Three students of the Faculty of Science emerged winners of the maiden edition of the University of Lagos Business, Innovation and Talents Expression; UNILAG BITE 1.0.

An Education Support Mobile Application designed by a 24-year-old final year student of the Department of Physics; Samuel Olalekan Johnson won him the star prize of two million naira (N2,000,000), the second prize of one million, five hundred thousand naira (N1,500,000) went the way of a 25-year-old fresh graduate of the Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Zainab Ayomide Alayande for her creativity in leather works which she tagged Zeinny Craft while a 26 year old Masters student of the Department of Chemistry, Victoria Omosomi Itsuokor smiled home with a prize of seven hundred and fifty thousand naira (N750,000) having clinched the second runner up position with her Vickie’s Bags initiative.

The Entrepreneurship competition known as Business, Innovation and Talents Expression; BITE 1.0. anchored by the Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre (ESDC) of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) recorded a total of 329 Business applications.

According to the ESDC Director who is also the Project Lead for the BITE 1.0, Professor Sunday Adebisi, 247 applications where shortlisted from the initial pool, out of which 120 applications scaled through the first level pitching while 61 applications made it after the second level pitching.

All 61 shortlisted contestants converged at the FSS Lecture Theatre for the grand finale which held on Friday, November 5, 2021 out of which 10 finalists were announced and invited for their final pitch before a panel of judges led by the Executive Director, Fajemirokun Foundation, Mrs. Olawunmi Fajemirokun.

Addressing the gathering shortly after presenting the star prize to the overall winner, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS, on behalf of the management, staff and students of the university, commended all the participants for buying into the motive of the competition and putting up a good performance.

Prof. Ogundipe also lauded the panel of judges as well as the entire workforce at the Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre (ESDC) for the competition, he described the maiden Business, Innovation and Talents Expression (BITE 1.0) as a proof of the university’s avowed commitment as well as efforts to discover and hone raw talents, encourage innovation among the students’ population and prepare them for the current economic reality especially in Nigeria.

While acknowledging the abundance of creative ideas, innovations and raw trainable talents among Nigeria’s youthful population, the Vice-Chancellor again bemoaned the continued surge in unemployment rate and reemphasized his call for Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition as the way to go especially for Nigeria’s youthful population, a task which he charged all stakeholders at the tertiary education level to brace up to.

Earlier in an opening remark, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development Services, Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa recalled the 25-year Strategic Plan designed by the University of Lagos in 2012, an initiative which she said is borne out of the pressing need for UNILAG to deviate from its initial mandate of meeting manpower needs, to preparing graduates for the 21st-century challenges particularly job creation.

Prof Atsenuwa noted that the success stories of the University of Lagos especially in promoting Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition among its students’ population has won UNILAG management the admiration, trust, support, commendation and cooperation of several stakeholders including the National Universities Commission and the Bank of Industries.

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