Over 1000 Nigerians will this year get N500 million seed capital set aside for young Nigerian entrepreneurs and students.
This was disclosed during the launch of the YESGrant Scheme by the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum in Lagos. The launch was done in partnership with Heritage Bank.
The event, which was very well attended by dignitaries, including representatives from the Nigerian University Commission (NUC), the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), as well as captains of industries and top government functionaries, as part of efforts to grow more indigenous entrepreneurs among young Nigerians and deliberately create over 50,000 jobs in the next five years of the program circle.
Speaking during the launch, Moses Siloko Siasia, chairman, NYPF, said he was inspired by the big impact small businesses could have on the economy, stressing that this was why the grant was created to provide incubator support that would enable young entrepreneurs with creative ideas in agriculture, ICT and creative industry start or expand their business concepts.
“I have built businesses from scratch and I understand the challenges people face. That is why I am optimistic that if given the necessary support, young Nigerians will not only grow the Nigerian economy, they will completely revolutionise it,” Siasia said.
Speaking also, the managing director of Heritage Bank, who was represented by Obioma Emenike, head of marketing strategy, said he was optimistic that the initiative would boost start-ups and economic growth, adding that entrepreneurs across the country should use their network to encourage their friends and colleagues apply for the grant.
The YESGrant will provide business training for up to 600 aspiring young entrepreneurs spread across all the geo-political zones in Nigeria and will encourage expansion, specialisation and spin-offs of existing businesses. The essence of this is to enable young entrepreneurs access a wide business professional network and improve their visibility. In this scheme, young entrepreneurs will receive up to two million naira annually as grant.
A statement by the directorate of communication of NYPF said the YESGrant was also meant to enable Nigerian students with extreme financial need pursue their academic dreams and aspiration in the areas of research and technological/scientific innovation. The statement added that the grant was expected to help low-income and disadvantaged students pay their tuition. More than 500 students will benefit from this year’s grant.
Students studying in Nigeria will receive up to 500,000, while those studying in the United Kingdom will receive up to £3,000 pounds, just as those studying in the United States will receive up to $5,000 annually as grant.
YESGrant is available at www.yesgrant.com. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 40, be registered members of the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) and have an account with Heritage Bank prior to the disbursement of the funds in August 2016. Student award recipients must in addition provide their matriculation number and academic progression report. The website for NYPF is www.nypforum.com.