Ekiti State has been described as a hub of intellectuals capable of providing solutions to the array of challenges facing this country, if properly harnessed. The State Commissioner for Trade and Industries, Aare Muyiwa Olumilua made this assertion at the grand finale of Ekiti Enterprise Challenge held in the State capital, Ado-Ekiti.
Aare Olumilua who lauded the organizers of the competition for coming up with such a beautiful idea, noted that the timing was not only perfect but also strategic, considering the numerous challenges being faced by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and of course, the youths of the nation.
He admonished the four winners of the cash prizes and other finalist to consider this as a huge opportunity to launch themselves into the global market, and to keep the flag of the State flying.
The Commissioner added that the government of Dr. Kayode Fayemi has done so much in the area of opening up the youths to opportunities and making them self-reliant. He said the State, in collaboration with the federal government are doing so much to create a conducive atmosphere for young businesses to thrive, as this will help in mitigating the problem of unemployment in the State.
Earlier, the Chairman Board of Trustees of project, Engr. Dare Ojo appreciated the government of Dr. Fayemi for their support and contribution towards the overall success of the competition. He explained that the purpose of the competition was to identify entrepreneurs of Ekiti origin, who have their businesses domiciled in Ekiti and support them to gain global recognition as well as compete favourable in the global market.
Also commenting on the success of the Ekiti Enterprise Challenge program, the Executive Secretary, Board of Trustees/ Team Lead for Ekiti Enterprise Challenge, Michael Peculiar Ekiran congratulated the winners stating that, “access to capital and lack of capacity to scale are two major issues affecting young entrepreneurs that Ekiti Enterprise Challenge hopes to solve. Many young businesses in Ekiti have not been able to scale up to explore national and global opportunities despite having very brilliant and innovative ideas” He also noted that “The emphasis of EEC on Ekiti based business by Ekiti people is intended to Identify, Groom, Fund and Mentor young entrepreneurs whose business may be hampered by lack of skills and capital. This annual event beyond the competition will provide ongoing support to small businesses with potentials and link them to wider opportunities. It is envisaged that EEC will promote employment generation, reduce poverty and increase gender participation in entrepreneurial activities”
The winner of the grand prize of 1million naira is Odumuyiwa Titilayo Bayonle (Freedom Leathers), while Ogunlade Ayobami Olawale(Delivery Now NG), the first runner-up won 5 hundred thousand naira, Osuolale Victor (Ekiti Market), second runner-up, Falade Ebunoluwa Grace (Gracials Couture), third runner-up won 300, and 200 thousand naira respectively.
The Ekiti Enterprise Challenge Event took place in the premises of Fountain Hotel, Ado Ekiti in attendance for the Grand Finale events are top Goverment Functionaries and invited Guest of Honours such as; Director General, Ekiti State Micro Enterprise Development Agency Otunba Kayode Fasae, SSA to The Governor on SDGs represented by Executive Secretary SDGs Mr. Dele Ogunsemoyin, The State Coordinator of NDE represented by Mrs. Ajiboye Folasade.