By Princewill Ekwujuru
Technology startup 618 Bees has announced 10 Nigerian women as winners of its N15 million NaijaWoman Hero competition.
The winners are Anyantola Elizabeth, Ifeoma Udeaja, Jennifer Ifeoma, Nasa Judith and Emmanuella Giwa emerged winners. Other winners are Millicent Anugwom, Abina Zainab, Wasolati Sani, Odo Stephanie and Okoyeocha Olivia Ginikanwa.
The 10 winners will each receive business incorporation support, opportunity to participate in an investment pitch, business training and mentorship, and legal advice of up to N1.5 million.
Co-founder/Chief Executive Officer, Efe Ugboro said the winners were chosen after extensive voting on social media platform Instagram, and on the 618Bees website.
“We have over 400 entries from female entrepreneurs across the country. And after following the really remarkable conversations around outstanding Nigerian women heroes, we have arrived at a final list of 10 women entrepreneurs who will get their business registered for free, as the first step in what promises to be a string of benefits.”
The 618 Bees contest asked young women in business to talk about the Nigerian women they find most influential, remarkable, and impactful, and stand a chance to get their businesses registered for free.
In a country where women don’t get enough credit, and where they are often held to stiffer standards compared to men, Ugboro, whose company currently employs only women, says the contest was designed to draw attention to great Nigerian women many may be forgetting; as well as give a much-needed opportunity to social media vendors to formalize their businesses.
Not surprisingly, names like Stella Adedavoh (whose personal sacrifice, costing her life curbed a wider spread of the Ebola virus in Nigeria), Dora Akunyili (who used her time as director general of National Agency for Drung administration and control (NAFDAC) to drastically reduce the sale of fake drugs), Ola Orekunrin (founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria,
West Africa’s leading air ambulance service), Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (the matriarch of the Kuti family and the first woman to drive a car in Nigeria) and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (world bank veteran and the first female Minister of Finance of Nigeria) dominated the list, with hundreds of thousands of Nigerian men and women paying tributes across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The campaign reached nearly two million people in 28 days across Nigeria.