Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA) has successfully carried out a National Business Plan Competition in Abuja. The competition was held in conjunction with Small & Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Dubai have successfully carried out a National Business Plan Competition in Abuja.
The competition is designed to give participants the opportunity to bring their ideas and concepts into actualization, become more skilled in writing, analyzing and implementing business plans and also to build a large network of resources for mentorship, team creation, education and venture financing. Managing Director/CEO of AEA, Arabi Muhammed Tukur congratulated the finalist for making it to this stage, stating that 600 entries were made and the finalist emerged after a transparent and rigorous screening which saw 13 companies meeting up with the criteria set for the competition. He encouraged the finalist and stated that “whatever the outcome of today’s event, you should be proud of the milestones your business has achieved. It is an indication that you are on the right track”. Tukur stated that the participants have automatically become the Agency’s clients and will enjoy free Mentorship, Training, Market linkage, Business Advisory and the use of AEA facilities. In his remarks Director General of SMEDAN, Dr Umaru Dikko Radda, said the agency will continue to partner with relevant organizations to sustain development of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
Also speaking the AIM Country Manager, Mairo MT Usman congratulated AEA and SMEDAN for successfully hosting the First of its kind competition in Nigeria, and hope that the event is sustainable. She further urged the finalist and Nigerian entrepreneurs generally to log on the Annual Investment Meeting portal to key into the different available opportunities. Nine eminent Judges from the entrepreneurial ecosystem were carefully selected to determine the best among the finalist. Dr Joe Abah, the chief judge of the competition said he is fascinated with the business plans pitched by the participants as they were innovative, climate & environmentally friendly. Usman Ali Lawan, CEO of Usaifa Agro-Allied Ltd beat 12 other finalist to represent Nigeria at the Annual Investment Meeting scheduled to hold at Dubai in March 2020.
Speaking after his victory, he said “We are in the Agricultural Sector. We provide financial support, Farm extension support and market linkages to the rural farmers. We are currently working with 5,500 farmers, in Borno, Nasarawa and Niger states at the moment. I pray that when we get to Dubai we are able to bring the $50,000 price back home”. One of the Participants Architect Bukola Adeshina of A & Shine Honey thanked the Abuja Enterprise Agency for organizing the competition and said she has gained so much from the pitching process.
By Ifeyinwa AMULU & Asiya Sani Sulaiman