Team Banga from Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) has emerged the overall winner of the 2018 Unilever Nigeria Ideatrophy Challenge.
The initiative, which is in line with the company’s quest to groom young talents in Nigeria and Ghana along the lines of personal, leadership and entrepreneurial competences, last year accommodated undergraduates from both countries at the 6th edition held in Lagos.
The Unilever Nigeria Ideatrophy Challenge, a development initiative designed to create an ‘out-of-the-classroom’ learning experience for undergraduate students had as its theme for this year’s edition: “Freedom to Explore, Freedom to Experience, Freedom to Grow” – with the students expected to come up with unique ideas based on the years’ theme.
These undergraduates are to form teams of three people, and come up with an idea that will address the business case presented, which they will get the opportunity to develop.
Participants are provided opportunities to develop ideas on real-life business scenarios, which will be reviewed by a panel of judges. The exercise is aimed at achieving Unilever’s objective of grooming and developing young talents with great minds who are capable of moving the fortunes of the continent to the next level.
According to the leader of the winning team (Team Banga), Ezeoguine Chuka:
“This competition has been a life changing experience for Team Banga. It has enabled us to explore our innate business abilities and further exposed us to the realities of doing business. The competition has given each member of the team a leap to achieve greatness in life and we sincerely hope to take it further from here.”
The boot camp for the 2018 edition was opened in Lagos, where contestants were exposed to Unilever activities in sales, marketing, finance and supply chain. The participants were assigned to mentors who are seasoned business professionals, to guide them in the development of their business plans in preparation for their presentations whilst also engaging in other recreational activities.
The grand finale was attended by over 400 undergraduates from different Universities across the country. In addition to the competition, the visiting undergraduates were taken through series of employability workshops on how to prepare for interviews, writing of CVs and networking for career development.
“With the initiative, Unilever has touched positively on a sensitive area in innovation and strategy development.
Without doubt, this intervention programme has given the students opportunity to put into practical, some of the things they have learnt in their various schools.
So far, it has been a rare opportunity for the undergraduates to make real impact.
Human capacity building and talent development are key to national development, hence the need for stakeholders to buy into such initiative.”