After two years of innovative projects and events to put a spotlight on Agriculture in Nigeria especially amongst young people, Harambe Nigeria , has moved on to a new level of engagement: providing young agri-entrepreneurs with the opportunities to build and expand their ventures.
Part of the global Harambe Endeavour Alliance, Harambe Nigeria’s goal is to enable Nigerian youth develop innovative solutions in Nigeria’s agricultural sector by providing them with the necessary tools, network and exposure that will enable them translate their ideas into actions. Through this, Harambe Nigeria is confident it will inspire a new generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs who will lead innovation in the agricultural sector and in turn help bring diversity to Nigeria ‘s economy.
For this next phase of the project, the organization has designed an agricultural business plan competition for young people between the ages of 21 and 35.
“What we are looking for are Innovative and sustainable agro business ideas in two categories” said Tola Sunmonu, its President. “Budding entrepreneurs; which are those with nothing established expect perhaps a bright idea and a pen, and then established entrepreneurs, which would be those who have an agrobusiness that has been operating for a maximum of 18 months”
Applications will be received starting from the month of April and will contain three separate phases. The first phase will involve the submission of a resume and an entry form available on www.hendeavor.org/content/bgroups/nigeria.php or at the Center for Entrepreneurial Development Services, Victoria Island; the Fate Foundation Office, Ijora; Value Frontier Ikeja, The Future Project in Surulere and LEAP Africa in Lekki Phase 1. Deadline for this is May 31.
The second phase will involve the submission of a full business plan, and in the final phase, the semifinalists will have the opportunity to present their ideas to a panel of judges and after a series of interviews the winners will be selected. Deadline for this is August 6.
“We want to ensure that Nigeria does not miss a beat on its journey towards development” said Obinna Ukwuanim, the Head of Communications. “Harambe Nigeria is launching this competition to hopefully identify the fertile future leaders and lavishly capitalize on their talent. The first step in achieving an aspiration is always the first step. Once those endowed with leadership are acknowledged and properly equipped to realize their ideas, the limit of impact is then beyond any man’s foresight. But first, great minds must be given a chance”
In order to ensure that the winning ideas are successful implemented and sustained, Harambe Nigeria will be giving up to 7.5 million naira in cash and training.
The trainings will be courtesy of renowned institutions such as the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development Services (EDS) at the Pan African University and the Fate Foundation. The winning entrepreneurs will also receive extensive follow up services provided by Harambe Nigeria to ensure that they receive ample support as they implement their winning solutions.
The winners of the competition will be unveiled during this year’s symposium where they will receive significant media attention and an opportunity to present their winning ideas to potential investors. They will also be given a full feature in the Harambe Newsletter and will be Harambe Ambassadors for a year.
“Farming is not a usually attractive sector mostly because only lip service is paid to it, but what we have done in the past two years is to let young Nigerians in these important field know that people are watching them and are ready to support with knowledge, skills, opportunity for growth and finance” Ms. Sunmonu said. “This has always been part of our middle-term plans, and it’s the next natural progression. Many of these young entrepreneurs need practical support and we are excited that we are able to provide it”
Harambe Nigeria, in partnership with the Dangote Group, Zenith Bank, Notore, and Shell Nigeria, has hosted two Youth Conferences in Lagos. The overwhelming response from young and enterprising students in attendance prompted Harambe Nigeria to establish the Harambe Incubator for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (HISARD).
The incubator at the Obafemi Awolowo University , Ile-Ife consists of 10 students, and their goal is to create innovative solutions ot the agricultural problems facing the farming communitities in Orile Owu and Wakajaiye. They have completed a successful phase of needs assessment and are in the process of implementation of an on-campus business.
For any questions, applicants can email [email protected]nigeria.org
Photo Credit: IICA