HESH summit to honour titans, empower young entrepreneurs

A cross section of young Nigerian entrepreneurs.

A cross section of young Nigerian entrepreneurs.

In a bid to create a platform that will assist in making Nigeria a heaven for entrepreneurs, as well as help them become major drivers for the economic development of the country, the Nigeria Entrepreneurship Summit & Honors (NESH) is set to launch the maiden edition of the NESH Summit. Billed for November 17, at the Grand Ballroom of the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, the event will provide an avenue for thought leadership and engagement, knowledge exchange and appreciation of the contribution of entrepreneurs to national development.

Speaking at a media briefing held recently in Lagos to herald the event, founder of the initiative Emeka Ugwu-Oju informed that NESH will offer not only live hub, but also build out an online platform (NESH TV) for entrepreneurs, offering advice, case studies, news and analysis. There will also be NESH-XT for young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35, who will participate in the NESH to gain further insight.

A separate day of programming within the summit, NESH-NXT is devoted to celebrating and inspiring youth and women entrepreneurs. It will include discussion, opportunities for showcasing and practical advice for young people and women who are running or aspire to run their own businesses.

“NESH NXT is dedicated to identifying and honoring a total of 30 honorees comprising 1st – 3rd place winners in entrepreneurship and innovation competitions held in Nigeria. The mentoring programme will give NESH NXT honourees the fantastic privilege of being personally mentored by the NESH 100 entrepreneurs, who will help them take their businesses to the next level,” Ugwu-Ojo said. 

Expected to be in attendance at the summit, which will close with a special Gala Dinner, are leading lights of Nigerian entrepreneurship and the public sector led by the Grand Patron of NESH, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“It is fortuitous that NESH will be commencing when Nigeria is in an economic recession. NESH as a platform will be in the vanguard of mobilising Nigerian entrepreneurs to lead the country out of the current recession. NESH will also be in the forefront of promoting the patronage of Nigerian made goods and services by the governments and people of Nigeria, but on the condition that the goods and services will be Made in Nigeria for the World and not for Nigerians alone,” he said.

Each year, the event will feature a keynote address by a selected high profile global entrepreneur to share his experience with Nigerian entrepreneurs. However, Dr. Benedict Oramah, Chairman of the Board and President, African Import and Export Bank, a major lender to African entrepreneurs, will deliver the inaugural keynote.

The summit will feature a presentation in plenary on the state of the Nigerian economy from January 2016 to date and its impact on entrepreneurs. This will be followed by a panel discussion comprising panelists made up of entrepreneurs and policy makers. The objective, according to the organisers, is to ascertain policies that are working as planned and those that have failed and need to be discarded.

A key component of the NESH is the honours and recognition, which comprise of NESH Titans; NESH Entrepreneur of the Year; NESH 100; NESH 500; NESH Award to State Governments.

“The NESH Titans is the equivalent of Hall of Fame in some jurisdictions. These are entrepreneurs dead or alive, who were giant entrepreneurs in their various fields at one point or the other; he/she will be the most admired Entrepreneur by his contemporaries. Only members of NESH 500 are eligible to vote for the Entrepreneur of the Year,” he said.

Meanwhile, NESH 100 for 2016 highlights the top 100 Nigerian entrepreneurs, who have created significant impact and made a major difference in diverse sectors of the Nigerian economy such as industry, telecommunications, agriculture, information technology, oil & gas, entertainment and others.

“Over the past 15 years. The NESH 100 has been put together after deep analysis and consultation between the NESH Team and key partners such as the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of Pan Atlantic University and the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL). The NESH 500 comprises of the NESH 100 and 400 other entrepreneurs, who have been nominated by partner banks,” he said.

Notable among nominees for NESH Titans are late Chief MKO Abiola, late Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, late Olorogun Michael Ibru and late Chief Austin Ilodibe. Others include Chief Arthur Mbanefo, Dr, Paschal Dozie, Chief Michael Ade Ojo, Dr. Biodun Shobanjo and others.

This is a strategic effort to engage the entrepreneurs and leaders, who drive Nigeria from the bottom up and to enable the formal sector to meet them, learn their issues, share, network and together proffer practical solutions that can grow the country’s economy.

In this article:
HESHProf.Yemi Osinbajo
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