A CROYDON student landed a business masterclass with Sir Richard Branson after winning an entrepreneurial competition.
Nasir Abdulqadir Yammama, 24, beat off thousands of entries to claim first place in The Enterprise Challenge – an online competition run by the British Council and Virgin Atlantic to find extraordinary Nigerian entrepreneurs.
The Middlesex University student swept through the three rounds of the competition with individual essays, video pitches and business plans, impressing experts from Britain and Nigeria with his proposition for a mobile phone app called Verdant.
The app, launching next year, aims to help crop farmers, with Nasir himself coming from a farming family in Nigeria.
"The app is like a companion for farmers, and brings together intelligence that they wouldn't normally have access to," said Nasir.
Verdant allows them to access information such as market intelligence, annual rainfall and weather forecasts in Nasir's hope that it will help crop farmers to "farm more intelligently and increase their business".
This business proposition ensured Nasir a mentoring session in London with Sir Richard Branson along with the second winner Eseoghene Odieteruns.
The session allowed the winners to ask questions and learn more from the entrepreneur.
After the session, Nasir said: "It was a priceless opportunity that I will continue to value immensely. I've been able to acquire so much wisdom and inspiration that I feel ready and bound to exceed all expectation."
Along with the meeting, each winner was granted £5,000, courtesy of the competition's partner Zenith Bank for project development, as well as a fully funded five-day course at the Branson Centre in South Africa.
Sir Richard said: "Innovation has been an important part of Virgin's heritage and I was pleased to see so many young Nigerians keen to embrace new ideas through the competition.
"Many congratulations to Nasir who had fantastic business plans and I'm sure will have a very bright future."