This competition is an initiative of the CBN as part of its corporate social responsibility and in consonance with the principle of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS). It is designed to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the youth corps members during their service year and to encourage them to imbibe entrepreneurial concepts and ideas. The Annual Venture Prize Competition is majorly aimed at reducing the dependence on white collar jobs which would stimulate economic growth, development of local technology and generation of employment.
It is open to only serving corps members in every batch of a given year. The Award is in two categories (State / National) and it covers all legal business concepts except commerce. Interested corpers are expected to submit a business proposal to the state level for critical examination by the state Inter-Agency Selection Committee where three winners usually emerge. The prize money for the state awards is;
– 1st Prize: N200,000.00
– 2nd Prize: N150,000.00
– 3rd Prize: N100,000.00
Ten best proposals from each Development Finance Office are sent to the Department and subjected to further examination by the National Selection Committee to select the national winners which has the following prize money tied to it.
– 1st Prize: N1,000,000.00
– 2nd Prize: N750,000.00
– 3rd Prize: N500,000.00
All winners will be given Certificates of Merit, linked to banks to sponsor their projects and invited to participate at a course at any of the Entrepreneurship Development Centers (EDCs).
Annual Venture Prize Competition draft procedure.
Identify a Need or Problem
For you to be a participant of this millionaire making award you must have a business concept or idea. There must be a need or market you are willing to satisfy. Your business idea might be innovative or an improvement on an existing concern which would add value to the life of the people.
Carryout an In-Depth Business Analysis
You must engage in a critical analysis of the business. The profitability, durability and legality of the business must be ascertained. You must have a good understanding of the proposed business.
Create a Marketable and Exceptional Business Plan / Feasibility Report
After you have ascertained that the business idea is viable and profitable, compose a winning business plan. The plan must be written according to the statutory format. The format is as follows:
1. Business Plan and Corporate Directive (Vision, Mission and Objectives, etc)
2. Operational Strategies (Uniqueness of the Organization)
3. Strategic Plan and Objectives
4. Projected Outreach, Market Share and Marketing Strategy
5. Financial Projection / Strategy
6. Sustainability Strategy
7. SWOT Analysis
8. Risk Identification and Mitigation Strategies
9. Economic and Social Justification – Business Benefits to the Society
10. Environmental / Infrastructural Analysis (Assessment of the likely Impact of Environmental Factors of the Proposal)
11. Management Structure, etc.
Your business plan is your representative. You will not be there when it will be examined. In fact, your passport to the award process is your feasibility report. Therefore you must ensure that you business plan is outstanding.
If you don't know how to write one, contact someone that is fully skilful in writing business plans. If you are hiring a professional to assist you in writing the plan, ensure that you are part of the preparation process. That is; be part of the preparation process. This is to enable you learn and understand everything in the report.
It is not advisable to hire a professional that is far from you. This is true because, he will just give you a finished work without educating you. You might be asked to defend the proposal before the Committee.
You can also make your business plan unique by adding pictures, PowerPoint slides and audiovisual CDs to make your business points clearer.
Ensure you submit your proposal within the stipulated time. It should be submitted to either the Head, Development Finance Office, in the branch of the CBN in the state of service or to the Director, Development Finance Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Corporate Headquarters, Abuja. Also ensure that the proposal carry your NYSC call-up number, contact address and phone number. Make sure you follow-up the proposal by visiting the Committee office to get information. You must also listen to daily news and read current dailies to get new hints as regards to the Annual Prize Competition.
Components of a Winning Proposal
– The business starting capital must be from one hundred thousand to a million naira: Given that the lowest prize money is N 100,000.00 and the highest is N1, 000,000.00 let your business be the type that can be started with the minimum of the least prize money and the maximum of the highest prize.
– The business must be legal: There are businesses that are illegal in Nigeria. Ensure you go to Corporate Affairs Commission to get the full lists of legal business. Also there are some goods that are contraband in Nigeria.
– The business must be resident in Nigeria: The sole aim of this program is to boast the economy of Nigeria and not foreign countries. Therefore, the business must be located in Nigeria.
– The business must have the tendency of employing Nigerian citizens: The business must have the capacity of employing you and other unemployed Nigerians
– You must prove that you will not abandon the business for a white collar job: This competition is solely for entrepreneurs. Consequently, if you have the intention of starting the business with the intention of abandoning it immediately you secure a white collar job, this program is not for you. It is strictly for passionate entrepreneurs.
– You must prove that the business would be profitable. One of the goals of this initiative is to Stimulate economic growth. Therefore, the proposal must show that you business has the capacity of making profit.
– Your proposal will receive massive attention when it is geared towards using and develop local technology.
– This program covers all business concepts except commerce. Commercial activities are very risky. Your business idea must not be to buy and sell of finished goods. Rather it should be able to produce better goods at a competitive price and time.
– The cost of your products must be competitive: Your goods or services must be exceptional but affordable.
– Your business idea must contain something good that your competitor are not doing or are not doing well.
– Your proposal will scale-through if your business is using locally produced raw materials
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