By Henry Uche, Lagos
The 234finance in collaboration with Platform Capital and Blackcopper are set to bankroll, train and mentor a set of entrepreneurs in agriculture, fashion & beauty, e-commerce, artisanship & manufacturing, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) and traders, who would emerge winners as a Mentor Matchup Challenge (4.0) Pitching Competition holding in December, Lagos.
At a press briefing in Lagos, the Managing Partner of 234Finance.com, Ezinne Nwazulu, said, in line with its core mandate of ‘Promoting African Entrepreneurship’, entrepreneurs who seek financial and other supports will at the event have a chance to pitch their businesses to investors, win seed-funding of up to $10,000 and the top 3 finalists would have an express enrolment into the 2022 Unicorn Incubation Programme powered by Platform Capital.
According to her, the group is poised to bridge the practical knowledge gap between successful entrepreneurs and the younger generation of entrepreneurs, noting that the objectives of the session os to Finance small businesses with seed funding, equip young entrepreneurs with presentation skills, aid participants with critical thinking skills as well as business focus.
‘The Mentor Matchup Challenge event is here, bigger and better. It would feature panel discussions, intimate mentoring sessions and multiple networking opportunities, which allow entrepreneurs in attendance to discuss niggling business challenges with mentors who are thought leaders in their respective industries.
‘The aim is to give upcoming entrepreneurs insights on how to run their startups, create networking opportunities and prepare them for important conversations that could transform their businesses. The selection criteria for entrepreneurs participating in MMC4.0 include Creativity and Innovation, Market Potential, Traction, Social Impact and Personal Investment.’
She added that entrepreneurs can apply by making a one-minute video pitch on any three major problems which $10,000 would solve in their business and share on Instagram using the hashtags #MentorMatchupChallenge4 and #MMC4, and follow @234finance and @mentormatchupchallenge for more updates.
On his part, the assistant vice president, Principal Investments/Platform Capital, Bowofade Elegbede, assured prospective winners for 2021/2022 pitching competition of seed funding and automatic admission into the incubation programme for the year 2022. ‘We are set to provide seed funding and other essential assistance to winners,’ he affirmed.
‘We are here to support creative ideas in any capacity we can. All we need is proof of feasibility and viability (vision). We have been doing all these and shall continue to do more because we understand that no one has a monopoly of knowledge, we need one another to thrive in our respective economic endeavours,’ he averred.
For the Chief Executive Officer of Blackcopper, Muyiwa Faultner, easy and cheap digital loans of N100,000 to N500,000 would be made available to winners as well. According to him, creditworthiness, location of the business and other factors will determine who accesses the offering.
‘Aside this, entrepreneurs can download the Blackcopper App, register and follow the directions therein. We offered N1.2bn last year, we hope to do better this year going forward. Aside cash, we also support these creative young people every other service and assistance they need to blossom,’ he asseverated.
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