The Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) and Heritage Bank say they have ₦500 million grant seed capital set aside for young Nigerian entrepreneurs and students with creative ideas in information and communication technology (ICT) and other areas.
This was disclosed during recent launch of the YESGrant Scheme hoped to benefit 1000 young Nigerians with creative ideas in ICT, agriculture and creative economy.
Speaking during the launch, Moses Siloko Siasia, Chairman of the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF), said he was inspired by the big impact small businesses can have on the economy and that was why the grant was created to provide incubator support to enable young entrepreneur with creative ideas in Agriculture, ICT and creative economy start or expand their business concepts in those areas.
“I have built businesses from the scratch and I understand the challenges people face and 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,” he said.
Also speaking, Managing Director of Heritage Bank, who was represented by the Obioma Emenike, Head of Marketing Strategy, said he was optimistic that the initiative would lead to start ups and give a boost to economic growth and issued a call out to entrepreneurs to use their network to encourage their friends and colleagues apply for it.
According to NYPF, the YESGrant will provide business training for up to 600 aspiring young entrepreneurs spread across all geo-political zones in Nigeria and will encourage expansion, specialisation and spin-offs of existing businesses, which is to enable young entrepreneurs access a wide business professional network and improve their visibility, while entrepreneurs will receive up to N2 million annually as grant.
The YESGrant is to enable Nigerian students with extreme financial need pursue their academic dreams and aspiration in the areas of research and technological/scientific innovation and it will also help low income and disadvantage students with their tuition of which over 500 students will benefit from this year’s grant.
Furthermore, students studying in Nigeria will receive up to ₦500,000 while those studying in the United Kingdom will receive up to 3,000pounds and those studying in the United States will receive up to 5,000dollars annually as grant.
To apply for the YESGrant available at YESGrant.com, prospective recipients must be between the ages of 18- 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’s award recipients must in addition provide their matriculation number and academic progression report.
The event was attended by dignitaries, including representatives from the Nigerian University Commission (NUC), National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), as well as captains of industries and top Government functionaries.