UNILAG boosts entrepreneurial, skills development with N5m
The University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, has set aside five million naira to fund the innovative ideas of students who won the institution’s impact week for the year 2018.
The initiative, facilitated by the institution’s Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Centre (ESDC) in collaboration with Lufthansa to train participants in design thinking and innovations showcased the projects executed by the various groups in the competition.Team HouSoluTech, which defeated 23 others to emerge winner, developed a mobile app that connects house owners to artisans and technicians who will provide them with services on demand with quality assurance guaranteed.
The vice chancellor, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe who lauded the students for their innovation said what they have come up with can be useful to the development of the country and have shown they are full of potentials.“I always say that Nigerian students are full of potentials, what we need to do is to encourage them to come up with something that can be marketed and UNILAG have budgeted five million naira for the first three groups that won the competition.
“It is going to be a continuous and yearly programme, the coaches on ground are our lecturers and would train the students. Some of them would be engaged in the university to put into practice what they have put together. Last year, our students got support from Lufthansa but this year UNILAG is giving our support as a start up grant, and we have been talking to some organisations to support us in this venture. Our students are doing a whole lot aside this and we would ensure to give them start up grants. As a matter of fact we are looking out for nothing less than 100 Chief Executive Officers from each stream that graduates from the institution” he said.
Acting Director of the centre, Sunday Adebisi noted that the impact week was designed to rewrite the story of Nigerian youth. “We have noticed that there are more than 33 million unemployed youth in this nation and we do not want to continue populating unemployment. The only way to do this is to ensure that these youths have high and visible capacity and capability before leaving the institution, and the way to do it is to build them and ensure they have something to take outside the university besides the certificate.
“So we are turning every course in this university into entrepreneurship, whereby our students look at the problems surrounding their discipline and convert them to business ventures by proffering solutions” he said.
He explained that every students participating in the impact week is from different department and faculty, and have come together to look for the problems in Nigeria and Africa, and proffer solutions.
“Each group has identified a particular problem and developed a solution. At the end of the day, we got 24 fantastic ideas but only five would be selected and three would be funded. The university would register their different ideas and would give them a starting grant. So we expect them to have the business before they graduate so they can be employers of labour”, Adebisi added.