Three Nigerian entrepreneurs have been awarded funding of £5,000 each for developing innovative ideas on tackling COVID-19.
The funds were provided by the Royal Academy of Engineering project CARE (COVID Africa Rapid Entrepreneur) initiative in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The academy is supported by the UK government funding provided through the department for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS).
The three Nigerians were identified as Chinenye Nwaogwugwu of Macjames Global Resources Limited, who manufactures hand sanitisers in line with World Health Organisation standards; Victor Boyle-Komolafe, of GIVO (Garbage In, Value Out), who produces face shields from recycled PET bottle; and Aisha Raheem of Farmz, who support farmers with data-driven insights to increase production and online distribution channels to increase their sales. They are among the eight beneficiaries selected from 53 applicants across Africa in May.
In a statement, Catriona Laing, UK high commissioner to Nigeria, commended the three Nigerian beneficiaries for their innovation and resourcefulness as entrepreneurs.
Addressing the entrepreneurs during a Zoom session, the UK representative vowed to connect them to potential UK partners and customers.
“Project CARE has rightly recognised the brilliant ideas of three incredible entrepreneurs Chinenye, Victor and Aisha. The award is a tribute to their innovation, resourcefulness and creativity in designing environment friendly responses to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria. I have pledged to connect them to potential UK partners and to potential customers,” she said.
The Royal Academy of Engineering said the funding will ensure the beneficiaries can increase their capacity to develop and distribute their products to support wider efforts across Nigeria to combat and curtail the spread of COVID-19.
It said the initiative is an extension of its partnership in supporting small and medium engineering businesses to re-focus their work to help address the challenges of COVID-19.