A budding entrepreneur with unique business idea of turning trashes into beautiful furniture, Mrs. Marvis Marshal-Idio has won the Heritage Bank sponsored entrepreneurial competition show, Next Titan Season 3. The star prize is N5 million from Heritage Bank, which is the headline official sponsor of the competition and a brand new car from Coscharis Motors.
The Next Titan is Nigeria entrepreneurial reality TV show, a brain child of Mide Kunle-Akinlaja, where thousands of ambitious young entrepreneurs compete with one another for a grand prize of N5 million and a brand new car to start his or her dream business. At the grand finale held recently in Lagos, four finalists: Ronald Ajiboye, a first class graduate of a Russian University; Marvis Marshal-Idio, who came with a unique business idea of turning trashes into beautiful furniture; Victoria Mamza, founder of Wangarau Foods and Sunday Ewolabi, founder of Naija Peanuts competed for the star prize N5 million and a brand new Ford Eco Sport.
The panel of judges made up of Chris Parkes, Chairman/CEO of CPMS Africa, an integrated marketing communications firm; Tonye Cole, CEO of Sahara Group and Lilian Olubi, CEO of Primera Africa Securities Limited evicted Ajiboye and unanimously upheld Marshal-Idio as the star prize winner. The four finalists emerged from the top16 contestants with the brightest ideas that were shortlisted from 50 aspiring entrepreneurs that were selected from auditions held in Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Lagos recently.
The 16 contestants lived together and competed among themselves by carrying out weekly business tasks and challenges around the city of Lagos for nine weeks on television and with weekly evictions in the boardroom by the judges. Mrs. Ori Ogba, Divisional Head, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) of the bank said Heritage Bank sponsored the project because of its unrelenting desire to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in Nigerians, adding that the bank which is just three years old started out by recognizing talents in Nigerian youths.
She said besides the Next Titan, the bank was also working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Youth Service Corp (NYSC) on the Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Programme (YIEDP). The YIEDP is aimed at empowering youths ages 18-35 years old with particular focus on serving National Youth Corps members and Post-NYSC members (not more than five years post service) towards harnessing the latent entrepreneurial drive among the youths.
Mrs. Ogba said about 310 applicants have successfully been approved by CBN as beneficiaries of the programme in this first phase of the scheme. Speaking in an interview with journalists, Marshal-Idio said she was grateful and thankful to Heritage Bank for creating the opportunity and giving hope to young Nigerian entrepreneurs to compete and also for keying into the vision of the visioner, Mide Kunle-Akinlaja. She also said that she was happy and grateful to the judges for seeing into her hardwork and perseverance.
I will now be able to employ more people and do more production with the star prize of N5 million, Marshal-Idio said. Earlier, in his address of welcome, Mr. Mide Kunle-Akinlaja, thanked the management of Heritage Bank headed by the indefatigable and visionary entrepreneur, Dr. Ifie Sekibo for sponsoring the innovative show. He said Heritage Bank had been greatly visible in the area of making future leaders in Nigeria, adding that they are indeed grateful to Heritage Bank, Nigeria most innovative bank, for being the major sponsor of the show.