The Mentor Matchup Challenge 4.0, an initiative of 234finance.com has given out a total of $20,000 to three Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as a way of bridging the knowledge gap between successful entrepreneurs and the younger generations.
Mentor Matchup Challenge 4.0 is an initiative that encourages young entrepreneurs to pitch their business with aim of getting financial support to boost their businesses.
The event, which took place in Lagos, rewarded the overall winner with $10,000, while first runner up got $6,000 and the second runner up, $4000.
The Managing Partner, 234Finance.com, Ezinne Nwazulu said, the company is a digital ecosystem and incubator that connects start-ups with investment opportunities in Africa.
She said, “With the Mentor Matchup Challenge 4th edition which was in partnership with BlackCopper and Platform Capita, we had over 100 applicants applied with their pitches and the best 25 were chosen after which seven businesses were selected for the finals.
“We curate successful entrepreneurs who are far ahead in their business journey; we bring them in to connect with SMEs who are just starting out and they are able to tackle issues in their businesses. The mentors are able to give them guides on how to be successful.”
On the selection criteria for picking the businesses, Nwazulu said: “The entrepreneur business must be creative and innovative, have traction, social impact, personal investment and must align with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) goals.”
Winner of the Mentor Matchup challenge 4.0 Chichi Eriobu, who is the founder of Phronesis Foods Nigeria Ltd said, “Phronesis Foods is a food processing and packaging company focused on processing ‘Ukwa,’ (African Breadfruit), a local food from Eastern Nigeria. Many people know Ukwa as what many grandmothers have in their backyards but here we are making it not just a local food product but also a global food product because we are selling it to other countries.”
She further noted: “This is the second time I am applying for the Mentor Matchup Challenge. The first time I applied, I didn’t get selected, so I decided to give it a try again this year. We started with a one minute speech that was submitted on Instagram and hundreds of entrepreneurs applied and I emerged top 25 and 25 of us pitched at the pre-screening and then seven people were selected for the final. I am happy having emerged the winner of the challenge.”