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WeSabi founder emerges winner of N12m ARM’s DAAYTA 2019 award

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The Deji Alli ARM Young Talent Award (DAAYTA) by Asset & Resource Management Holding Company Limited (ARM) during an event, over the weekend, held at Four Points by Sheraton Hotels Victoria Island, Lagos announced Murtala Sani of WeSabi as the first place winner of the DAAYTA 2019 award.

A team of four distinguished judges played the pivotal role of choosing the DAAYTA 2019 award winner amongst whom are: Victor Asemota, the Africa Partner for Alta Global Ventures, a US-based venture capital company; Mitchell Elegbe, founder of Interswitch, Sadiq Mohammed, the Deputy Group CEO of ARM Group and Dr. Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, an Angel investor and Group Chief Sustainability and Governance Officer of Dangote Group.

Murtala Sani emerged the winner from among the 6 finalists with his business proposition WeSabi and received the award worth of ₦12,000,000 to fund and grow his business.

Sani’s ₦12,000,000 (twelve million naira) funding will be disbursed over a period of one (1) year to develop his business plan, complete a 5-month entrepreneurial education at the Pan Atlantic University’s Enterprise Development Centre in Lagos, Nigeria; and also to receive support for development of his venture WeSabi through an accelerator programme by a reputable entrepreneurial hub in Lagos, Nigeria.

According to Sani, the urge to make a system better drove him to start WeSabi, an initiative created to help households find reliable and pre-screened artisans in their neighbourhood through a website, mobile app and a USSD platform. It’s goal being to build Africa’s marketplace for the blue-collar sector.

WeSabi founder, Murtala Sani

In the fifth position was Oluwayomi Oyatoye of MechoMedics whose initiative aims to address the problem of poor adoption of the new Secondary School curriculum in Nigerian schools specifically in the area of implementing trade courses and entrepreneurship development.

Daniel Odediran of PrestPro came in fourth with his idea which aims to produce an energy-saving cooling system using clay for the preservation of freshly plucked tomatoes in order to extend their shelf life.

Yusuf Shittu of “Jojolo” Neo Childcare bagged the third position after explaining that Neo Childcare as a mobile child health service provider seeks to provide top quality and affordable healthcare for children especially in low-income communities in Nigeria.

Dare Odumade of Chekkit made the second position with his innovation which is an anti-counterfeiting, asset-tracking and consumer feedback analytics platform and tool aimed at addressing the problem of counterfeiting, pilferage and inefficient supply of products.

The DAAYTA programme which was inaugurated by ARM in honour of its founding CEO Mr Deji Alli in 2015 is part of the company’s CSR efforts to educate and empower the younger generation to make a meaningful socio-economic impact in their immediate environment and the nation at large.

DAAYTA 2019 opened for applications in November 2018 receiving over 500 applications from talented and optimistic young entrepreneurs with 20 standing out after the initial selection before the final selection of 6 candidates was made.

Speaking about the outcome of the event, the Managing Director of ARM Academy, Ms Uche Azubuike, said “We are happy that this huge part of our firm’s corporate social responsibility has yet again yielded fruits by empowering a good start-up business which will have a positive impact in the environment. There is a lot going on in the ecosystem right now, a lot of support from experienced people and from technology as well. So I would advise the winners to take advantage of that and make an impact.

“On behalf of ARM, I extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Murtala Sani, all finalists and applicants; and my appreciation to our esteemed judges and everyone in attendance for their time at DAAYTA 2019.”

Lauding the DAAYTA 2019 Awards ceremony, the Tech Strategy Advisor and Founder of TechnoVision Mr. Tomi Davies stated; “I am glad the DAAYTA Awards event was different from the traditional pitch events as we went through a thorough process to get to this final stage.  The judges were amazing as their decisions were prompt and they were aligned and as one of them said, “Even our unconscious bias was also revealed in a subtle way”.

He went further to state that, “I especially like the fact that the finalists had worked with each other before the event and bonded enough to help each other. At the end of the day, each of the 5 finalists that participated was a winner and went home with a prize and we all agreed that Murtala Sani of Wesabi deserved the first prize.” He added.

DAAYTA 2019 Awards was proudly supported by TechnoVision Communications Limited, a technology services company with speciality in advising clients on technology-led transformation and early-stage entrepreneurship in Africa.

@TechEconomyNG connects past-present-emerging technological impacts on Businesses, People and Cities. All Correspondence to: [email protected]

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Konga’s monthly loss reduced from N400m to N100m in 2 years – CEO

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Konga
Konga (offline) retail store

Konga.com’s books indicated a N400m monthly loss, but with new systems, structure and energy put in place, the numbers have gradually been reducing, the CEO, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, has disclosed.

Prince Nnamdi who spoke while appearing on Kaleidoscope, an interview programme aired on Channels TV, he said that eCommerce is an expensive project but we are best positioned to deliver as a very innovative technology company,’’ he disclosed.

