Industry award for work in Nigeria

The University of Wolverhampton has won a prestigious industry award in recognition of its work in stimulating enterprise overseas.             

It received the award for best International Project at the Guardian University Awards 2014 at a ceremony in London.

Judges picked out the University’s work in Nigeria helping to develop business and entrepreneurship as the outstanding entry. The University’s Business Solutions Centre worked with the University of Maiduguri in Northern Nigeria to develop a knowledge exchange programme focused on the development and growth of SMEs.

A joint team was set up between both Universities which engaged with the Nigerian Banking sector to develop a Greenhouse Investment Fund (GIF) utilising their Corporate Social Responsibility Funds.

The team are currently working with four Nigerian banks in relation to GIF as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria regarding second round funding to create sustainable £250,000 financial support fund for future business start-ups.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor External Affairs, Professor Ian Oakes said: “It’s a great acknowledgement of the hard work that has gone into developing what is a unique partnership and the commitment of our staff. We are extremely proud of our achievement.

“The University has a 25 year history of knowledge transfer activity in the sector of small and medium-sized enterprises and the project aligns perfectly with our strategy of championing knowledge, innovation, enterprise and opportunity for all.

“This was all done against a backdrop of violent terrorist insurgency, communication blackout zones and regular daily utility power cuts. The relationships we have formed transcend that of a normal partnership.”