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JA Nigeria Hosts Annual Flagship Student Competition In Lagos – NCOY 2018 Highlights

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The National Company of the Year (NCOY) competition is Junior Achievement Nigeria’s flagship event and the culminating point for the implementation of the JA Company Program and accompanying regional competitions across Nigeria. It occurs in early October and brings together outstanding student business teams across Nigeria to compete for the opportunity to represent Nigeria at the Africa Company of the Year competition.

The goal of the NCOY is to create a signature showcase for Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) and the students who benefit from the impact of the JA Company Program®, which is a school-based entrepreneurship education curriculum for senior secondary school students. This annual celebration of success allows young people to demonstrate their business acumen and spirit of entrepreneurship in a competitive environment, which will engage business, education and policy leaders as well as the media.

This year, the competition held in Terra Kulture, Lagos on Thursday, the 4th of October, 2018 with 9 student companies participating in the competition. The student companies who competed are listed below:

 

  1. The Elite Achievers, a student company from Government Secondary School, Tudun Wada, who produced bio gas made from cow dung and a fruits dryer powered by solar energy.
  2. The Brain Max, a student company from Government Girls Secondary School, Abaji, Abuja. They created an online market where they sold farm produce from local farmers directly to customers. They also developed an app which is currently live on the Google Play Store –The Real Farmers Market (RFM)
  3. Brave Girls Company,a student company from Rosary College, Nise, who designed a local water ring boiler that consumes less power to boil water.
  4. Stecomms, a student company from Stella Maris College, Port-Harcourt, who developed a community-based radio transmitter.
  5. Inventive Explorers, a student company from Caro Favored Schools, Ajegunle, who produced a rechargeable handheld LED traffic light for road wardens
  6. Voltage JAC, a student company from Day Waterman College, who produced a flash drive + lighting phone charger.
  7. EBSUTECH POWER LTD, a student company from Ebonyi State University (EBSU) Staff School Abakiliki, who produced an equipment that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy (manual phone charger).
  8. The Elite Enterprise, a student company from Osogbo Government High School who produced bio gas made from cow dung.
  9. Sharon Glory Ventures, the student company of Sharon Rose College, Saki who designed a water level indicator.

 

The student companies were judged by Olutosin Oni, Principal at EchoVC Partners; Ijeoma Agboti-Obatoyinbo, MD/CEO of FBNQuest Funds; Akintunde Oyebode, CEO, Lagos State Employment Trust Funds; Fatima Aliko- Dangote, Executive Director, Commercial, NASCON Allied Industries; Paul Okeugo, CO-Founder & COO, Chocolate City Group; and Moyosore Olisa, Head, Alumni Engagement, Tony Elumelu Foundation. In addition to the highly esteemed judges, also in attendance were Patrick Iyamabo, the Chief Financial Officer of FirstBank Nigeria who gave the keynote address, as well as Nneotaobase Egbe of Channels TV who compered the event.

(L-R : Simi Nwogugu, ED Junior Achievement Nigeria, Paul Okeugo, Olutosin Oni, Fatima Aliko-Dangote, Moyosore Olisa, Akintunde Oyebode, & Ijeoma Agboti-Obatoyinbo)

 

Each student company presented their products and services to the judges and audience following a time for the product demos. Each student company had a booth where they displayed their products and judges had the opportunity to go round and see up-close, how each product/service worked. At the end of the day, three student companies copped all prizes.

Coming in third place, was Sharon Glory Ventures, a student company from Sharon Rose College Saki, Oyo who produced a water level indicator to enable home owners determine the level of water in their tanks. They also received the award for the Most Innovative Product.

(Sharon Glory College receiving award for the third place & Most Innovative Product)

(Student Company executives at the Booth for Product Inspection)

In Second place were the girls of Brain Max Student Company from Government Girls Secondary School, Abaji, Abuja who designed a website and software application for connecting local produce farmers directly to their customers; they also won the award for the best Corporate Social Responsibility project. For their CSR project, they visited Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps,assigned members of the camp into various economic cooperative groups based on skill sets and then provided entrepreneurship/financial literacy training to each group.  They also placed approved cooperatives with viable plans on the “Displaced Finance Platform” for crowd funding and they secured start-up funds for them, provided the much needed mentoring to their businesses in the areas of access to market, book keeping and marketing.  Through this, they were able to raise the household monthly income of over 260 IDPs in Durumi IDP Camp from zero to N30, 000. They also used 10% of their profit to provide food stuff and sanitary materials for the IDPs.

