Nigeria’s Union Bank in partnership with Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) has launched the Centenary Innovation Challenge as part of the bank’s celebrations of its 100th anniversary.

The Centenary Innovation Challenge aims to discover social innovators across Nigeria in order to develop their ideas and to scale leveraging digital technology and Union Bank’s reach and networks.

Emeka Emuwa, the CEO of Union Bank said: “As an Institution, we are taking the lead in tackling social problems in communities where we do business in a sustainable way. Last year, we kicked off our first ever internal innovation challenge in the bank — The Annual Case Challenge and we are currently working on implementing the transformational ideas that came through that would allow us to provide the simplest and smartest solutions, making our customers’ lives better.

“We also believe that we cannot tackle these social problems alone which is why today we are partnering with Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) to launch the Centenary Innovation Challenge.”

After the close of applications, 10 startups will be shortlisted as semi-finalists and these 10 startups will go into an intensive Bootcamp handled by CcHub where they will undergo training from experts on how to Build basic prototypes of the proposed ideas and develop a plan for how the product will be launched to acquire its first 10,000 users.

After the Bootcamp, they will pitch to a panel of experts from Union bank and CcHub and three startups will be selected as winners. The winner will be rewarded with N2 million, the runner-up will get N1.5 million while the third startup will go home with N1 million. The pitches will take place on 27 June 2017.

Bosun Tijani, Co-Founder and CEO at CcHub said: “Based on our work for the past 7 years, we have seen that there are very few credible platforms to leverage on to build sustainable businesses in Nigeria. This partnership with Union Bank for the Centenary Innovation Challenge is important to us, especially in implementing platforms that can help us provide solutions for our communities and the country as a whole.

“Over 98 per cent of support we get is derived from outside Nigeria, so this relationship with Union Bank is our first with a Nigerian financial institution. Clearly, this is a commitment that we would want other reputable institutions to emulate.”

You can apply here and entries will close on May 19, 2017.