Foundation encourages storytelling, entrepreneurship

Foundation encourages storytelling, entrepreneurship

Thursday, June 14, 2018 8:07 am

Adamu Adamu, Nigeria’s Education Minister

Mr Mimshach Obioha, the Programme Director, Ventures Platform Foundation(VPF) says the foundation is inspiring entrepreneurs and undergraduate innovators to apply for 100,000 dollars ( N361,000,000) Anzisha Prize for young innovators to be self-employed through storytelling sessions.
Obioha said this on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Abuja.
According to him, the storytelling sessions will be held at campuses to give students first-hand account of opportunities such as Anzisha Prize and work toward being entrepreneurs upon graduating.
“The Anzisha Prize gives very young African Entrepreneurs seed funding as well as comprehensive business and individual support to help them grow their businesses.
“The programme will ensure that 15 finalists from across Africa win a spot in a lifelong fellowship that will help to accelerate their path to entrepreneurship success.
“The first step in this journey is all-expenses paid trip to a 10-day long entrepreneurship workshop and conference at the African Leadership Academy campus in the outskirt of Johannesburg, South Africa.
“The grand prize winners, selected from these finalists, will share prizes worth 100,000 dollars (approximately N36 million),” he said.
According to the director, the lead storyteller is Tonje, an Anzisha fellow and one of the mentors in the organisation.
“He is reaching out to say he is the brand ambassador for the Anzisha Prize which gives equity-free funding to really young entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22.
“ We invited him to come to Nigeria, to universities and interact with the young people who believe at building the future,” he said.
In a separate interview, Tonje urged students and young innovators to be passionate to solve problems affecting their immediate communities with globally acceptable solutions.
“The Anzisha Prize gives very young African Entrepreneurs seed funding as well as comprehensive business and individual support to help them grow their businesses.
“The students need to emphasise on building businesses of their own, create job for others and ultimately, solve problems peculiar to their immediate communities in order to qualify for Anzisha Prize.
“I am a living witness and I am here to let them know they too can do it if I could do it then,” he said.
However, Tonje said innovators within labour market could negotiate with their employer on how to commercialise their ideas and hold equity in the business.
Also another storyteller, Chris Kwekowe, 2015 Anzisha Prize winner of 25,000 dollars (N9. 1 million) and Co Founder, Slatecube, a digital talent accelerator, urged students to prioritise entrepreneurship.
“Entrepreneurs need scalable team that will actually help them move from point zero to point one.
“For them to achieve that, they may have to work with other entrepreneurs with knowledge on how to actually run a business.
“There is need to develop talents that can help industries build their businesses, entrepreneurs should dig deep and remain steadfast with their ideas to fill such gap,” he said.
NAN reports that millions of graduates are produced yearly from tertiary institutions across the African continent but with huge shortage of job opportunities.
The foundation started storytelling session at Bingham University, Karu on Monday, while another session was held at the University of Lagos on June 12, while others will soon be held.
Some undergraduates who attended the session in Karu commended the idea.
Patrick Obi, a 400 level student at BHU, Karu said, “the programme is really interesting. I believe that entrepreneurship is the gateway for Africa to move forward.
“I believe working for people or organisation after graduation doesn’t give enough progress to the society,” he concluded.
Fikayo Odugbemi, another 400 level student of BHU, Karu, said “the session reignited my belief that entrepreneurship helps a nation develop.
“It looks scary but it worth going into. I look forward to becoming an entrepreneur in the educational sector,” she said.

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