He also disclosed that Konga has invested well over $120m since it was acquired two years ago in Nigeria alone and now strategically structured to take on other African countries.

In his words; ‘‘Though we started with a monthly loss of N400m, but with new systems, structure and energy put in place, we have gradually been reducing losses and now about N100m loss per month. E-Commerce is an expensive project but we are best positioned to deliver as a very innovative technology company,’’ he disclosed.

Equally important, Prince Ekeh made the disclosure on Kaleidoscope, an interview programme aired on Channels TV on Sunday, August 2nd, 2020.

The young business leader, who described Konga as a technology company revealed that Konga employs directly and indirectly over 150,000 Nigerians. Most of them are merchants, logistics and other service providers.

‘‘We partner to create a trusted and sustainable digitally-driven ecosystem and working hard to scale this to about 250,000 before the end of 2020.

‘‘We see ourselves as more than just an e-Commerce company. Konga is a technology company and as a technology company, we are positioned to leverage that status in deploying new solutions and innovations. Indeed, no one should be surprised if tomorrow, Konga starts launching space ships into orbit. Although we have received several offers from interested investors, we are content with the group that is currently funding Konga. The group is highly ethical and want us to maintain the highest level of integrity. Our investors have assured us of enough capital to survive the next five years at least. This was why we did not accommodate a valuation of $300m from a consortium of global investors last year. 

‘‘However, we are also keen to expand into other African markets after taking charge of the Nigerian market. The e-Commerce market in African is still a largely untapped one. Therefore, any company that makes the right in-roads will reap huge benefits from it,’’ he said.

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LSETF relaunches Idea Hub for tech startups

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Idea Hub
Executive Secretary/CEO, LSETF, Mrs. Teju Abisoye

In line with its mandate to provide entrepreneurship solutions, training, and upskilling opportunities to innovative entrepreneurs and start-ups in the Lagos tech ecosystem, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has re-designed the Idea Hub Programme, under its Lagos Innovates Programme

 

The Lagos Innovates Idea Hub Programme is a 12-week incubation programme designed to support tech-enabled businesses with relevant skills, networking opportunities and mentorship from seasoned industry experts; geared towards building a competitive and sustainable brand.

 

It is expected that the programme would afford budding entrepreneurs with tech solution with the necessary leverage to grow their ideas.

 

The benefits include business incubation and coaching by Lagos Innovates experienced and seasoned Mentors; an opportunity to pitch for Lagos Innovates Workspace Vouchers for 6 or 12 months (valued between ₦120,000 – ₦1,800,000); and access to Lagos Innovates network including Government, corporates, start-ups, local and international investors, etc.

 

In her remarks on the initiative, the Executive Secretary/CEO, LSETF, Mrs. Teju Abisoye said; “The Lagos Innovates Idea Hub is a programme under one of our delivery mechanism tagged Tech Start-ups (Lagos Innovates), primarily responsible for cementing Lagos’ position as the leading destination for tech and innovation in Africa. With the recent global economic challenges due to the pandemic, we believe technology will be critical in proffering recovery and adaptive solutions as the world embraces the new normal.

 

“I am confident that with the Idea Hub initiative providing the institutional support, our young innovators in Lagos would be able to pivot toward this paradigm. We encourage growing entrepreneurs in the digital and tech space to take advantage of this programme to create compelling solutions that would accelerate the Lagos economic, business and lifestyle recovery trajectory”, she added.

 

Some of the seasoned mentors and industry experts of the programme are Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, Founder,~We-Cyclers, and DG, Lagos State Records and Archives; Olu Akanmu, Executive Director Retail Banking, FCMB; Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, CEO, Future Software Resources Ltd; Ponmile Osibo, Partner, Platform Capital; Wale Ajiboye, Associate Director, Acumen; Oluwatoyin Oshinowo, Co-founder and VP Product, Field Insights; Dr Olanrewaju Phillips, Enterprise Account Manager, HP, Central Africa, and Odunayo Eweniyi, Co-Founder and COO, Piggyvest.

 

Other mentors are Olutosin Oni, Principal, Echo VC; Damilola Thompson, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Echo VC; Oluwatoyin Emmanuel-Olubake, Associate Director of Portfolio, Acumen; Dayo Kolewole, Partner Microtraction, and Simeon Ononobi, Co-founder/CEO, Thank U Cash.

 

Interested applicants must run an early-stage start-up with viable and solution-driven ideas; technology must be the core or the enabler of the enterprise, and the founder must reside in Lagos State.

How to APPLY

Applicants should visit Here to apply before the deadline date, Sunday 16th August 2020.

 

What you should know Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF)

 

Established in 2016, LSETF‘s vision is to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to reduce unemployment in Lagos State.

LSETF focuses on promoting entrepreneurship by improving access to finance, strengthening the institutional capacity of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), formulating policies and actively intervening to improve the business environment. The Fund also trains and places unemployed Lagos residents in jobs, while driving innovation within the Lagos ecosystem. 

