A 400 level student of the Department of Biology, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ogun State, Oluwatomilola Idris Mustapha, has written the name of the University on the world map as he defeated other participants from across the world to clinch the 2020 Tei Kaihau Social Entrepreneur Award at the just-concluded virtual Global Enterprise Experience Challenge held in New Zealand.
The competition, which earned Mustapha’s team seed venture of $4,000, was organised by Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand’s capital city.
The major objective of the contest was to improve participants’ social entrepreneurship skills from across the world in order to create an enabling environment for them on their various business skills.
It was meant to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, and it had over 1,000 participants, with 128 teams from 116 countries of the entire continents.
In the competition, teams were tasked to write a six-page business proposal for a low-cost venture.
Mustapha’s winning team, whose idea was tagged ‘Blue Care’, designed a portable bag with solar-powered blue light for treating babies suffering from jaundice.
It was observed that 30 per cent of infants from developing nations all over the world die annually compared to two per cent of infant deaths recorded in developed nations.
According to the organisers, severe jaundice can also cause severe and irreversible brain damage, but the condition can be readily treated with blue light.
This led to the development of ‘Blue Care’. Based on ‘Blue Care’ proposed system, the product’s main use is in hospitals but can also be used at homes.
Since 65 per cent of Nigeria’s births occur at home, the ‘Blue Care’ product has the potential of alleviating the health challenges of vulnerable communities.
The Global Social Entrepreneur Award came with a number of benefits. Aside from the $4,000 seed grants, it also attracts coaching support as well as partnership and support for the project.
Mustapha, who led the team for ENACTUS TASUED, a not-for-profit organisation committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better and more sustainable world for people to live, described his victory as coming with a lot of “excitement.”
“I have always wanted to give a chance of survival to many children and I think I am attaining that already. I am so excited I got this opportunity because I went out for quite a number of grants.
“I have done quite a number of applications that they came out unsuccessful, but I was unrelenting; I’m always ready to give it a trial and I am glad I made it this time.
“All this wouldn’t have been possible without God and the entire team members of Entrepreneurial Action in Us (ENACTUS),” he said.
The vice-chancellor of Tai Solarin University of Education, Professor Abayomi Arigbabu, has congratulated the award-winning student and his team on the feat.
He advised other students to emulate the outstanding performance.
Professor Arigbabu added that the entrepreneurial studies of TASUED makes the university stand out among other tertiary institutions in the country.
He said: “That is why a whole college is dedicated to vocational and entrepreneurship studies, which is the College of Vocational and Technology Education (COVTED).
“TASUED has become a haven for vocational and entrepreneurial education in Nigeria. A lot of tertiary institutions come in droves from time to time to compare notes with us.
“This is not the first time my university will win international laurel in the area of entrepreneurship, but we also thank God for this latest achievement.”
The well-attended award ceremony took place in New Zealand’s parliament on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.