The Unusual Entrepreneur, a faith-based entrepreneurship initiative by the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, has committed N40 million seed funding for 251 entrepreneurs across different walks of life in its 2019 cohort. This announcement was made by the Chairman of the programme, Valentine Ozigbo, at the grand finale event in Lagos on Thursday, November 28, 2019.
The event which had over 500 entrepreneurs present, featured master-class sessions anchored by proven business leaders in various sectors of the economy including- Austin Okere (Founder & Executive Vice Chairman, CWG Plc), Emeka Agada (Segment Head, SME, Ecobank), Beatrice Eneh (Founder / CEO Nectar Beauty Hub), Edirin Edewor (Best-Selling Author and Business Coach), Dr Emeka Osuji (Lagos Business School), Vincent Egbe, (Managing Director, GB Foods Nigeria) and Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi (Chairperson, Unusual Praise 2019).
The programme Chairman, Valentine Ozigbo, commented saying; “The 2019 edition of Unusual Entrepreneur is focused on empowering as many entrepreneurs as we could afford, with the skill-set, funding, and mentorship they require to succeed in the world of business. The event we put together will bring our entrepreneurs up-to-date information regarding Entrepreneurship in the 21st century, Solving Funding Challenges, Sustainable Business Culture, among other things.”
The recipients of the Grants were selected from a poll of 650 applicants who are mostly members of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos. Other denominations of Christianity were also recipients. The funding provided, ranged from N50,000 to N1,000,000, following a thorough review of their business proposals by a select panel of judges. Winners of the fund will equally be mentored and receive the required training to ensure their long-term success.
The Parish Priest of Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Monsignor Paschal Nwaezeapu, noted that; “The Unusual Entrepreneur being an arm of Unusual Praise is intended to equip the young entrepreneurs with requisite skills, mentorship and spiritual backing, so that they could stand in business and though this help the country in solving the unemployment problems”.
The Unusual Entrepreneur programme is part of the Unusual Praise, an annual event started by the Divine Mercy Catholic Church but supported by many other churches in the Archdiocese of Lagos. The event has quickly grown to become the biggest of its kind within the Catholic Community in Africa- with inspiring ministrations by gospel acts like Chioma Jesus, Don Moen, Sinach, Nicole C Mullen, Olumide Dada, Mahalia, Mercy Chinwo, Sr. Agatha Ozah, Joe Praize and an array of globally recognized stars in previous years.
This year’s concert was held at The Periwinkle Estate, Admiralty Way, Lekki on the 29th-Nov-2019.
The Unusual Entrepreneur is sponsored this year by Ecobank, Konga, Chineto Ozigbo Foundation, Gino, Payvic, Itex and others.