Female Entrepreneur, Odumuyiwa Wins N1M 2020 Ekiti Enterprise Challenge
For young enterprising Ekiti business tycoon, Miss Odumuyiwa Titilayo Bayonle, the sky appears the limit for her flourishing shoe manufacturing brand as she emerged winner of the grand finale of the Ekiti Enterprise Challenge held at the conference Hall of Fountain Hotels, Ado Ekiti at the weekend.
She beats 14 other finalists to pick the grand prize of N1m at a colourful ceremony graced by a handful of young entrepreneurs, stakeholders and high powered government delegation led by Aare Muyiwa Olumilua, the state commissioner for Trade and Industry
In his opening address, Engr Dare Ojo, who is the Chairman Board of Trustees, Ekiti Enterprise Challenge and President, Ekiti Parapo Lagos, spoke of the immense entrepreneurial and business driven youths that are abound in the state who are capable of standing on their own with little or no backing noting that the era of white collar job is gone.
He said: “Over the next ten years, the goal of Ekiti Enterprise Challenge is to identify, groom, mentor and fund next generation of Ekiti young enterpreneurs with sustainable businesses that are based in Ekiti which have the potentials to scale and grow beyond Ekiti local market and also have a potential to sell, compete and be patronized anywhere in the world”
He explained that over 348 Ekiti young entrepreneurs who were into various business ventures ranging from agric business, fishery, manufacturing and fashion designers contested in the competition out of which 15 were shortlisted for the grand finale. Aare Olumilua in his keynote address, expressed optimism that there is hope in the horizon if youths in the state could think outside the box and do things meaningful for themselves to earn a living legitimately and shun the idea of following politicians for crumbs from their table.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary Board of Trustees / Team Lead Ekiti Enterprise Challenge, also emphasize the social impact complementary linkages of the initiative, he noted that “The strategic vision of Ekiti Enterprise Challenge is to complement the efforts of the present Government and Subsequent Government to come in making Ekiti State ‘A place where youths can thrive and live their lives in dignity’ And also to ‘Restore The Ekiti Values By Raising Next Generation Of Young Entrepreneurs With Local Sustainable Business Establishments That Are Made In Ekiti, But Have The Potential To Grow Exponentially And Scale Beyond Ekiti Local Market To A National And Global Market’.
He also empasized 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 Abayomi (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 Grand Finale Event was attended by invited Guests and Top Government Functionaries such as, Ekiti State Honorable Commissioner for Trade, Investment & Industry, Aare Muyiwa Olumilua, 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. Other Invited Guests that attended the grand finale are and Rev Tope Popoola (a Busines Coach and one of the facilitators of the 5 Days Residential Enterprise Development Bootcamp), Mr. Isaac Adekunle Ojo (Project Coordinator Project 160,000 Entrepreneurs) and others.