Union Bank Centenary Innovation Challenge 2017 for Innovative SDG Ideas (4.5 Million Naira in Cash Prize)

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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

Union Bank 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.

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


  • Union Bank 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, union bank 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.

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.

Idea Sprint Workshops

Interested applicants are invited to attend one of seven ‘idea sprint’ workshops to be held in 7 cities across the 6 geopolitical zones and Abuja between 18 April and 9 May.

These workshops, facilitated by CcHUB will ensure individuals & startups understand the purpose of the challenge and are able to submit applications that are fit for purpose. These refined ideas will be entered into the innovation challenge.

Union Bank staff will be available at the workshops to share more information about the resources that the idea owners can leverage from their organisation’s assets.

The workshops will discuss the following:

  • Themes and innovation options – mobile apps, small business ideas etc.
  • Specific ideas and applications that can be tested and implemented during Incubation
  • Specific Sustainable Development Goals that could benefit from innovation e.g. financial inclusion, education sector, teachers, farmers, agriculture etc.
  • Tips for social innovators and key learnings regarding how to start and scale a business

If you are interested in participating in the workshops, and to find out more details, apply

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.

Application Procedure:

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


Application Deadline:19 May 2017.

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