The Abuja Enterprise Agency being the drivers of entrepreneurial growth held a mask up competition in conjunction with its partners in the fashion industry, the competition was designed to give participants the opportunity to bring their ideas and concepts into actualization in the fashion industry.
With the given realities of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put the whole world to a stop, the Agency brought about this competition to engage the MSMEs in the fashion industry in the FCT. The Agency and its partners hope to help by making the face mask very much available to everyone and lift up the economy and health status of Nigerians.
The competition was focused on 5 major categories which are Best use of innovation, growth, social impact, the use of ICT, climate and environmental impact as well as privacy and data protection. The competition recorded 929 entries and 221 videos. Finalists of the competition went through a very rigorous screening process were 10 companies met the criteria.
The 10 Finalists Pitched their business ideas to the Panel of Judges who are eminently qualified and accomplished in the Fashion Industry, the Medical space as well as the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. Dr. Joe Abah (the former DG, Bureau for Public Service Reforms), who is well respected Nationally for his personal and National Principles for Truth, Transparency, and Growth, as the Chief Judge for this competition, Other Judges are; Dr. Ejike Ojih (a Medical Practitioner of over 30 decades and the Chairman of the Medical Sub Committee of the Ministerial Advisory Team for the FCT COVID.19 Response), Mrs Aisha Abubakar Falke (CEO, Falke Fashion/Northern Hibiscus Initiatives), Mr. Seyi Adekunle (CEO, Vodi Group), Barr.Chioma Ibokwe (CEO, West n Couture).
They used their versed experience acquired over the years to determine the Best 3 Finalists who went home with cash prizes of N500,000, N300,000, and N200,000 respectively. There is in place other consolation prizes for the other winners such as free trainings in the Industry to be provided by both AEA and Messrs.’ Vodi Group, Business Advisory Services, Mentorship sessions, Market linkages, and access to facility from the our own FCT MFB. In addition to the prize for the top winner, the Company was given a shop space at the SilverBird Shopping Mall for a month free to display and sell the Face Masks.
Speaking at the pitching event was the MD/CEO of the Abuja Enterprise Agency Arabi Mohammad Tukur who said
“We wish to convey our profound appreciation to the Panel of Judges for their dedication, time and commitment. I have implicit confidence in the ability of the judges to provide a credible assessment for today’s Final Business Pitch.
Our Collaboration with critical partners such as Columbia, Honorary Consulate in Nigeria, Vodi Group, and ThreeM Plus is borne out of the FCT Administration’s vision of providing an enabling environment, particularly for youths to become leaders in the entrepreneurial world and provide solutions to the various challenges we face as a Nation.
The Agency wish to also appreciate all our partners for being part of the success we are witnessing today. Of particular note are the contributions of Her Excellency, Mrs Mericel R. Jammal (Honorary Consul of Columbia to Nigeria), Mr. Mohammed Jammal (CEO, ThreeM Plus), and Mr. Seyi Adekunle (CEO, Vodi Group) who remained focused and dogged in getting the competition to hold despite the huge challenges of COVID.19. We in the Abuja Enterprise Agency remain ever grateful to you and your Teams for beaming the lights of the Agency further. Thank you most sincerely.”
He concluded his speech by expressing sincere appreciation to the FCT Administration under the leadership of the Honorable Minister FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello for making this event possible and showing great interest, dedication and commitment in developing the youths of the FCT. He also adviced the participants that “ the potentials for success lie in you; I urge you to be the business leaders of tomorrow by inculcating these 3 tips to become successful entrepreneurs, “be Innovative, be Creative and lead with Integrity”.
One of the participants miss Fatima Ibrahim Tauheeda said the competition gave her the opportunity to come to different ideas and designs of facemasks and also publicity to arket her products. She also thanked the Abuja Enterprise Agency/FCTA for the opportunity.