The March 8th Initiative, a brainchild of the “Friends of Prof” is organised to inspire and promote communal, entrepreneurial and public-spirited endeavours within Nigeria in honour of the birthday of His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON.
This year, the March 8th Initiative expanded in terms of reach and scope. First, the Entrepreneurship Programme was reorganised into 4 categories providing more opportunities for young Nigerians between 18 and 35 years old. For this year’s program, the organizers received a total of Thirty-Three Thousand and Twenty-Eight (33,028) applications across the four advertised categories.
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Successful applicants submitted an elevator pitch in video format that identified an innovative solution to a communal challenge.
Successful applicants are existing businesses and submitted a clear and concise business proposal not exceeding 500 words outlining their ideas, and aspirations.
Successful applicants are existing businesses and submitted a clear and concise business proposal not exceeding 750 words proving their business case and business needs with evidence of social impact.
Successful applicants are existing businesses and submitted a clear and concise business proposal not exceeding 1,000 words demonstrating an innovative business idea that was scalable and had social impact
This year’s edition of the Challenge which opened on the 8th of March and closed on the 14th of March,
raked in over 34,000 applications across the various categories. At the close of the submission portal,
the applications were pre-screened by a team of experienced Evaluators.
The following number of proposals across the various categories scaled through the pre-screening stage, and proceeded to the final screening:
A total of 1,753 applicants scaled through the pre-screening stage and were assigned to a panel of internationally accredited evaluators drawn from the best Schools in Europe for the final shortlist. They evaluated the proposals on their substance and awarded marks on the following criteria: innovation, value creation, feasibility, value capture, written composition and clarity.
The Panel that reviewed these applications include:
Thereafter the successful applicants were contacted to submit supporting documents and various means of identification to verify their businesses.
At the end of the verification process, a total number of 355 Applicants were shortlisted as winners of the 2021 Entrepreneurship Grants. This is broken down below: