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Monday, 25 November 2019

International Breweries Plc set to award young entrepreneurs at its Kickstart Awards Ceremony

… Prof. Kingsley Moghalu to speak on the Potential of the Nigerian Youth

International Breweries Foundation, the social investment platform of International Breweries Plc, has said it is set to unveil the beneficiaries of its Kickstart initiative during the 2019 Awards Ceremony scheduled to take place within the week in Lagos.

The Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Foundation, Mr Peter Bamkole revealed this during a media briefing to update the public on the process of the year’s edition which was launched on June 21, 2019. Kicktart is targeted at providing youths aged 18 and 35 with decent employment opportunities while encouraging them to proffer solutions to the nation’s challenges through entrepreneurship. KickStart is a social investment initiative conceived to help reduce the unemployment burden in the country. KickStart empowers young enterprising Nigerians by supporting their entrepreneurial aspirations with business management trainings, mentorship, and most importantly grants.

According to Bamkole, “from the applications we received for our Kickstart this year, we have trained 227 youths across Nigeria on entrepreneurship in during a 3-day boot camp; we have also concluded the Picthfest where our competent panel of judges listened to the proposals and ideas of these budding workforce.

Continuing, he said the process has been a very transparent one from inception during the application phase, through the Pitch fest phase and the final selection by judges. “This exercise started five months ago and it has been a rewarding exercise for many of the applicants”, he said.

Bamkole also informed that “Successful applicants will be rewarded with the financial muscle – Grants - to kick-start their different entrepreneurial ventures at the awards ceremony.  Winners will also benefit from a one-year mentoring programme to help them navigate the business terrain and run sustainable businesses”.

Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Otunba Michael Daramola, said, “We are extremely happy that we have finally been able to conclude this process. We now have our beneficiaries whom we have trained and will continue to mentor into the foreseeable future. “As a responsible corporate citizen, we will continue to strive to support the country in its quest to attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth.”

He added that the beneficiaries of the fourth edition of International Breweries Plc Kick start presented their business plans in areas such as agriculture, circular packaging, climate action, crafts, fashion, education, healthcare, ICT, manufacturing, among others. These categories were also selected in alignment with the nation’s Economic Growth Recovery Plan (EGRP)

Speaking to preparations for the Awards Ceremony, Daramola said the company is  honoured to have Prof. Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu (OON) deliver the Keynote Address on the theme for the day: ‘Harnessing the Potential of the Youth for National Development through Innovation, Employability and Social Investment’. Daramola said invited guests, including awardees look forward to benefiting from the insights of Moghalu, a global leader whose leadership has impacted several domains including banking, economic policy, development, governance, academia, international affairs, entrepreneurship, law and philanthropy.

Other dignitaries expected at the event are the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; the Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo; the Special Assistant to the President on SDGs;  Mrs Ajoke Orelope-Adefulire;  the Director General of SMEDAN, Dr, Dikko Umaru Radda and other distinguished stakeholders.

It would be recalled that the Kickstart initiative, which before this year covered only the south west and the south east regions, became pan-Nigeria and received an unprecedented 17,108 entries from which 300 successful entrepreneurs qualified for the boot camp phase and 167 progressed to the Pitch fest.

Participants at the Pitch fest phase defended their business plans to a faculty of judges drawn from industry giants, academics, business community and the Foundation’s partners:  Bank of Industry (BOI) , Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF). The Pitch fest phase was organized in Lagos and Abuja to determine the worthy beneficiaries who would receive seed capital of between 250,000 to N3 million each, to boost their entrepreneurial ventures.The winners from the pitch fest will be awarded their grants at the Awards Ceremony in Lagos.

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