Young leaders and entrepreneurs take centre-stage at EkoYouth; hosted by Lagos State and EbonyLife Place

Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture hosted a youth conference, EkoYouth, with EbonyLife Place, to highlight the leadership qualities and entrepreneurial achievements of young people in Lagos.

Organised in partnership with The Future Project, EkoYouth featured panel discussions on leadership and business, a ‘pitchathon’ for young entrepreneurs to win seed funding for their fledgling enterprises, and an awards ceremony for achievement in business and the arts. The conference held on Thursday the 26th June by 9:00 am at the EbonyLife Place in Victoria Island.

EkoYouth kicked off with a panel discussion, ‘Local to global: Tools to accelerate your growth into a world leader’, followed by a second session, ‘Scaling your business in the pandemic world’. Both discussions featured a lively Q &A and experienced panelists, including: Bada Akintunde-Johnson, Viacom International Media Networks Africa; Ugo Nwosu, co-founder of GETJAMA Limited; Otosirieze Obi-Young, editor-in-chief of Open Country magazine; Sandra Amachree Senior Media, Brand PR & Sponsorships Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc; Dafe Oboro, filmmaker, producer, portrait and documentary photographer; and Fuad Lawal, content honcho and growth lead at Eden Life Inc.

Over 57 would-be business moguls applied to be a part of the EkoYouth Pitchathon, with just four emerging with outstanding ideas to make their pitches at the event. The winner, 19 year old, Favour Adeleke, the founder of Qiqi farms received N500,000 towards his idea & existing start-up, donated by Access Bank Plc.

The EkoYouth Awards gave special recognition to young achievers in the following categories: Content Creation, Fashion, Women’s Leadership, Sports, and Entrepreneurship. Many of the recipients to be named have been recognised by global media and have made significant impact in their respective fields.

The Hon. Commissioner, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, believes that nurturing young people and their ideas is critical to the future of Lagos. “Lagos State benefits significantly from the innovation and enterprise of youth across a range of industries, but particularly in the technology and creative sectors. Young people bring fresh ideas and create new ways of solving old problems, and we should continue to look for ways to encourage and support them. EkoYouth is just one of many Lagos State initiatives to identify and empower talented leaders and entrepreneurs of the future,” she said.

EbonyLife Place CEO Mo Abudu said, “EbonyLife has thrived over the years through the drive and hard work of so many talented young people, so we are delighted to be a part of any programme highlights their ideas and achievements. It’s wonderful to have this partnership of Lagos State, along with support from The Future Project and Access Bank, to provide a platform for these young people to shine.”

EkoYouth commenced at 9:30 am with the panel discussions, followed by the Pitchathon, and closed with the EkoYouth Awards by 4:00 pm. It is the seventh event in the Eko Tourism, Arts & Culture Series, created by the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in partnership with EbonyLife Place.

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