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The National Company of the Year (NCOY) competition is our flagship event and the culminating point for the implementation of the JA Company Program and accompanying regional competitions across Nigeria. Sponsored by FirstBank Nigeria this year, the competition held at Terra Kulture, Lagos on Thursday, October 4, 2018, with nine student companies participating in the competition.

Our esteemed judges included Olutosin Oni, Principal at EchoVC Partners; Ijeoma Agboti-Obatoyinbo, MD/CEO of FBNQuest Funds; Akintunde Oyebode, CEO, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund; Fatima Aliko-Dangote, Executive Director, Commercial, NASCON Allied Industries; Paul Okeugo, Co-Founder & COO, Chocolate City Group; and Moyosore Olisa, Alumni Engagement Manager, Tony Elumelu Foundation. Representing our sponsor, FirstBank Nigeria was Patrick Iyamabo, the Chief Financial Officer who delivered the keynote address. Nneotaobase Egbe of Channels TV did an amazing job hosting the event.

The competition comprised three levels: the judges’ review of the annual report of each student company; a stage presentation after which each team answered questions from the panel of judges; and a trade fair, during which each team displayed their products and services for the judges and other guests.

After all the three stages, the judges added up the scores and had the difficult task of selecting a winner from the array of creative companies in the competition. After much debate, Inventive Explorers, from Caro Favored College Ajegunle, emerged the national champion. Their rechargeable handheld LED traffic lights solved a real problem in their congested community and reduced traffic accidents, especially in areas with school children crossing busy streets. They will go on to represent Nigeria in the JA Africa Company of the Year competition taking place in Ghana this December.

In second place was Brain Max, the student company from Government Girls Secondary School Abaji, Abuja who designed a website and software application for connecting local produce farmers directly to their customers; they also won the award for the best Corporate Social Responsibility project for which they visited Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps to provide financial literacy and entrepreneurship education to IDPs, which included helping them to secure seed funding.

Coming in third place, was Sharon Glory Ventures, a student company from Sharon Rose College Saki, Oyo who produced a water level indicator to enable homeowners to determine the level of water in their tanks. They also received the award for the Most Innovative Product.

We thank our guests for making time out to be a part of the event; our esteemed judges, for judging each student company objectively; our media partners (BellaNaija, PulseNG, Businessday, and ChannelsTV), and #NCOY2018 in-kind sponsors (Wilson’s Juice Co) for contributing to the success of #NCOY2018.

We also recognize and thank the Citi Foundation for sponsoring the JA Company Program in Lagos and Abuja were our top two winning companies came from, and ACT Foundation, for sponsoring in Oyo State, where the third-place winner came from.


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