By Dipo Olowookere
The flagship youth entrepreneurship development initiative of Unity Bank Plc known as Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge has continued to attract several members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
The Corpreneurship Challenge was launched in 2019 and was specially designed to targets corps members, who are given grants expected to be channelled to profitable ventures to achieve the objectives of the scheme.
In a statement on Wednesday, the lender said it has committed over N30 million to empower the young Nigerians.
No fewer than 48 winners across 14 NYSC camps in 13 states and the Federal Capital Territory have been produced so far, with N4 million won by beneficiaries on four separate editions across four states and N10 million won by beneficiaries across the 10 states in the latest edition.
The initiative was piloted across four locations – Lagos, Ogun, Edo and Abuja – but has now expanded to six other locations including Akwa Ibom, Kano, Sokoto, Enugu, Sokoto and Osun.
Each of the locations produces winners of business grants of N200,000 for the second runner ups; N300,000 business grant for the first runner ups and a star prize of N500,000 for the overall winners.
The initiative has attracted massive interest and participation among the corps members, as over 10,000 applications have been received over the period.
The contestants’ business plans which usually come from any sector such as fashion, fish production, poultry farming, retail chains, piggery, beverages, etc. are assessed on originality, marketability, future employability potential of the product and knowledge of the business.
Speaking during the last edition, which held across 10 locations, the Divisional Head, Retail, SME Banking and E-Business Directorate, Unity Bank Plc, Mr Olufunwa Akinmade, said the competition has proved to have a great impact on youth empowerment in the country.
“The Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge has a very positive impact, not only for the corps members but for the entire youth population in Nigeria. It is a way to support the young men and women who are just graduating from university to grow.
“You will agree that it is not easy today to come out of the university and get a paid job, and so at this stage, it is good that the corps members imbibe that culture of entrepreneurship, and then with the financial support that they get from Unity Bank and the knowledge that they have acquired through the competition, they will be able to grow from job seekers to employers of labour,” he said.
Going down memory lane, Mr Akinmade recalled that what started in 2019 with a pilot in four states have now expanded to six additional states and is well on its way to achieving national coverage.
“We started Corpreneurship Challenge in 2019, with a launch in Lagos and in three other states which included Edo, Ogun, and Abuja. So, today we have expanded it to 10 locations, and it has been hugely successful.
“This is a programme that will stand the test of time, but all we are doing is to support NYSC corps members to start their own business no matter how small and then grow with it. Unity Bank will continue to be part of their journey, to offer them a start-up capital as well as business mentorship,” he said.
Meanwhile, the scheme has received the commendation of the Director-General of the NYSC, Brig.-Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim.
During a recent meeting with the Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs Tomi Somefun, he applauded the financial institution for providing financial grants to the corps members.
According to him, the pilot project has created opportunities for self-employment and wealth creation and would reduce the number of unemployed graduates.
Ecobank Named Best Trade Finance Bank in West Africa
By Adedapo Adesanya
Ecobank has been named the Best Trade Finance Bank in West Africa at the prestigious Global Trade Review’s Leaders in Trade awards held in London last month.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the lender announced that the award comes as recognition of its solutions for domestic and regional supply chain financing across key trade corridors as well as the bank’s arranger roles and participation in key soft commodities campaign financing across West Africa, notably covering cotton, cacao, soya beans and cashew nuts.
Ecobank’s offerings are supplemented by its state-of-the-art E-trade module under the Omni Plus platform and its products are positioned to support both Corporate and Investment Banking and SME customers in leveraging on the African Continental Free Trade Area’s opportunities and growing intra-African trade.
The judges also recognized Ecobank’s Trade Services solutions, which led the bank to command significant market share on Letters of Credit across the continent, leveraging on its Paris-based affiliate, Ecobank International, for confirmations, payments, and discounts.
Commenting on the recognition, Mr Souleymane Diagne, Group Head, Trade Finance, Ecobank, said: “As a Pan-African bank with the largest footprint across the continent, a major ambition of Ecobank is to be the preferred trade bank for SMEs and corporates across Africa. We are committed to enabling them to take advantage of the immense growth opportunities fostered by the game-changing African Continental Free Trade Area.
“This accolade from Global Trade Review provides welcome recognition of the impact we are making through our suite of trade products and solutions, which include Structured Trade and Commodity Finance, Trade Services and Supply Chain Finance.
“For our customers and partners in West Africa and throughout sub-Saharan Africa, we are resolved to continue delivering value through our trade and multi-currency payments solutions, leveraging on our African expertise and our network’s advantage.”
Ecobank works closely with clients and leverages partners within and outside Africa in reviewing key aspects of transaction dynamics, including settlement, financing, risk mitigation, credit enhancement, syndications and applicable regulations.
Corps Members to Get N10m Business Grant in Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A business grant of N10 million is available for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) service in various states across Nigeria.
The funding package is being provided for by Unity Bank Plc through its flagship entrepreneurial development initiative, Corpreneurship Challenge.
The scheme is in its eighth edition this year and will benefit corps members across 10 locations in the country, including a debut in Delta and Rivers States.
Recall that in 2019, the retail lender commenced the Corpreneurship Challenge scheme in Abuja, Lagos, Edo and Ogun States but with the increasing traction among corps entrepreneurs, the bank has now expanded the programme to 10 states across the federation.
