The “Friends of Prof’ conceptualized ‘The March 8th Initiative” to inspire and promote communal, entrepreneurial and public-spirited endeavours within Nigeria in honour of the birthday of His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON.
The March 8th Initiative was launched in 2020 in honour of Prof. Osinbajo, in a bid to support and further fuel the entrepreneurship industry in the country. The initiative keyed into the Vice President’s passion for MSMEs to commemorate his birthday in 2020 with a competition that offers one-off business grants to young Nigerians between 18 and 35 years seeking opportunities to start or expand on their innovative business ideas.
As part of the events lined up for Prof. Osinbajo’s birthday last year, 100 young entrepreneurs received business-defining grants of 1 Million Naira each that helped grow and advance their businesses, among other incubator support services from close friends and associates of ‘Prof’ as he is fondly called under the auspices of ‘The March 8th Initiative”.
Building on the success recorded last year, “Friends of Prof”, a group of friends and associates of the Vice President has announced the commencement of the 2021 edition of its empowerment programme with an expansion in the scope of the programme in honour of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo’s 64th birthday.
According to the statement, “The March 8th Initiative” is expanding its reach and scope with a view to impacting a broader spectrum of Nigerians in 2021.
It said, “First, the Annual Entrepreneurship Development Programme has been reorganised into 4 categories providing more opportunities for young Nigerians between 18 and 35 years old, giving one-off business grants, ranging from N100,000 to N1,000,000 to small businesses in Nigeria.
“The four categories cover varying stages of small business growth as follows: Big Idea Business Challenge, Business Support Challenge, Catalyst Support Challenge and the Bold Innovation Challenge,” the statement quoted the organizers of the scheme as saying.
Continuing, it said “in addition to the Entrepreneurship Development Programme, the March 8th Initiative will recognise health workers nationwide who, in the face of a global pandemic, demonstrated exemplary courage, compassion, diligence, hard work and professionalism in carrying out their duties.
“Individuals are requested to nominate any health worker who has shown these qualities for a reward of N1 Million under a Health Grant Reward Category that acknowledges their invaluable service to our communities.
“Additionally, the “March 8th Initiative” is undertaking a nationwide Ophthalmological intervention to provide succour in the form of surgeries and other therapeutic care for cataract and other eye defects.”
Entries were open at 12.00am on Monday, the 8th of March, 2021 and closed at 11:59pm on Sunday, the 14th of March, 2021. All entries except those for “My Big Idea Business Challenge” were submitted at www.march8th.ng
2021 Health outreach
This Intervention kicks off with the Southwest and North west geopolitical zones on the 24th and 27th of May 2021 respectively.