Friday, October 16, 2015

"What Happened When Nigeria Created the World’s Largest Business Plan Competition?"

And no, you cynic, they didn't look like these 419's from our archives:
Dear President/Ceo, 
It is of utmost important that you take your time to read this mail after which you can ask me any question you may deem necessary. I am a branch manager of The Co-Operative Bank Plc based in England United Kingdom, in the course of my job; I discovered an account, which has been dormant for the past sixteen years. This account has been dormant for ten years before my emergence as the branch manager. 
I have carried out an investigation to know who the owner of this account is and why the account has been left dormant, my investigation reveals that the account belongs to an African Leader who visited the United Kingdom in 1992 opened an account with the sum of £4,000.00 in our bank. 
The rest of the fund that entered the account was money being transferred from the politicians home country. The account has been continuously credited and never debited for once for a period of nine months. As at December 1992, the account balance was totalling over $50,000,000.00, as the account is a domiciliary one. 
From December 1992 till date, no money has been credited or debited from the account and this was what raised my curiosity. My finding has revealed that the account was in the name of the politicians concubine who unfortunately died in a car crash....
Poor concubine.
Slightly different stylistically was:

Dear Sir, Request for Urgent Business Relationship

TEL/FAX: 234-90-406917
FAX: 234-90-409188

Dear Sir,

Request for Urgent Business Relationship

I am the group managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and a member of the ad hoc committee set up by the federal government of Nigeria to review contracts awarded by the past military administration between 1985-1993. The members of the committee are interested in the importation of goods into the country with the funds presently floating in the Central Bank of Nigeria/Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) foreign payments account.

Our request is anchored on our strong desire to establish a lasting business relationship with you and your company. We hence solicit your partnership to enable us transfer into your account the said funds. You have been recommended to us in confidence and we were assured of your ability and reliability to prosecute business transaction that require maximum confidentiality.

Origin of Fund

This fund is presently floating in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) foreign payments account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This is as result of grossly over invoiced contracts which were executed for the NNPC during the last administration in Nigeria, and are presently under verification. To this effect, the present administration in Nigeria set up an adhoc committee to identify, scrutinize and recommend for payment all valid contracts that have been fully executed.... 

I always appreciate a good acronym.
Anyhoo, here's a non-scammy story that should get some brain cells firing.

From Priceonomics:
Youth unemployment in developing countries is one of the world’s great problems. The Economist referred to it as an “epidemic” with possibly disastrous economic and political consequences. 
Using World Bank data, The Economist estimated in 2013 that almost 25% of 15- to 24-year-olds worldwide are neither working nor in school, and more than 50% are outside the formal economy. The vast majority of these people are from developing countries that are experiencing skyrocketing population growth.  
Nigeria, the 7th most populous country in the world and the largest in Africa, is the poster boy for high unemployment combined with high population growth. The Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics reported a youth unemployment rate of over 50%, while the country’s population is growing at 2.8%, easily the highest growth rate among the world’s 20 most populous countries. 
Facing this seemingly intractable problem, the Nigerian government had a radical and surprising idea: The largest business plan competition the world has ever seen.  
From 2012 to 2015,the government gave away over $100 million dollars to over 3,000 entrepreneurs as part of the YouWin competition. More than $50 million has already been disbursed. The winning entrepreneurs have received grants averaging $50,000 dollars to start or expand a business, and thus create jobs. Only people ages 40 and younger were allowed to apply....MORE