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Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria

Unusual Entrepreneur Partners Ecobank; Announces Second Cohort

By AbuSatar Hamed

LAGOS: The Unusual Entrepreneurship Programme has entered into a strategic partnership with Ecobank Nigeria to provide all banking support and funding to the selected entrepreneurs in the 2019 cohort.

According to a release e-signed and made available to StarTrend Int’l magazine & by Ayomide Oriade of PR Redline, Mr Valentine Ozigbo, Chairman of the Unusual Entrepreneur, announcing the partnership in Lagos, thanked Ecobank management for the support.

He stated that as exclusive bankers to the programme, the entrepreneurs will be provided banking services and SME on-boarding support in their journey as entrepreneurs.

The Unusual Entrepreneur, the foremost faith-based entrepreneurship programme in Nigeria, will empower 250 smart men and women members of the Church from the entire Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos. These entrepreneurs will be awarded with prizes ranging from N50,000 to N1,000,000 per person. Apart from the funding, they will also be provided with mentorship, business training and other critical support they require to succeed long term.

Launched in 2018, the vision of the Unusual Entrepreneur is to be the pre-eminent faith-based entrepreneurship programme in Nigeria that unlocks the obstacles Nigerian entrepreneurs face as they grow their start-ups by equipping them with the necessary skills, support, training, mentorship and funding to build strong and sustainable businesses which will scale over time.

Commenting about the partnership, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, affirmed the bank’s support and noted that “the objective of Unusual Entrepreneur in providing funding and mentorship support resonates strongly with not just our drive for youth empowerment as a corporate social responsibility, but an opportunity for our SME desk to handhold these individuals to a time when they emerge successful business men and women, thereby helping with Nigeria’s economic development and job creation.

To be eligible for the programme, applicants must meet the following criteria
*Business must be a Nigerian or legal resident in Nigeria (Lagos).
*Business must be for-profit
*Applicants must be willing to attend all training and mentoring exercises organised by the programme
*Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

The Unusual Entrepreneur is part of the programme of Unusual Praise, started few years ago by the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, and has quickly grown to become the biggest of its kind within the Catholic Community in Africa – with explosive and spirit filled ministrations by megastar acts such as Chioma Jesus, Don Moen, Sinach, Nicole C Mullen, Olumide Dada, Mahalia, Mercy Chinwo, Sr. Agatha Ozah, Joe Praize and a plethora of globally recognised gospel stars in previous years.

This year’s edition promises to be an incredible night of praise and worship with gospel acts like Nathaniel Bassey, Panam Percy Paul, Chioma Jesus, Tope Alabi, Big Bolaji, Osinachi Nwachukwu, and many more you cannot afford to miss. It will also feature our upcoming Catholic ministers and promises an unforgettable spiritual connection, and most importantly a refreshing and uplifting experience in the presence of God.

Incorporated as a public limited liability company on October 7, 1986, Ecobank Nigeria Ltd is a subsidiary of Africa’s leading independent banking group, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI).

The Group employs 15,930 people in 40 different countries in over 940 branches and offices. Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals.

With a larger African footprint than any other Bank in the world operating in West, Central, East and Southern Africa, Ecobank is the only Bank that spans 36 African countries yet operates a truly integrated African network. That is One unified integrated Ecobank Mobile Banking App, that works seamlessly across all 33 operating countries in Africa; One Ecobank Omni and Omnilite serving all Multinationals and SMEs in Africa;

One Rapidtransfer app that breaks down country borders and allows the diaspora community send money directly to their loved ones, instantly and affordably across Africa; One Ecobank Online Banking platform that you can access easily whether you are in Abuja or Kinshasha.

Ecobank’s unique and largest pan-African platform is designed to help unlock the opportunities of the continent, for the continent, through standardization, fuelling regional integration, and trade and investment across borders.

Due to Ecobank’s sterling performance, it has been severally recognized; Most recently as ‘Best Retail Bank in Africa 2019’ at African Banker Awards; Most Admired Financial Services Brand in Africa 2019 by Brand Africa 100; Best Digital Bank in Africa – 2017 by Euromoney Awards; Best Retail Bank and Innovation in Banking both in 2018 by the African Banker Awards.

In November 2013, the Central Bank of Nigeria designated Ecobank Nigeria as systemically important to the economy.

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