 

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Top 50 finalists announced for Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize 2020 competition

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Jack Ma Foundation
Source: Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH)

  • The 50 finalists were selected from over 22,000 applications all over Africa, representing twenty-one African countries, half are female, and work in 18 sectors like agriculture, AI, e-commerce, fashion, healthcare, renewable energy and ICT

Top 50 finalists were selected from over 22,000 applications across all 54 African nations; The finalists represent 21 African countries, half are female, and work in 18 sectors like agriculture, AI, e-commerce, fashion, healthcare, renewable energy and ICT; Finalists will advance to the next round of selection and will participate in an exclusive virtual boot camp on July 28.

The 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) prize competition, a flagship philanthropic program established by the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), has shortlisted the top 50 finalists from stage one of the selection process.

The fifty entrepreneurs will continue their journey in the competition, for a chance to become one of the ten entrepreneurs that will compete in the grand finale later this year.

The top 50 finalists were selected from a pool of over 22,000 applications received from all 54 African nations.

The diversity of the finalist roster reflects the aim of Africa’s Business Heroes to be inclusive and grassroots, providing entrepreneurs from all over Africa with a platform to showcase their talent and business ideas, regardless of nationality, industry, age or gender.

The 2020 top fifty finalists come from twenty-one countries (Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe) and eighteen sectors, such as: agriculture, AI, Big Data, business services, construction, education, engineering, e-commerce, fashion, financial services, healthcare, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, management services, retail, renewable energy, and transportation.

The average age of the cohort is 37 with the youngest candidate aged 22 and the eldest aged 64. 50% of the candidates are female – a 24% increase from the debut competition last year, and 32% are francophone, reflecting this year’s competition opening applications in French for the first time.

Over the past month, a panel of 140 highly skilled and experienced judges reviewed the submissions, evaluating applicants’ leadership and vision, their ability to translate their innovations and ideas into sustainable and robust business models, and their commitment to create positive impact to uplift their communities. Judges, whose unrivalled knowledge and industry expertise has brought immense added value to the selection process, represented a variety of key sectors in Africa, such as agriculture, tech, retail and e-commerce, education, healthcare, finance, logistics, and tourism.

Before stepping into the second round of selection, which will determine the top 20 finalists, the fifty selected entrepreneurs will be invited to join an exclusive virtual boot camp hosted by the Africa’s Business Heroes team on July 28th.

The boot camp represents a further opportunity for aspiring candidates to access unparalleled knowledge and insights from across the ABH network.

It also aims to build up finalists’ management and leadership capabilities and ultimately increase not only their chance of progressing to the next stages of the competition but to further develop as entrepreneurs.

During the boot camp, they will have the chance to receive feedback from round 1 judges such as Rafeh Saleh, Director of the Founder Institute and Omolara Awoyemi, Senior Program Manager at Facebook. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend interactive workshops with industry and business leaders, who have been partnering with ABH this year, including Abdelhameed Sharara, Founder & CEO of RiseUp; Patrick Awuah, Founder & President of Ashesi University, and Sebastien Nony, General Partner of Janngo Capital. It will also feature a few of the 2019 finalists who will provide advice and insights on their own journeys.

The selection process to spotlight the 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes finalists will continue throughout the summer. Following round 2 interviews and the semi-finale pitch, the top 20 and top 10 finalists will be announced in August and September respectively.

ABH will culminate in a grand finale show later this year, where the top 10 finalists will take the stage to pitch business legends – including Jack Ma – for a chance to win their share of a US$1.5 million prize pool.

A number of round 1 judges commented on their experience with Africa’s Business Heroes, noting:

“I am thrilled to have served as a judge for the Africa’s Business Heroes competition. It’s been an honour to help identify business heroes from Africa that are genuinely committed to changing the game in their respective industries. In these challenging times, getting to discover how the ABH applicants manage to turn challenges into opportunities, with a real sense of purpose and dedication to improve the conditions of people in their communities strengthens my belief in the promise of entrepreneurship in Africa.” said the Team Lead at Agence Française de Développement, Isadora Bigourdan Bryden.

“Driven by the spirit of entrepreneurship, the tangible benefits of social good, and a strong sense of community pride, this startup competition is special – showcasing many promising ideas and a diverse group of African startups. It’s been inspirational to see these founders, deeply rooted and passionate, create change in their world.” commented a Silicon Valley Startup Advisor, Triane Chang.

“It is truly heartwarming to see that so many young entrepreneurs are working passionately to drive high-impact social projects across the African continent. The judging process was not an easy task as all participants submitted very high-quality applications with compelling business propositions. As the competition progresses, I look forward to following the finalists’ journey and how they will use their talent and skills to generate positive change in their communities and beyond.” added the Manager, Group Strategy at Philips, Firas Ezzeddine.

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