The first expanded edition covered Lagos, Ogun, Abuja, Edo, Katsina, Enugu, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, Kano and Kaduna and this year, it will hold for the first time in Rivers and Delta as well as making a return to Sokoto, Edo, Abuja, Akwa-Ibom, Osun, Kano, Bayelsa and Enugu.
The Corpreneurship Challenge, which has earned the financial institution national recognition for its impact on youth empowerment and job creation, has continued to elicit growing interest among the corps members, attracting over 2000 applicants and participation in every edition.
In partnership with the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED), the initiative prominently features a business pitch presentation that provides the participants with the opportunity to present their business plans and stand a chance to win up to N500,000 cash in the business grant.
Previous editions saw participants pitching business plans from several sectors including software solutions, fashion, fish production, poultry farming, bee farming, retail chains, and piggery to beverages which were assessed based on originality, marketability, and future employability potential of the product and knowledge of the business.
So far, Unity Bank has invested over N100 million in the initiative which has now produced 58 winners since it was launched.
Digital Transformation Solutions for Banking
Digital transformation is a hot topic in banking. Banks are looking for ways to become more agile, to better serve their customers, and compete in a digital world. In this article, we’ll discuss the digital transformation solution for banking. Keep reading to learn more about digital transformation and how it can help the banking industry.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of transforming how an organization operates to better meet the needs of its customers and employees. It includes changes to organizational structures, processes, and practices that allow the business to take advantage of digital technologies and channels to improve performance and outcomes. Digital transformation can be applied in any industry, but it’s particularly relevant for businesses in highly regulated industries like banking, where there are large legacy systems that need to be modernized.
Banks are under pressure from both consumers and regulators to upgrade their technology infrastructure. Consumer demand for new services like mobile banking and payments has put pressure on banks to offer digital experiences that are fast, convenient, and secure. At the same time, regulators are increasingly focused on ensuring that banks have robust cyber security measures in place to protect customer data. Digital transformation can help banks address both of these challenges by helping them modernize their technology infrastructure and improve their cyber security posture.
What factors should banks consider when digitally transforming?
There are a number of factors that banks must take into account when planning their digital transformation. One of the most important is to ensure that the new architecture can support multiple channels and devices. This will allow customers to interact with the bank in the way that is most convenient for them. They may want to use the bank’s website on their computer, their mobile phone, or even a tablet. They may also want to use the bank’s services through social media, such as Facebook or Twitter.
Another important factor to consider is the range of services that the bank offers. The architecture must be able to support not only traditional banking services but also new services that are being developed specifically for the digital age. These may include things like mobile payments and money transfers.
The final factor to consider is the security of the new system. Banks must ensure that their customers’ data is protected at all times. This includes both the data that is being transmitted through the various channels and devices, as well as the data that is being stored.
Developing an architecture that can accommodate multiple channels and devices is essential for banks that want to undergo a successful digital transformation. It will allow them to provide a range of services that meets the needs of their customers, and it will ensure that their data is always protected.
What benefits will be seen once the solution is implemented?
The banking sector is under pressure to invest in digital transformation to remain competitive and meet the needs of customers, who are increasingly using mobile devices and online channels to conduct transactions.
There are several benefits that banks can expect to see once they implement digital transformation. First, banks can improve customer experience by making it easier for customers to conduct transactions through convenient online and mobile channels. In addition, banks can reduce costs by automating processes that were previously done manually. This will allow banks to operate more efficiently and make more money available to invest in other areas such as product development and customer service. Finally, digital transformation can help banks stay ahead of the competition by enabling them to offer new services that cater to the needs of modern consumers.
Cloud migration is a popular digital transformation solution for banks.
Cloud Migration is one of the many digital transformation solutions for banking. It is the process of moving enterprise applications and data to the cloud. The benefits of cloud migration include improved efficiency, scalability, and agility. Cloud migration can also help reduce costs and improve security.
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to migrate to the cloud. One of the most important is the business case. The benefits of cloud migration need to outweigh the costs. Another consideration is the readiness of the organization to move to the cloud. The organization must have the right infrastructure, processes, and culture in place to be successful.
The cloud can be a complex environment and not all applications are suitable for migration. Applications need to be evaluated to see if they are cloud-friendly. They need to be able to run in a cloud environment and be able to scale up and down as needed.
Once the decision to migrate to the cloud has been made, the organization needs to develop a plan. The plan should include the steps needed to migrate the applications and data. It should also include the resources needed and the estimated time to completion.
The cloud migration process can be complex but there are also many benefits to be gained. Organizations that are able to successfully migrate to the cloud can improve their efficiency, agility, and scalability. They can also reduce their costs and improve their security.
Banks can use big data analytics to digitally transform their organizations.
Big data analytics is one of the solutions that banks are turning to in order to stay ahead of the curve.
The use of big data analytics can help banks to gain a better understanding of their customers, and to identify and understand potential risks. It can also help banks to improve their customer service, and to develop new products and services.
Big data analytics can help banks to make better decisions by providing them with insights that would not be possible to obtain using traditional methods. It can also help to improve the efficiency of banking processes and to reduce costs.
The use of big data analytics is becoming increasingly important, and banks that don’t embrace it will likely find themselves at a disadvantage. Those that do adopt big data analytics will be in a better position to take advantage of the opportunities that digital transformation solutions present.
Digitally transform your banking business.
Digital transformation solutions are important for banking because they can help organizations to improve customer experience, increase efficiency and agility, and reduce costs. Overall, these solutions can help banks to compete in the digital age and provide better services to their customers.
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