Five winners have emerged in the British Council's Creative Enterprise Support Programme.

Each of the winners will head home with £2000 each in grant funding and mentorship with key fashion industry players.

The Creative Enterprise Support Programme is a British Council initiative fashioned to support young FashionTech entrepreneurs with training and mentorship and help them grow their business.

The programme is specifically designed to offer enterprise, artistic, technical and skills training to existing and potential fashion-tech entrepreneurs in Abuja.

The programme kicked off last year with 60 entrepreneurs participating in a two-phased programme, led by experienced professionals working in the fashion industry in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

The first phase was a two-week intensive training programme followed by a six-month incubation programme for 30 entrepreneurs who made it to the next phase.

The incubation phase included mentoring, coaching, internships opportunities and much more.

After 10 months, 10 finalists pitched their businesses, with 5 of them emerging winners.

On Monday, the 10 finalists were each given five minutes to make their virtual presentations to the judges of the contest, while the judges used two minutes to give their feedback on the presentations.

The winners selected were Cherish Ibeh of Cher Stunner, Vivian Ogbuagu of Handsmithen, Anthony Sule of Antoine Collections, Misan Atsemude of Omali Bridals and Mabel Sontan of Adire Biz Hub.

British Council's Creative Enterprise Support Programme names winners
British Council's Creative Enterprise Support Programme names winners

Ogbuagu was selected for a unique business which focuses on fabric wastes being turned into raw materials.

Giving more insight into her business, Ogbuagu said: "We are trying to build a circular economy around fashion. We are designing out waste entirely from the process.

"So, instead of say, you buy a necklace and want to throw it away, you can bring it to us and make something else out of it. I believe that, with that, once you have an endless supply of raw materials, you are bound to grow. And we have a good target market too."

Another winner, Anthony, produces bespoke and ready-to-wear footwears for Nigerian millennials.

Speaking on his brand and the programme, Anthony stated that: ''I have worked with a lot of wonderful entrepreneurs since we started, right from when we were 60 and down to 10. We were all excellent and we are all winners.''

On challenges faced by small scale fashion entrepreneurs in the country, he said: "I would say recognition. Prior to the CESP programme, personally, I was faced with the issue of being recognised. You have a lot of people look down on you when you introduce your business.

"But, the programme made us understand that you have a lot to offer and your office can be heard. I feel like we need more recognition in the fashion business.''

The highlight of the programme was the presentation of cheques to the winners by Idowu Akintade, Procurement Head, West Africa, British Council.