APPLY: The Union Bank Centenary Innovation Challenge


APPLY: The Union Bank Centenary Innovation Challenge

Deadline: May 19, 2017


In celebration of 100 years of heritage & service, Union Bank is running a Centenary Innovation Challenge to find and support great ideas that address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in entrepreneurial ways. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity


We are looking for your innovative ideas to address the biggest problems affecting how people live, work, socialise and do business in Nigeria. In particular, we are looking for great ideas that improve financial inclusion, agriculture and education of Nigerians.


We invite entries from ALL eligible Nigerians particularly university students, software developers, academics and entrepreneurs from across the six geopolitical zones.


About the challenge


Rules and Eligibility

We invite university students, software developers, academics and entrepreneurs across Nigeria to submit novel ideas that address challenges related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including financial inclusion, agriculture and education starting in one community but potentially scalable across the nation.


The top 3 selected ideas will attract immediate cash prizes and further incubation support via the Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) incubation services with full engagement with Union Bank.


Through the challenge, we hope to find hidden social innovators across the length and breadth of Nigeria, supporting them to develop their ideas and to scale leveraging digital technology and Union Bank’s reach and networks.


Find out more about all the Terms and Conditions



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Prizes and Incubation process

The best ideas generated & submitted will leverage Union Bank’s expertise and the reach of its value chain to develop and scale. The top 3 ideas will receive immediate cash prizes of 2 million Naira, 1.5 million Naira and 1 million Naira respectively towards the execution of the idea. Further incubation support will be provided via the Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) incubation services with full engagement with Union Bank.


Over the subsequent six months, the top three ideas will be supported with a range of services focused on product development, distribution and business modelling to turn their ideas into fully working products to launch in late 2017.


In addition to access to a range of different partners and mentors from the public and private sectors, winners will also have access to Union Bank’s customers and employees and also leverage Union Bank’s reach & strategic networks to bring their ideas to life.


A call for ideas

We invite individuals and groups (of not more than 3 persons) to submit ideas of applications, technologies, tools, services or any other kind of digital innovation. We’re particularly keen to hear great ideas for addressing the Sustainable Development Goals in entrepreneurial ways. These ideas could be related but not limited to financial inclusion, agriculture and education.


Ideas may be totally brand new or extensions of existing products and services. We are open to all ideas as long as they are innovative, solve a clear problem and contribute to addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The three best ideas submitted will be shortlisted by a panel of experts for prototype development during the incubation process from June to November 2017.


To apply, kindly fill the application form. Deadline for submission of ideas is the 19 May 2017.



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Pitch Preparation

The call for entries closes on 19 May 2017. All entries will then be judged and 10 semi-finalists will be shortlisted.


The semi-finalists will be coached by CcHUB to:

  1. Build basic prototypes of the proposed ideas.
  2. Develop a plan for how the product will be launched to acquire its first 10,000 users.
  3. Develop a plan for how the venture will generate revenue to become self-sustaining
  4. Develop and deliver compelling business pitches.

Pitch Sessions

Semi-finalists will pitch their solutions to a panel of judges, select press and the public in June 2017.


A judging panel – comprised of Union Bank and CcHUB executives – will select the top ideas based on their capacity to address the problems that have been identified, their potential impact and the probability of their implementation.


Shortlisted ventures based in Lagos will pitch physically at the day-long event while ideas from the other markets will pitch virtually at connected events on the same day at the designated local Union Bank branches. All pitches will take place on 27 June, 2017.


On the same day, the judges will announce the top 3 ideas. The three winners will then advance to the incubation programme where they will be supported to bring the ideas to life.


For more information, do make sure to check out the FAQs


Enter the challenge

Apply Now



If you need professional assistance at any point during your application, call our hotline +2348183013045 or write to us via this address:


Also, do not hesitate to contact us should you have any question about this scholarship or about any of the other opportunities featured on our website.


Our team is fully on ground to help you make your dream (of developing into an effective, world-class environmental management professional) come true.


Meanwhile, like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, and join our WhatsApp chat group.





Kunlere Idowu

Kunlere is an environment and sustainable development strategist with years of active experience in environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement. You may follow him on Twitter via @kunlere_idowu


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