Young Nigerian entrepreneurs and students to benefit from $2.5m grant

More than 1000 Nigerians will benefit from a N500 million grant seed capital set aside for young Nigerian entrepreneurs and students in 2016.

This was disclosed on Saturday during the launch of the YESGrant Scheme by the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) in partnership with local lender Heritage Bank in Lagos.

Speaking during the launch, Chairman of the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF), Moses Siloko Siasia 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 entrepreneurial postulants 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 revolutionize it,” Siasia said.

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, specialization 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 programme will also enable Nigerian students with extreme financial need pursue their academic dreams and aspiration in the areas of research and technological/scientific innovation. Over 500 low income and disadvantaged students will also be helped to pay their tuition.

While those studying in Nigeria will receive up to N500,000, those studying in the United Kingdom will receive up to 3,000 pounds and those studying in the United States up to $5,000 annually as grant.

Managing Director of Heritage Bank, who was represented by the Head of Marketing Strategy Mr Obioma Emenike said he was optimistic that the initiative would lead to the establishment of more start ups and give a boost to economic growth. He, therefore, urged entrepreneurs to use their network to encourage their friends and colleagues  apply for it via