Visually impaired, Others, Get KOPETECH Grants


Rebecca Ejifoma

A visually impaired graduate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Umezinwa Maryjane, has joined four other participants to emerge winner at the just concluded Kennedy Okonkwo Programme for Tech Entrepreneurs (KOPETECH).

Maryjane, the founder of Emjay Soap was not born blind but lost her sight in 2009 while in secondary and never her allowed condition to stop her from achieving her big dreams at KOPETECH held in Anambra State. Though, Blessing Ijeoma of the Hour Spent Company, who won $5,000 (five thousand dollars) was the big winner but Umezinwa Maryjane (Emjay Bar Soap) caught the attention of the audience following her condition.

Others that also emerged winners at tight contests were Onuigbo John (Artec Hubs Nigeria), Eze Victor (Blood Zone), Campus Hub.

Also, other participants were Alawale Seyi (Seal Richards), Isaac Emeti ( Ice Integrated), Abukubu Destiny (Rapport Technologies), Philipa Joseph, Osohon David (Ark Dealer), Chinedu Anyanwu (St Charles Medic-Diagnostics), Nwabueze Henry (Techsol Integrated Solutions Limited), Maduka Samuel among others.

KOPETECH was established by MD/CEO of NedcomOaks Group, Dr Kennedy Okonkwo to reduce the alarming rate of unemployment amongst youths in Nigeria.

Hence, the programme provides beneficiaries with financial, infrastructural and institutional support to start and grow their businesses into successful ventures.

Speaking during the event, the founder of KOPTECH noted that there is nothing like liberating power of enterprise, saying, when you build a successful business, you are not just freeing yourself from the clutches of poverty and basic wants, but you are empowering others to achieve their own freedom.

According to him, “today is really about unleashing that creativity, innovation and talent that abounds in young entrepreneurs who are buzzing to build successful businesses. That is why with KOPETECH, we are laying everything on the table resources, expertise, experience and networks because our young people are the best bet that we can ever make for the future. Of course, we are starting small.”

The initial stage of the programme, Okonkwo said will see shortlisted tech start-ups get grants of up to N1million, which comes together with a free fully-furnished office space equipped with high-speed internet, and constant power supply.

The successful Tech Start-ups also get free access to HR, legal and administrative services, as well as ample time to spend on one-on-one mentorship with him with the aim to guide these budding entrepreneurs to grow organically, and as they begin to bloom, we will then begin to expand our scope.

When the 5,000 dollars winner, Blessing Ijoma of Hour Spent, who was a graduate of Computer Science from Michael Okpara University, was asked how she would spend the KOPETECH money, she said, “We have this short-term goal 5,000 USD will help us execute this month. It’s urgent. The 5,000 USD won is our stepping stone in achieving our long-term goal.

“Hourspent is a community of elite skilled talents, built into high-performing teams and powered for a resilience future. Think of Hourspent as the most convenient way to build your remote workforce.”