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Chancellor of Ekiti State University Launches N1 Billion Innovative Fund to Empower Agro-Tech Startups

Chancellor of Ekiti State University Launches N1 Billion Innovative Fund to Empower Agro-Tech Startups

Dr. Tunji Olowolafe, the Chancellor of Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative aimed at fostering innovation and entrepreneurship among the university’s graduands and students. During the 28th convocation ceremony held on Wednesday, Dr. Olowolafe announced the establishment of a N1 billion Innovative Fund designed to support agro-tech companies founded by the graduating class of 2021/22 and other students of the institution.

The highlight of the convocation, the Innovative Fund, seeks to provide financial backing and resources to budding entrepreneurs in the agricultural technology sector. Dr. Olowolafe, a serial entrepreneur himself, emphasized the importance of leveraging technology to address challenges in agriculture while promoting economic growth and sustainability.

In addition to supporting agro-tech startups, the programme will also extend assistance to academic staff members of the university. Up to 30 faculty members will benefit from subsidies and support to enhance their engagement in international conferences, training sessions, and research activities. Dr. Olowolafe underscored the significance of empowering educators to contribute to global discourse and advancements in their respective fields.

Addressing the graduands, Dr. Olowolafe urged them to embrace a mindset of adaptability and innovation, emphasizing the distinction between academic qualifications and real-world experiences. Drawing from his own journey as a medical doctor turned entrepreneur, he encouraged students to explore diverse opportunities beyond their formal areas of study, emphasizing the value of continuous learning and personal growth.

Reflecting on the evolving landscape of education and employment, Dr. Olowolafe challenged students to align their ambitions with practical realities, emphasizing the need for holistic development and interdisciplinary collaboration. He underscored the role of universities as incubators of life experiences, preparing students not only for academic success but also for the challenges and opportunities of the world beyond academia.

In alignment with his vision for inclusive growth and sustainable development, Dr. Olowolafe emphasized the pivotal role of agriculture in Nigeria’s economic landscape. He highlighted the potential for agro-tech innovation to drive positive change and create employment opportunities, particularly in rural communities. The Chancellor’s initiative aims to harness the untapped potential of Nigeria’s youth, empowering them to become agents of change and drivers of economic prosperity.

In conclusion, Dr. Olowolafe invoked the words of Nnamdi Azikiwe, stressing the importance of originality and creativity in scholarship. He called upon the university community to embrace innovation, collaboration, and excellence as they chart a course towards a prosperous future for Nigeria.

The launch of the N1 billion Innovative Fund marks a significant milestone in Ekiti State University’s commitment to nurturing entrepreneurial talent and fostering socio-economic development. Dr. Olowolafe’s visionary leadership underscores the university’s role as a catalyst for innovation, empowerment, and positive change in Nigeria and beyond.