Group Launches Foundation For Entrepreneurship Across African Varsities

To change the narrative and create an impact in the African continent utilising human capital for African youths, the Undergraduate Alumni Foundation (UAF) has been launched to empower youths across universities in Nigeria, Africa. 

Over the last few decades, Africa has recorded a myriad of challenges as a continent including food scarcity, an increase in unemployment, lots of graduates roaming the streets looking for jobs not even remotely connected to their course of study, inflation, insecurity and so much more.

Never minding the torrid times, we’ve also seen some good times with great youths taking up the mantle of leadership, seizing opportunities to make the economy better and making a living for themselves. 

According to the Founder, Mr Oseyomon Ighodaloh, UAF is an organisation poised at youthful inclusion in society across Nigeria and Africa.  

“The idea behind the foundation is to empower undergraduates with the necessary skills and tools needed to propel them to greater heights while answering the age-old ‘what next?’ question most graduates have after their higher academic studies,” he explained.

The Undergraduate Alumni Foundation, Ighodaloh said, provides undergraduates with this support as a way to curb unemployment, accelerate economic wealth and social value, and encourage economic growth.

His word: “This is because we believe our Universities and Colleges are the building blocks for Africa’s next Solid Entrepreneurs, World Leaders, and Global Shapers with the potential to grow and shape the economy.”

The foundation has several components including a funding/business grant programme, a mentorship program, an annual business event, a food drive, and an accommodation drive which are explained in detail on our official website on undergraduate alumni foundation.

In his view, the foundation takes a cue from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by dabbling into SGDs 1 (No poverty), SDG 2 (Zero hunger) and SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth).

“Our vision is to be the foremost organisation driving economic growth and development among Africa’s undergraduates, raising successful business owners and entrepreneurs who will generate social and economic wealth by contributing to the economy through the private sector.

In his illustration, he emphasised, “Imagine an undergraduate attached to a successful professional (mentor) in his field, with a mandate to groom the undergraduate until he/she becomes successful in the respected field.

“Now imagine this successful candidate compelled to do the same for another undergraduate and the system repeats itself in successive cycles. Now, imagine the number of success stories we will be celebrating after two, three or five years.”

This system can be likened to the “Igbo apprenticeship system” where a more experienced businessman adopts and trains a novice to become a successful business crop. 

Ighodaloh, who is also a philanthropist and businessman, hinted that the system also reflects one of the foundation’s core beliefs, “UBUNTU”– I am because we are. Here we believe that truly, it takes a village to raise a child.

“As members of the general public, your participation is required in several aspects as the foundation opens its doors to its first recipients in the year 2022 and it will begin with three major aspects:

  • The UAF Business funding scheme for Undergraduates features a non-refundable seed grant open to Undergraduates in the first school we would be starting with.
  • The UAF Mentorship scheme
  • The UBC, Undergraduate Business Conference 

Your contributions in terms of financial support and publicity are highly needed and would be well appreciated.

The Foundation bases some of its principles on “giving back” to the system which is why its doors are open to donations from individuals, alumni, organizations and lots more.

Through the student assistance scheme, the foundation is looking to have impacted at least 50,000 students in the next five years.

 In addition, the foundation hopes to absorb at least 10,000 students into its entrepreneurial and mentorship program in the next five years.

“After a series of deliberations, the team has come to a consensus agreement that our target for beneficiaries shall be undergraduates that are in Year 1-3 (for a 4-year course) and Year 1-4 (for a 5-year course),” says the founder.

This is to enable the undergraduates to benefit from their studies and also participate in this initiative.

The task ahead is enormous. We call on successful professionals in all walks of life to join the initiative as volunteers and mentors.

On donations, however, the general public is encouraged to donate to their alumni institutions as “We plan to have this initiative across all institutions of the federation; however, more information on how to donate will be provided to the general public via our website and social media channels”.

The foundation aims to transform the private sector, making more room for the inclusion of our undergraduates in the employment terrain and turn reducing the rate of social vices that our youths engage in as a result of unemployment.

Ighodaloh envisaged: “Together, I believe, we can help raise the next Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Folorunso Alakija towards a better economy.”

Related Articles