CYNTHIA CHIDINMA IGBOKWE writes that it was jubilation in Onitsha Anambra state as forty-four (44) budding Entrepreneurs went home with N84.5m business grant at the third edition of International Breweries (IB PLC) Hero’s Foundation Kickstart Programme Awards that held yesterday, at Dolly Hills Hotel, Onitsha.
The journey to the third edition of the Programme began with a call for application in August 2018.
Over 120 successful participants were invited to a rigorous one-week business training at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Business School in Awka after which they submitted their business Proposals.
The proposals were scrutinized based on the strength and sustainability of their business ideas by a team of judges led by Professor Chukwuma Osisioma who carefully selected the final winners of the rogramme.
Chairman of the Foundation, His Majesty Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, The Obi of Onitsha (Agbogidi), while welcoming guests to the ceremony expressed joy that the foundation was able to run another successful Hero’s Foundation Kickstart programme. He urged all the awardees to use their businessgrants and all they have learned during the business training to create value for themselves and the society.
In his words: “I urge you all to absorb everything you have learned during the business training and apply them to your businesses as you move forward. Running businesses is not for the faint-hearted, especially in Nigeria. I urge you all to keep pushing, do not relent, make the most of this amazing opportunity you have been gifted to create value for yourself and for the society.”
In an address delivered at the award ceremony, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano represented by his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, thanked International Breweries Plc for continuing to train, empower and encourage young entrepreneurs in the country.
“The Hero’s Foundation has taken upon itself the mission to instill the culture of entrepreneurship in our youth by empowering them with much-needed training and funds to start-up new businesses or expand already existing ones. This brilliant purpose has pleased the governor, as well as fellow members of his administration because bridging the gap between the youth and productivity is a project we embark on with sincere passion,” Okeke said.
The Hero’s Foundation Kickstart programme is a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) of International Breweries Plc aimed at instilling a culture of entrepreneurship among Nigerian youths.
The programme kicked off in 2016 with the five core eastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo but it has since expanded to include Benue, Edo and Delta State.
This year, the programme further cast its net to include youths in Bayelsa and Rivers States.