(Government Girls Secondary School students receiving award for Second position & Best CSR Project)

(The Student Company executives at their booth for service inspection)

 

And #NCOY2018grand winners, were the Inventive Explorers, a student company from Caro Favored College, Ajegunle, who produced rechargeable hand-held LED Traffic Lights to ease congestion in their locality and also eliminate the use of hands or red flags by traffic wardens. They will go on to represent Nigeria in the JA Africa Company of the Year competition taking place in Ghana this December.

(Caro Favored College receiving the award for First place in the NCOY 2018 competition)

(The student company executives at their booth for product inspection)

We thank all our guests for making time out to be a part of the event; our esteemed judges, for judging each student company objectively; our media partners (Bellanaija, PulseNG, Businessday and ChannelsTV), and #NCOY2018 in-kind sponsors (Wilson’s Juice Co) for contributing to the success of #NCOY2018.

We also recognize and thank Citi Foundation for sponsoring the JA Company Program in Lagos and Abuja thereby giving both the first and second place winners an opportunity to compete (and win). To ACT Foundation, for sponsoring the JA Company Program and regional competitions in Osun and Oyo States, we say a big THANK YOU!We’re sure the students of Sharon Rose College, Saki did you proud by coming in third place.

 

 

About Junior Achievement Nigeria

Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) is part of Junior Achievement Worldwide (JAWW), the world’s largest and fastest growing non-profit economic education organization with a 120-country network. Since inception in 1999, JAN has reached over 850,000 students in over 20,000 classrooms in over 29 locations across the country through over 2000 volunteers. As part of a global network, JAN is able to leverage resources and expertise to deliver localized cutting edge experiential programs built on JAWW’s three pillars of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy, to in- and out-of-school youth ages 5-27 free of charge. You can follow us on our social media pages; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn. For more information about us, please visit our website www.ja-nigeria.org

 

More Photos of the event can be seen below:

(Stecomms Student Company with the local radio transmitter)

(The Elite Achievers Student Company with their product, A bio gas made from Cow Dung)

(The Brave Girls Student Company with their local Water Ring Boiler)

(Voltage JAC Student Company with their product, a 3 in 1 Portable Flash Drive)

(EBSUTECH Student Company pose with manual charger as judge inspects product)

    

(Some of our guests at the event)

(FirstBank CFO, Mr. Patrick Iyamabo giving a Keynote Speech during the event)

(Mr. Nneotaobase Egbe of Channels TV addressing guests during event)

(JAN ED, Simi Nwogugu, addressing guests before the presentation of awards to outstanding student companies)

 

Credit: Chinonso Ndimantang (Junior Achievement Nigeria)

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NGOs - SDGs

Closing The Gender Gap: An Interview with Dream Girl Global (DGG) Founder, Precious Oladokun

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Dream Girl Global Founder, Precious Oladokun (Image source: Dream Girl Global)

The elimination of gender inequality and achievement of the United Nations SDG 5 on gender equality remains a pressing objective as the global community barrels towards 2030. In this interview, Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online spoke with the Founder of Dream Girl Global (DGG), Precious Oladokun about DGG’s work, gender inequality, and Covid-19. Excerpts.

Alaba: Could you briefly tell us about Dream Girl Global and the gap its filing?

Precious: Dream Girl Global is a non-profit organization that was set up to contribute towards the elimination of gender inequality, and empower young women as a contribution to the 5th Sustainable Development Goal. Specifically, we carry this out through mentorship projects in a bid to empower young girls, encourage them to dream bigger, and help give them excellent head starts at their careers. We are currently in operation in Nigeria and India.

Alaba: What sparked the interest and how are you funding this initiative?

Precious: I have always had a deep rooted passion for gender inequality partly as a result of my experiences as a female in Nigeria, and partly because of the experiences of many other women across the world. Many countries that are poor today have cultural norms that exacerbate favoritism towards males. Norms such as patriarchy and concern for women’s purity help explain the male skewed ratio in India and China, and low female employment in the Middle East, and North Africa. Also, issues like uneven access to education, lack of employment equality, job segregation, and lack of political representation are major reasons behind this initiative.

