We are still pumped about the just concluded Dutch- Nigerian Student Business Challenge.

The Dutch-Nigerian Student business challenge (DNSBC 2017) was centered on getting 12 Nigerian and Dutch students each to represent their countries in the Netherlands, to proffer sustainable solutions to world problems in Energy, Health, Water and Food, as a subset of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to bring together our nation, private and public investors, youths and governing bodies to raise solutions to the most urgent global problems.

Out of over 250 applicants that applied from various Universities across Nigeria, 24 were shortlisted for the final selection process held on Wednesday, 21st June, 2017 at our Yaba facility. The selection criteria  were based on ingenuity, out of the box creativity and boldness to explore.

The program started at exactly 9am with more than 24 participants in attendance and a lot of exciting activities to keep you glued ranging from the King exercise to the winners of the Challenge. It was indeed a fun packed and brain tasking event. We would have loved to draw the curtain on this day well spent, but for the sake of those who couldn’t but wanted to be there, here’s some highlights that thrilled us;

Student Business Challenge
Nigerian students sitted as the Program Manager is about to give her welcome speech

The day started with a welcome address from Dr. ir. Jennifer Kockx, Program Manager of the Business Challenge, who gave the participants a pep talk on the idea behind the competition and what they were looking out for. She further explained that they would be looking out for solutions to problems that had global application; hence the categories that brought everyone in unison. The  innovation had to be easy to use, low maintenance, affordable and sustainable.

Another interesting activity was the “Personal Identity” session , where participants had to describe their personality metaphorically. Most them took to the jungle in search of animals that best portrayed their strength and personality. One would be amazed at the various unique animal characterization.

We also learnt new words like TAHMO, Empathy Map. Who knew a lot went into developing a business strategy? For your benefit, I will let you in a little, Empathy Map is basically what helps you understand what a customer is willing to pay for using a series of customer profiler to help visualize the customer needs, what they feel about your service, what they say or do in reaction to your product.

TAHMO, Trans-African-Hydro-Meteorological Observatory, basically involves infrastructural provision of accurate rainfall, temperature, crop productivity, food security and other African hydro-meteorological data with robust redundant sensors available on online platforms and mobile communications.

Student Business Challenge
Students Pitching their Solution

Next, we had the “Group Session” where participants were categorized in groups, to hack and prepare their various business case, which was later pitched before a panel of technology and corporate experts, if convincing enough could be developed into global solution business model. Amongst the big multinationals that were represented at the challenge were; Unilever, FRUGO, Frieslandcampina and representatives from the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria .

Some of the presentations really fit the innovative requirements, like the Smart Malaria Kit, which was simple, low maintenance and easy to use, and at the end, the 12 finalists were announced by the representative of the Netherlands embassy.

Representative of the Dutch Embassy in Nigeria presenting the Winners

Interviews from the participants during the networking session revealed that they were asked not to prepare.

“They told us not to prepare, just come with your brains.” One of the participants said

And that was what they did. The race doesn’t end here, there are more grounds to conquer in the race to making the SDG dream a realization. Indeed, all is well, that ends well.


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