University (EKSU), Federal Polytechnic, Idah (IDAH POLY), University of Uyo (UNIUYO), University of Port-Harcourt (UNIPORT), University of Lagos (UNILAG), Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Niger Delta University (NDU), Kogi State University (KSU), Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
An innovation summit with the theme: The impact of entrepreneurship on the development and sustenance of an emerging market, was held as part of side events marking the contest. It was sponsored by Sahara Group. The summit was designed to promote entrepreneurship as a tool for economic empowerment and national development.
Managing Director of Sahara Group, Mr Tonye Cole, gave business insights from his personal life and business experience to inspire the students. He told them nothing was impossible for them to achieve if they possessed entrepreneurial skills.
During the interactive session that followed the keynote speech, which was moderated by the Vice President of First Bank of Nigeria PLC, Bernadine Okeke, students learned from panelists comprising industry professionals, including the Managing Director of Bank of Industry, Waheed Olagunju, Executive Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Peter Bamkole, Founder, Mobility Arena, Mr Yemi Adegboye, and Mrs. Ayodeji Megbope of No Leftovers Limited.
The final round was held on Thursday, starting with a keynote lecture delivered by the lawmaker representing Bayelsa East in the National Assembly, Senator Ben Bruce.
At the end of the contest, KADPOLY clinched the first prize. It was the second time the polytechnic won the national contest. ABU became the first runner up, while Covenant University was announced the second runner up.
For clinching the first prize, KADPOLY will represent Nigeria at the ENACTUS World Cup Challenge coming up in Ontario, Canada in September.
Okegbemi Olusoji Festus is an Editor/Creative writer at campustori.com, A digital media Executive and a known Social Media Enthusiast.