Student from Middlesex University, Hendon 'inspired' by Sir Branson after winning competition

Nasir Abdulqadir Yammama with Sir Branson

Nasir Abdulqadir Yammama with Sir Branson

First published in News
Last updated
Times Series: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A university student who designed an app for farmers in Nigeria was given a "priceless" mentoring session with Sir Richard Branson. 

Nasir Abdulqadir Yammama, who is studying for an MA in creative technologies at Middlesex University, in The Burroughs, Hendon, beat thousands to win the Enterprise Challenge.

The 24-year-old won the competition with a business plan for a mobile phone app called Verdant, to help crop farmers in his home country.

He won a mentoring session in London with Sir Richard Branson, business magnate and investor, the founder of The Virgin Group.

During the session, he asked the Virgin brand founder about his life and business experiences to help further his own career.

Mr Yammama said: “Meeting Sir Richard Branson was a priceless opportunity that I will continue to value immensely.

“I have been able to acquire so much wisdom and inspiration that I feel ready and bound to exceed all expectation.”

The online contest is run by the British Council and Virgin Atlantic, in partnership with Zenith Bank, to find the next generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs.

Targeted at Nigerians aged 18 to 35, the Apprentice-style competition took place over three rounds and candidates had to write essays and create videos scrutinised by a panel in Nigeria and the UK.

Nasir’s app will allow farmers access to information including the type of soil their farm is on, which fertilisers would be best suited to it, and weather forecasts.

He added: “I come from a farming family in Nigeria and wanted to use my interests, skills and career to help farmers.

“The app is like a companion for farmers and brings together intelligence they wouldn’t normally have had access to. Hopefully it will help them farm more effectively and increase their business.”

He also received a £5,000 grant from Zenith bank to help develop the app, and a scholarship to a five-day entrepreneurial foundation course at the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africa.

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