So far, we have not needed much funding to carry out our projects. However, when there is a need to, we are going to reach out to individuals and organizations with similar interests to help pursue this cause.

Alaba: How does your organization measure its impact?

Precious: Basically, we measure our impact by setting short terms goals, and once a goal is achieved, we mark it out. This gives a clear picture of our activities and generally helps to measure our impact.

Alaba: Kindly share some of your challenges and successes since you launched?

Precious: One major challenge is the refusal of some people to understand the concept of gender equality, resulting in criticism of the cause. Also, the management of data and information is another challenge (yet in a good way). I would rather prefer to refer it as a learning process.

So far, I have been thrilled by the successes that we have recorded. We have been able to reach out to a large number of people through our social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. This has provided an opportunity for us to educate the masses on the importance of gender equality.

Also, we successfully mentored twenty (20) girls in Nigeria and India during our Pilot Mentorship Project that ended a month ago. In Sub-Saharan Africa, only 8% of girls finish secondary school. Imagine what could be achieved if we could start to close this gap and educate more girls.

Alaba: What do you think are the key challenges regarding gender-related issues, both in the workplace and in the home? How might they be overcome?

Precious: In my opinion, the major key challenge is that people do not understand, or more preferably, have chosen not to understand the plight of women. This is particularly prevalent in rural communities. In most societies, there is an inherent belief that men are simply better equipped to handle the best paying jobs. This inequality results in lower income for women, and is one reason why women hardly get recognized among the most financially prosperous persons in the world.

Another challenge is that many men enjoy the dividends of patriarchy, and would prefer to continue to enjoy those. These may be overcome with more sensitization, empowerment of women, and with taking a stand (among other things). By the latter, I mean that people should by their actions and words support gender equality, and call out misogynistic practices.

Alaba: As a social entrepreneur, how has the pandemic affected your work and the organization? How are you prepared post Covid-19?

Precious: Well, the pandemic has not really affected our work per se. Most of what we do involves communication via social media platforms. However, the outbreak of the virus has disrupted our plans to visit secondary schools, low income communities, and households. It is our intention to fully take up these after the pandemic, and we are working earnestly to see that it becomes a reality.

Alaba: What are your three-work-from home tips for founders who are managing a remote team now for the first time?

Precious: Tip no 1: Take full advantage of the internet. The internet is an avenue to explore various opportunities.

Tip no 2: For a founder who is managing a remote team for the first time, you will need to have dedicated, reliable, and self-driven members. You will need people who understand the cause, and are willing to go any length in ensuring that the goals of the organization are achieved.

Tips 3: My last tip is patience. This is a virtue ignored by so many people. Start building, and be dedicated while building. It takes a little patience and it takes a lot of faith but it’s worth the wait.

Alaba: As a young female leader, what drives you?

Precious: I am driven by the possibilities of results, and I am confident that whatever I put my mind to do, I can achieve it. To me, there is no impossibility.

Alaba: What message would you give to younger men and women?

Precious: My message to younger men and women is simple. Build things, watch them grow, and never rush. The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it. Another message I feel necessary is the need for younger men and women to develop and build good relationships with people. It will help one go far in life.

Alaba: How do you relax, and what is your favorite tourist destination in Africa?

Precious: I relax by watching movies, swimming, and going to nice restaurants. Regarding my favorite tourist destination in Africa, I would go with Ghana. I have been to a couple of places in Africa, but I find Ghana very interesting because of the people, the culture, and generally everything. But to be honest, there is no place like home. East or West, home is the
best- Nigeria.

Also Read Egyptian FinTech Startup NowPay Scores $2.1 million Seed Investment

P R O F I L E

Precious Oladokun is the Founder of Dream Girl Global; a non profit organization that seeks to empower young girls as a contribution to the fifth sustainable development goal and is currently in operation in Nigeria and India. She also sits on the international board of Uriji, London, a social media company that helps to record dreams for as many years imaginable and help users earn while promoting their passion. She is the youngest and first Nigerian on this Board.

