Chivas The Venture Chioma Ukonu of Recycle Points wins in Grand Finale of Lagos Edition

Chioma's Recycle Points won against Mobicure's Omomi and Ecofuture, to qualify for the global edition of the Venture in Los Angeles next year.

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From a starting list of 226 social entrepreneurs, the Lagos Edition of the Chivas The Venture finally came to an end at the Intercontinental Hotel on December 15, 2016. Chioma Ukonu of Recycle Points won the one million naira top prize as well as a chance to compete for a chunk of a million dollar fund in the global finals of the competition.

The grand finale was all about the final three contestants, Charles Ahkimien of Mobicure; Chioma Ukonu of Recycle Points and Ecofuture’s Destiny Frederick; their business and social impact ideas, cash prizes and the all-important one million dollar fund.

According to Tobi Fasuyi, Chivas Brand Ambassador, the prize money comes from contributions made by well-meaning individuals over the course of the venture in what is referred to as the Icon Initiative. The Chivas Icon, coincidentally, is the oldest drink in the Chivas Range available in Nigeria.

The judges at the panel included returning judge, Audu Maikori; Forbes West Africa correspondent, Peace Hyde; Deputy Director of the Enterprise Development Centre, Nneka Okekearu as well as agric entrepreneur, Shola Ladoja and Managing Director of Pernod Ricard Nigeria, Olivier Fages.

ALSO READ: Meet the Three finalists of Chivas The Venture

After a draw to pick the first presentation, Destiny took the floor to speak of the social impact and business prospects of Ecofuture.

The startup provides waste-management system solutions by using SMS, geo-mapping and smart bins to collect recyclable waste from business and households in exchange for household items and cash. This waste is then sold to companies that use them.

According to Destiny, they aim to impact the society by cleaning up the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that come from burning waste.

Asked how she would invest her prize money, she said that building infrastructure, and marketing the product with a view to scale were high among her priorities.

Next was Charles Immanuel Akhimien, founder of Mobicure, creators of Omomi (Yoruba for ‘My Child’). A mobile platform, Omomi provides medical information and specific support for pregnant and nursing mothers in real-time using SMS services, Interactive Voice Recordings and the mobile app.

Since they launched in 2015, they have provided services to over 14000 mothers, created a Mother’s community for users and are currently the only product serving that space.

Charles, a Mandela Washington fellow, said that the platform needs money to bring in more doctors, with a projection of 150 specialists and set up call centres as well as two-way messaging services.

Finally, eventual winner Chioma Ukonu presented Recycle Points, an initiative that aims to collect recyclable waste through a community-based waste processing enterprise called CoSoHUB (Collection and Sorting Hub) as well as smaller waste collection points called iRecycle kiosks and electric cargo tricycles.

Households and businesses under the scheme give waste in exchange for points which when accumulated can be exchanged for household items and cash.

The waste collected is then sold to companies that use them to produce re-usable products.

One of their more innovative features is a Reverse Vending store where users can exchange waste for tickets, refreshments and the like.

In contributing their quota by creating jobs, empowering the youth and cleaning up the environment, Recycle Points looked to raise capital to set up more recycling hubs in five more states and reach five million homes.l

After much deliberation, the MD, Pernod Ricard Nigeria, Olivier Fages announced Recycle Points as the winner of the Chivas Venture. Runners-up, EcoFuture and Mobicure went home with five hundred thousand and two hundred and fifty thousand naira only.

As winners of the Lagos Edition, Recycle Points will represent Nigeria in the global Finals alongside 32 other social entrepreneurs across 6 continents in Los Angeles, California next year.