By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A global entrepreneurship platform AdamStart, Thursday, announced a popular Nigerian multi-award-winning dance entrepreneur, choreographer, dance instructor, and fitness coach, Kaffy (Kafayat Shafau) as one of its esteemed judging panels for Global AdamStart COVID Innovation Challenge entries.
Kaffy was announced in a statement signed by Founder of AdamStart, Adam Bradford, which the dance expert will be part of the panel to judge Global AdamStart COVID Innovation Challenge entries alongside other leading experts that will create a shockwave of change because young people are the future of global economy and society.
She is the owner of the dance company, KAFFY Inc, which houses the biggest dance company in Nigeria and four other industry-related businesses. She is also the founder of the K.A.F.F.Y. Foundation (Kreative Arts Foundation For Youth) which supports young people through creative arts programmes
She joins a panel of eminent experts including Will Holt, dean of Pearson Business School in London, Ishmael Dodoo of the United Nations, Grace Ihejiamaizu, founder of OpportunityDesk.org, Frances Trought, a leader in employability and enterprise skills and Peter Baxendell, a former director of major global food brands whose past work experience includes Unilever and Associated British foods amongst others who will judge entries to the AdamStart COVID Innovation Challenge.
The competition, launched last month, will provide a fund, mentorship, and a global training programme for young people who have come up with innovative social enterprise ideas to ease the pain of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The programme is the brainchild of Queen’s Young Leader and One Young World ambassador Adam Bradford, 27, from London. He visited Nigeria last year and earlier in 2020 to launch his programme in Africa; out of Lagos, Abuja, and Kano State.
The programme has been previously supported by Number 10 Downing Street and the UK Government.
Bradford said: “I am just delighted that we have attracted some of the world’s greatest minds to oversee the judging of this initiative. Through these unchartered waters we all need to find hope and optimism and I am confident that with the addition of the likes of Kaffy to our panel, alongside our other leading experts, we will create a shockwave of change.
“Young people are the future of our economy and society and so leaving them behind at this time simply was not an option. I am very excited about what is coming to Africa and the rest of the world.”
Meanwhile, he disclosed a partnership with a prestigious higher education institution, Pearson College, London, United Kingdom, which will source several real-world business mentors for young people, interns who will add manpower to young people’s ventures, and offer a range of online learning programmes to support the young entrepreneurs.
He (Bradford) also made it known that winners of the Challenge will be invited to its campus in London in 2021, giving them the opportunity to mingle with industry professionals and learn new skills.
“AdamStart has today also announced a partnership with Pearson College London, a Higher Education institution where industry engagement lies at the heart of its mission. The College offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, Degree Apprenticeships, and short courses; preparing their students to graduate industry-ready.
“As a part of the collaboration, the College will source several real-world business mentors for young people, interns who will add manpower to young people’s ventures and offer a range of online learning programmes to support the young entrepreneurs.
“It will also invite winners of the Challenge to its campus in London in 2021, giving them the opportunity to mingle with industry professionals and learn new skills”, he said.
In responding to Dean of Pearson Business School, Will Holt acknowledged the initiative of AdamStart and the vision to harness the great talent and potential of young people across the world through mentorship.
Holt also said the institution is committed to assist and add value to the lives of participants with valuable ideas that would help them grow and develop.
“We are proud to support this worthy initiative from AdamStart. Young entrepreneurs have a key role to play in helping the world through the pandemic crisis. We are committed to helping participants, and their ideas, to grow and develop through education and mentorship”, he said.