Microsoft Mobile Devices and Services has unveiled winners of its entrepreneurship initiative, the Microsoft Lumia 535 “Passion To Empire” campaign, which kicked off Monday, February 16, 2015.
They are, Daniel Isa, Emmanuel Ugwueke, Emmanuel Okena, Godwin Benson and Jessica Yahaya.
Speaking at the prize presentation ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, the Managing Director, Microsoft Mobile Devices & Services, Joseph Umunakwe, described the “Passion To Empire” campaign as a demonstration of Microsoft’s commitment to helping Entrepreneurs translate their business ideas into reality.
Umunakwe said, “At the core of Microsoft is productivity. We are continually investing in building devices that enhance productivity to better lives. We are passionate about helping Entrepreneurs build capacity that sets them apart from their peers. Though, these five contestants won the prize money with the crop of young creative minds that entered for the competition and the wonderful ideas shared so far, the future is bright and I must say they are all winners in their own right.”
He revealed that, aside the prize money presented and the training program at the Enterprise Development Center (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University in Lagos, Microsoft under the Cloudprenuer project would be offering the Top 1000 that are into technology business the opportunity of taking advantage of its cloud service at no cost.
He stressed, “We are building a total package to help them develop their business as well as give them visibility on the web.”
On the Lumia brand, the Head, Marketing, West Africa, Microsoft Mobile Devices and Services, Olumide Balogun stated that the Lumia brand of phones are stylish and perfectly designed for entrepreneurs who want to do more on the go.
With thousands of entries received, Judges on the campaign, made up of top Nigerian beauty entrepreneur, Tara Fela-Durotoye, entertainment mogul and Founder of the Chocolate City Group, Audu Maikori and founding Partner of leading Careers and Jobs website, Jobberman, Opeyemi Awoyemi had an uphill task shortlisting for the Top 30. In the end, they settled for 15 contestants, given the incredible ideas that they could not push aside.
Speaking on behalf of the Judges, Tara said, “Lots of the ideas came from technology, but we also saw ideas from the Agriculture sector and services industry. Initially, the idea was to select the Top 15 to pitch their ideas, however, there were some good ones we could not push aside. The truth is that, Nigeria has a bright future with the kind of minds that we interacted with during the campaign.”
The winners got cash prizes of N3.5million each, including skills and acquisition training sessions at the Enterprise Development Center (EDC) in Pan African University.
Overwhelmed with joy, Ugwueke, an indigene of Enugu who lives in Nassarawa State where he has been running his engraving business in the last five years, said, “We have been doing this business manually since we started and because of this, demand usually outruns supply. With the prize money, I can get an Automatic engraving machine to run the business more efficiently and increase sales.”
For Benson, who is embarking on a Technology cum Education business, a majority of the prize money will be invested in marketing the “Tuteria” site which he added would go online in the coming weeks.
The 1st runners-up; Anita Ibekweh, Adeniran Olanikpekun, Ifeanyi Akosionu, Samuel Okoroafor, Mabel Okereafor, Gbolaro Victoria and Oscar Aniete were also rewarded with training sessions at the Centre.