* Star prize winners get N1m each, twelve runners-up share N1.2m
The 2023 edition of the Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation entrepreneurship development project otherwise known as the Business Plan Competition (BPC) has produced eight star prize winners who smiled home with a million naira each.
Another 12 runners-up won N200,000 each in the idea and growth tracks categories.
The winners and runners-up were announced on Wednesday at the awards/prize-giving ceremony held at the Westwood Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos under the chairmanship of the Managing Director/CEO of Noor Takaful Insurance Ltd, Mr Rilwan Sunmonu.
The eight-star prize winners of the 8th edition are Adam Zainab Oyindamola, Dhikrullah-Badru Sumayyah Adenike, Salaudeen Nafisat B, Adepoju Habeeb Aderemi, Oparemi Khadijah Olaitan, Idrees Fatima Adetoun, Shittu Nimotallah Adetunminu and Jimoh Agboyega Wasiu.
The runners-up are Lawal Tunde Ayoola, Sanni Moshood Abiola, Jimoh Yusuf, Babs DhulQuamay Oolanrewaju, Agboola Olalekan AbdulRahman, Owodunni Aisha, Lawal AbdulAzeez Olamilekan, Adeleke Zainab Aderonke, Dauda Kazeem Kala, Fatai Teslim Balogun, Davis Ibrahim Ayomide and Bello Shamsudeen Munirudeen.
“This is the 8th edition of the project since its inception in the year 2015”, the Executive Director (ED)/CEO, of the Foundation, Prince Sulayman Olagunju said in his welcome speech.
He added, “We have been consistent in supporting, creating and managing small-scale businesses for the past nine years across the length and breadth of our dear country, Nigeria.”
He said the BPC has been impactful on the youth and the larger society from the intervention, with direct beneficiaries of 168 and indirect beneficiaries of 1,165, saying that a total sum of over Ninety Million Naira (N90.000.000) was expended, including administrative cost.
While appreciating the presence of the MD, Noor Takaful Insurance as the chairman of the occasion, the ED also acknowledged the introduction of online training on entrepreneurship during this year’s competition, saying that it was highly appreciated as more applicants participated and benefited maximally from it.
“Our mentorship of winners remains one of the cornerstones of our success as many mentees continue to express their appreciation for the tremendous support they receive from their mentors,” he noted.
Prince Olagunju urged the new winners to emulate the habit of hard work and generosity as displayed by most past winners, many of whom are doing well in their businesses.
He said, “Interestingly, some of them have been paying back both in kind and cash. As a matter of facts and figures, some of them are here today to share their success stories with you.
The chairman of the occasion, Mr Sumonu expressed heartfelt gratitude to the organisers, mentors, and judges who were instrumental in guiding and evaluating the budding entrepreneurs, adding that their dedication has been crucial in bringing the competition to the remarkable moment.
He also celebrated the outstanding achievements of the finalists, while recognizing their drive, innovation and dedication to building a brighter future for themselves, their communities and the world at large.
Mr Sumonu said the Business Plan Competition represents a beacon of hope and opportunity for countless youths who possess the passion and vision to launch successful businesses.
“These talented individuals are equipped with the ideas and determination to flourish in the business world, yet often find themselves constrained by financial limitations. The BPC was created to address this very issue and provide a platform for these aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into reality,” he noted.
According to the MD of Noor Takaful Insurance Ltd, In today’s world, where innovation and entrepreneurship play a pivotal role in economic growth and development, it is our duty to nurture and support the next generation of business leaders. The BPC not only empowers our young entrepreneurs but also aligns with the principles of Islamic finance and the spirit of community support that Noor Takaful Insurance Limited holds dear.
“As we gather here today, we will witness the culmination of a journey that has brought together talent, creativity and determination. The participants in this competition have invested their time, energy, and ingenuity into crafting business plans that not only hold promise but also reflect their unwavering commitment to success.”
One of the winners, Malam Habeeb Adepoju, the Director of Al-Arqam Schools of Arabic and Islamic Studies, a weekend Arabic and Islamic school based in Ijebu Ode Ogun, couldn’t hide his excitement as he spoke with Muslim News.
He said, “I feel happy and elated. I am happy because the competition involved about 100 people. It was just a fortune because I had to restart the registration for this competition a day before the closing date. And I feel very excited about winning this competition.
The director who participated in the growth track of the competition said the prize money would assist in upgrading his madrasah by increasing the number of facilities to accommodate more students.
“Presently we have 145 pupils and we need to create more facilities like chairs and tables. We need to have a digital madrasah where we use digital tools like laptops, and projectors to teach students. Part of the extracurricular activities is that the students will watch TV and clips to aid their learning. So I intend to use that money to procure some of those products and facilities I need at the madrasah and it will go a long way to assist the image of the madrasah and bring more people in.
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