Precious is currently pursuing a career in Law, and is currently a Bar Candidate at the Lagos Campus of the Nigerian Law School. Prior to this, she interned at notable law firms across the Country including Olaniwun Ajayi LP, Templars, Banwo & Ighodalo, and Aluko & Oyebode. She has also served as an external support personnel at global Law Firm, White & Case.

In her spare time, she loves to watch movies, swim, travel, learn French, and taste exquisite dishes.

Sign up: Dream Girl Global

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NGOs - SDGs

World Humanitarian Day 2020: A Tribute to Real Life Heroes

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Onyeka Akpaida, Rendra Foundation Women in the Kuchingoro IDP camps (Image Source: Onyeka Akpaida)

“You have not started living until you start giving”-Onyeka Akpaida

The humanitarian crisis has always existed and sometimes when it is not close to home; it is easy to ignore. The Covid-19 pandemic is definitely one that has in a morbid way, united us globally.

In the face of this global pandemic, increased poverty and growing insecurity, humanitarians and front-line workers are going beyond their duty call to make life bearable for those who have been most affected by the pandemic and insecurity crisis.

Many of us grew up watching cartoons and movies of action heroes like Voltron, Captain America etc and we all strived in our imaginations to be like them because they were super cool; however, the front line workers and humanitarians knee-deep in responding to this pandemic are definitely the Heroes worth celebrating today as their needs, pains and challenges have taken a back seat to serving others in need.

Let me introduce you to some of our real-life heroes:

Dr Marie-Roseline, a field coordinator with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and an epidemiologist has a first- hand experience in fighting epidemics under harrowing conditions. She led her team during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo amid a series of violent attacks and this year, WHO sent Marie to the Central African Republic (CAR) to help set up the COVID-19 response.

Here in CAR we have a health crisis in the middle of a protracted humanitarian crisis,” she explains. “We have to build a health system while dealing with an emergency. It makes it very complicated. As doctors, we have committed ourselves to save lives. This is what we do. We cannot leave people to die.”

Nkem Okocha, a social entrepreneur and founder of fintech social enterprise Mamamoni Nigeria went above and beyond for low-income women living in rural and urban slum communities in Lagos state. During the lockdown, Nkem and her team gave relief food packages to these women week after week, putting their safety on the line. As the lockdown gradually eased up, they launched a COVID 19 emergency grant for female micro-entrepreneurs whose businesses were negatively impacted by the pandemic. The grant would help them restart their businesses.

Nkem Okocha, Founder Mamamoni with a female entrepreneur (Image Source: Onyeka Akpaida)

Adaora “Lumina” Mbelu started an accountability group- The Switch-On Bootcamp in April 2020 to teach enhance focus and productivity; ensuring that people could still execute their ideas in the middle of the pandemic. Since its inception in April 2020, the Bootcamp has hosted 2 cohorts and helped over 200 ‘Tribers”. The best part of this story is the group decided to do a Fund-The-Flow campaign as part of their team project aimed at providing sanitary products to adolescent girls and women in underserved communities in Nigeria.

(Image Source: Onyeka Akpaida)

“Given the priority to food distribution during the pandemic, sanitary needs are ignored and it is important for these women to manage their menstruation and associated hygiene with dignity and ease”

They have given out over 6,000 sanitary pads across 12 communities in Nigeria and they intend to continue this campaign.

The WIMBIZ group and Rendra Foundation focused on forcibly displaced women and their families in Northern Nigeria. The WIMBIZ group and Rendra Foundation provided food palliatives to 290 women in the Durumi IDP camp and 130 Women in the Kuchingoro IDP camps respectively.

Women in the Kuchingoro IDP camps (Image Source: Onyeka Akpaida)

Today, World Humanitarian Day, I join the rest of the world to applaud and honour every one working in their little corner of the world, going through extraordinary lengths to help the most vulnerable people whose lives have been upended by COVID-19 pandemic. Your response through commitment, sacrifice and tenacity has gone a long way in managing the increase in humanitarian needs triggered by this global pandemic.

