By Moses Nosike

At the Enactus Nigeria 2019 National Competition, experts, stakeholders, industry owners in their different experience of business practice had recommended industry players in the Nigerian economy to consider collaboration as a means of national development, saying that businesses thrive easily on collaboration.

From left:Mrs. Abosede George-Ogan, Director, Strategy, Funding and Stakeholder Management, Lagos State Employment Fund(LSETF); Mr. Michael Ajayi, Country Director, Enactus Nigeria; Mrs. Kunbi Wuraola, Principal Consultant, Discover Your Potentials; Mr. Tonye Cole, Co. Founder, Sahara Group and Ms. Osayi Alile, CEO, Aspire Coronation Trust (Act) Foundation, all panelist at the Enactus Leadership and Innovation Summit sponsored by Act Foundation held at the Civic Centre recently.

It was also said that since collaboration is a gathering of ideas from partners, it helps businesses grow and develop easily. This was said during the panel discussion of the programme to encourage young Nigerian university students who came to present their projects at the Enactus competition the need to imbibe the culture of collaboration now and in the future.

On the first day it was a featuring of a leadership and innovation summit sponsored by Aspire Coronation Trust (Act) Foundation with the theme: “Multi-Stakeholder Collaborations: A Tool for Achieving Sustainable Large Scale Social Impact”. One of the panelists, Osayi Alile, the CEO, Act Foundation enthused that with collaboration everybody has something to offer and the impact will be huge with less stress. So, she advised our youths to consider collaboration whenever the need arises.

The CEO, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole during the panel discussion added that collaboration is the easiest way to succeed, saying you might have good ideas on your own, but better with someone else. “He advised the audience to think of collaboration when setting up a business”.

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Continuing, another panelist, Abosede George-Ogan said that for us to achieve proper collaboration, understanding the strength of each person, sector is important so that you know where you are coming from and what you are bringing to the table for you to perform optimally.

She said, “there is need for individuals, public and private collaboration in the Nigerian system to move the country forward”.

The summit was followed by the Enactus Leadership Challenge also sponsored by Act Foundation. The challenge was to task Enactus teams across the country to conduct research in their communities with a view to identifying and addressing cultural or traditional beliefs and norms that disenfranchise the community and limits the people from reaching their full potentials. It is also structured to enable the Enactus teams to develop social innovations and enterprises that creates economic opportunities for the people

Following the announcement of this special challenge and subsequent series of reviews by Enactus Nigeria and ACT Foundation, some of the most compelling top 5 entries that required urgent attention were selected by the screening committee to advance to the this  phase of the challenge where they made audio-visual pitches of their projects at the Enactus National Competition 2019.

The five (5) Enactus teams with the most compelling social innovations (projects) that  produced the most sustainable results had the chance to present the outcome of their projects to a panel of judges at the Enactus Nigeria National Competition in Lagos between the 10th and 11th July, 2019 with three (3) overall winning projects receiving seed capital for their project expansion and continuity.  In first place was the University of Ibadan winning the sum of N400,000 while Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta and Bayero University Kano were in second and third place respectively with each winning the some of N300,000 respectively for their projects expansion.

According to the Country Director, Enactus, Michael Ajayi, the winning projects demonstrated a lot of promise in being able to use an innovative approach in addressing a critical belief system that has had adverse effects on the socio-economic development of the community. It is our expectation that these funds will scale up the scope of the project’s reach as it takes on communities with similar belief/norm that is equally undermining growth and development, thus improving quality of life and standard of living.

He said that, it is our believe, that through this partnership, Enactus teams will continue to develop social innovations that will substantially change retrogressive beliefs and norms while addressing key socio-economic issues and contributing greatly to Nigeria’s overall development agenda. “It is indeed encouraging to note that Enactus Nigeria with the support of ACT Foundation have taken the bold step of engaging and inspiring students in a most creative yet community-centric way to dare to challenge the status quo of socio-cultural beliefs and norms that have in some cases lasted for hundreds of years but have  also proven detrimental to their socio-economic development”.

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Ajayi said that through this project, our Enactus students have and will continue to experience, demonstrate and develop  the much needed leadership skills that will positively impact their lives and communities for generations to come and propel them to take up the leadership challenge that our world continues to throw up at us. “The purpose of the leadership challenge is already being achieved across the country as advocacy has begun in some of these locations to raise awareness about the negative socio-economic impact of such retrogressive and limiting beliefs and norms while effort is being made to change the lives of individuals in these communities for the better”.

Hefurther said that following this positive feedback, we are even more resolute to achieving our over-arching goal, and are also more committed to continue to provide the training, opportunities and the right mentorship required to develop the human capacity of the Nigerian youth with the hope of creating the critical mass of such individuals and, thereby, substantially support the growth and development of the Nigerian state.

“With active participants of over 900 individuals comprising students and academic leaders from over 25 Nigerian tertiary institutions, business leaders and observers from various organizations, the 2 days event did not fall short of expectations as the participants were thrilled and amazed at the turn out of the event. Twelve top institutions were selected to move on to the next stage, which was the semi-final stage of the competition”.



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