Yeli Gala Night, 10th April 2021


Thank you for your interest in the Youth Entrepreneurship and Leadership Initiative (YELI)!

February State Application 2021

We are only accepting applications for Enugu State. Participants must live/work in Enugu and must be between the ages of 20 and 35 years.

This application is open to all indigenes and non indigenes of Enugu State who are currently residing in Enugu State. Applicants can only apply to represent the local government where they currently reside (L.G.A) and must have been running a start-up business of not less than one year and not more than three years.


Challenges with access to funding. Good ideas but no investors. Some investors want to own the entire business. Limited business knowledge and leadership skills. Challenges with business growth and expansion. Lack partnership opportunities.

This initiative … SDG

Prior to commencement of your application, applicants are advised to carefully read through the terms and conditions to make certain that their application meets the eligibility criteria set forth. Where one or more of the conditions set out do not pertain to your application, then your application is ineligible to apply for this project.

Yeli Youth Conference


What YELI is looking out for in the Businesses and which forms the basis of selection in the Round One/Stage One of the competition


Business must be in the category of Micro, Small and Medium-sized enterprises


Impactful Business
The business must be a socially impactful business


Need for Finance
Defend the need and use of the financing


Growth and Profit
How the finance will aid growth and Profit


Employment Gain
Expansion of the business and ability to employ labour


Plan for business sustainability


Support for SDG 8

The Process

Youths who have start-up businesses not less than I year and not more than 3 years old can register for the competition which will be in two stages.

Participation Criteria

To participate in the competition, participants must meet certain criteria

  • Must be between 20years and 35years
  • Must have been running a self, start-up business for not more than 3years
  • Must reside and have been living in the LGA in which the participants hope to represent for up to 2years
  • Must be an indigene of the State (eg, Enugu State or whatever YELI State Chapter)

Round One


Three persons in the first, second and third positions will be selected from each LGA of Enugu state.

  • The emerging participants will receive financial tokens (150k , 100k and 50k respectively).
  • They will gain admittance into the YELI Network as Alumni.
  • Gain access to attend free master classes and events by local and international facilitators.
  • Opportunities for networking to support business growth

Round Two


The first positions in each LGA will represent the LGA and compete for the grand prize of Two Million Naira. As winners in their respective LGA, they will be exposed to further training and matched with coaches, preferably successful business owners in similar industries as their start-ups who will guide them, share their experiences, and support them to further developing their business sustainability and expansion ideas. They will also be invited for talks with local and international leaders that can speak to them as they prepare to take up roles as leaders in their respective businesses and communities. At the end of the coaching, the final business pitches are submitted and pitched to a panel of five judges which includes the curator of this initiative (Dr Dorothy Jeff-Nnamani). The first, second and third positions are selected.

The Winner takes the grand prize of N2,000,000.00, the second position gets N1,000,000.00 while the third position gets N500,000.00. All three in addition receive other prizes such as;

  • Networking exposure to both local and international business leaders
  • Guidance and coaching opportunities by successful business owners
  • Exposure to further funding opportunities
  • Opportunity to participate in selected SME programs across Nigeria and networking with other entrepreneurs


All 17 finalists will have access to attend the gala night where the winners will be announced.

March 1st, 2021.

Application Deadline

March 9th, 2021

Preliminary Winner Announcement (L.G.A)

March 26th, 2021.

Pitch Presentation Completion

March 26th 2021.

Screening Completion

April 10th,2021.

State Winner Announcement (Award Ceremony/Gala Night)

Gala Night

All 17 finalists will have access to attend the gala night where the winners will be announced.


For more clarification on the eligibility criteria or application process please contact using any of the below medium


No. 10A Akiogun Road, Oniru, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria

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