Also Read: Africans Opportunities In Africa Matter

Author: Onyeka Akpaida is a financial service professional with 9+ years of experience in financial inclusion, consumer-centric digital banking and public sector engagement in a top tier leading International Bank and the founder of Rendra Foundation where she works to promote financial inclusion for low-income and migrant women in northern Nigeria.

onyeka@rendrafoundation.org

Rendra Foundation

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NGOs - SDGs

African Women in GIS (AWiGIS)- Our Story

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African Women in GIS (AWiGIS) is a community of African women around the world who either study, work or are interested in the geospatial industry. This community was borne out of the desire of two young women, Cyhana Williams from Ghana and Chidimma Umeogu from Nigeria, to create an association that fostered community and encouraged other African women to pursue GIS careers. They also sought to display the application prospects of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) field for Africa.

The community’s major objective is to create a forum that gives women of African descent (whether living in Africa or in the diaspora) the freedom to create connections, gain mentors, learn new skills, access education in GIS-related schools as well as job-related advice and opportunities.

The African Women in GIS community first started out as two separate country groups. Chidimma created her group on 29th July, 2017 for Women in GIS- Nigeria whiles Cyhana formed hers in April, 2019 called Women in GIS – Ghana. Together, these groups had members who were students and workers in the GIS field. It was a little tough garnering women in Ghana since the visibility and awareness of GIS was low. Thus, some students especially women who studied GIS in their undergraduate studies switched to a different career path after graduation due to the difficulty in getting a sustainable GIS job.

Cyhana Williams – co-Founder

Membership

In June 2019, Chidimma and Cyhana met on LinkedIn and discussed their efforts in creating platforms for women in their individual countries. This led to a conversation of collaboration and increasing the group coverage to pan the entire African continent. Hence, the genesis of the African Women in GIS community on October 2019. It started out with forty-one (41) Nigerian members, a member from Burkina Faso and eleven (11) Ghanaian members. Nigeria is the group’s headquarters country with Ghana as the second.

Members were encouraged to invite other women with the same interests or practice to join the group. The founders researched and reached out to women on LinkedIn who were in the same field. As time went on, members became acquainted with one another and shared their views on how the community should progress with their ideas for activities. Connections groomed and the group became larger.

Chidimma Umeogu – co-Founder

Growth

In January 2020, the African Women in GIS was introduced to the rest of the world. It launched its social media platforms (LinkedIn and Twitter) and used these platforms to reach out to more women. The platform also highlights the profiles of members in order to motivate other women who are practicing, studying or just enthusiastic about GIS. By the end of January 2020, AWiGIS had reached about one thousand (1,000) followers on LinkedIn and two hundred (200) followers on Twitter with over one hundred (100) members in its member group.

Also Read: Irene Mbari- Kirika- inABLE.org, Career and Impact

By February of 2020, the founders engaged a few members of the group as volunteers as well as a secretary who assist in the task of creating content and planning group activities in order to improve the member and public engagement. In May 2020, AWiGIS gained about 2,500 followers on LinkedIn with almost 200 active members from Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia , Kenya Cameroon and the Diaspora. It also launched its membership transition to Slack where a variety of channels for members to discuss, share relevant information and host tutorial activities operates efficiently. Although membership is strictly for women, other activities are open to the public.

The Future

In all enthusiasm and excitement, we have a number of activities planned out for the next few months as well as into the future. Members of the community proposed some activities whilst others were opportunities gotten from key individuals and organizations who reached out to the community.

For starters, AWiGIS has an upcoming volunteering project with Ibisa Network – an Organization that aims to aid small-scale farmers with satellite images of their farms to help them get insurance covers. The community collaborates with Ibisa Network by providing the AWiGIS members a volunteering opportunity with Ibisa where they will be assessing satellite images of farmlands. Through this volunteering project, the members get to add this work experience to their CVs as well as other incentives.

After the pandemic, AWiGIS plans to encourage the members to host outreach programs to schools and other groups. There, the members will help educate students about GIS and show them some impressive visualizations of GIS application as well as some roles of this technology in the real world. In addition, the official AWiGIS website will be launched and it will serve as a platform to display African GIS applications. It will also be a job recruitment site for geospatial roles in Africa.

Esther Moore – Secretary

We are excited about the various plans we have in place for the community, Africa and for the world at large. Follow us, join us and view the geospatial world through the eyes of African Women.

Author: Esther Moore

African Women In GIS

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