Start-up entrepreneurs Opeyemi Owosho; Founder, Homefort Energy, Mariam Lawani; Founder, GreenHill Recycling, Nnaedozie Idoko; Founder of Solatistique Nigeria, Oluwaseyi Adenekan; Founder of CIB and Omotoke Olowo; Founder of Theraconnect have emerged first to fifth place winners at the Orange Corners Innovation Pitch Competition.
The Entrepreneurs have access to a €120,000 start-up capital of 75% grant and 25% loan provided by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
Orange Corners is an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands launched in Nigeria in 2019 and implemented by FATE Foundation.
The Orange Corners Incubation Programme supports 20 entrepreneurs every 6 months with enterprise development knowledge, mentoring, access to market and funding to grow their business. To date has supported 80 Entrepreneurs with Funding valued over N250,000,000 for prototype development and testing.
The Orange Corners Innovation Fund (OCIF) pitch competition was held at FATE Foundation to marked the end of the fourth Cohort of the incubation programme.
The winning businesses were assessed by expert Jury; Benthe Beijens; Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship advisor, Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Ifeoluwa Adesoye; Strategic Business Controller, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Seun Akinfolarin; Senior Manager, Business Development & Marketing, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In attendance was Sonia Onovughakpo Fajusigbe, Economic & Trade Advisor, Netherlands Consulate General, Lagos. In her congratulatory speech to the entrepreneurs, she stated.
“I must commend everyone. The ideas are mind blowing. It reminds me of the fact that Nigeria has a competitive advantage with our youthful population, which is really our greatest asset. Human value is more important than crude oil. With these ideas and with the help of the Orange Corners Programme, which is like a bridge between entrepreneurship and private sector development, the entrepreneurs will succeed. We have a new normal since 2019.
“The world has undergone a transformation. Life has changed, marketing has changed, and everything has changed even the delivery of the Orange Corners programme transitioned to virtual learning so I must say a Big thumbs up to everyone for the hard work and resilience.
The Netherlands Consulate General is very happy to link participants with more opportunities. The businesses are in line with the Consulate’s priority sectors so we are happy to see how we can push this forward and support even more entrepreneurs. Congratulations to the lucky five winners, the participants and the organisers, “the organizers said.
They added, “The fifth Cohort of the Incubation Programme is currently ongoing. Entrepreneurs admitted into the programme are resident in Lagos, between ages 18-35 with innovative and sustainable solutions that have significant economic and social impact particularly in the Circular Economy, Agriculture, Health care, Water and ICT.
“The Call for Application for the sixth cohort is set to begin in September, 2021.
At FATE Foundation, we are continuously committed to enable aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs to start, grow and scale their businesses, and we are wishing all the winners of The OCIF (Orange Corners Innovation Fund) pitch competition, the very best in their future endeavours.”