Intafact Beverages Nigeria Limited makers of Hero Lager beer and Grand Malt a has awarded a cheque for N 82 million to 40 Nigerian youths for various entrepreneurship skills.
The event which marks the closure of the Second Edition of the Hero’s KickStart programme took place in Onitsha, Anambra State.
The 40 awardees received their cheque ranging from N 3 Million, N2.5 Million, N1.5 million among others.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company and the Traditional ruler of Onitsha, HRM Igwe, Nnaemeka Achebe said the essence of the programme was to empower every youth to be employers of labour, especially now there is economic crunch.
“The KickStart programme was created with the aim of developing a culture of business entrepreneurship in youth with the intention of growing their businesses into sustainable high impact enterprises.
The programme targets youth between the ages 18-35 years. Winners of this year’s edition will receive non-collateral seed loan capital to fund their businesses to be presented at the event.” Igwe Achebe said.
Igwe Achebe who commended the drastic growth of the programme said over N5000 people applied this year, against 1000 applications received in 2016.
“Out of 1000 people who applied last year, N50 million was earmarked for 24 successful applicants. This year, we added Benue, Delta and Edo states to the original five states in the South East.” Achebe added.
He however urged them to add more values to themselves and make judicious use of the fund.
The Regional Director of AB InBev Nigerian, Mr Godwin Oche disclosed that out of 5000 applicants, 130 people were selected for the final screening and they were subjected to one week training on financial management, commercial and managerial skills.
Mr Oche noted that the 40 successful applicants from the 130 people would be seriously monitored for the next 12 months.
Speaking on behalf of the judges, Mrs Ngozi Okoye revealed the modalities for selecting successful applicants which include their level of presentations, profitability as well as other modalities.
Earlier speaking, the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano said the empowerment was in line with his administrative policy of empowering the youths.
The Governor recalled that his government had employed every graduate of physical challenged persons in the state and had offered free education to those in the special schools.
“We have offered free education to all the 5822 students in the 11 technical schools and maintained strong partnership with Innoson Motors and other companies where the students will always visit for their practicals “. Governor Obiano said.
“In addition to my employment policy, over 200,000 persons have been empowered through Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ) which some of them are indigent people.” Obiano added.
One of the awardees, Mr Ezeobi Olisa Kingsley expressed elation, saying the company had empowered him for life.
Mr Olisa promised to make judicious use of the fund to create a living for him, and become employer of labour.
The highlight was presentation of the cheques.