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Heritage Bank Plc has continued to take the lead in empowering youths to become entrepreneurs, which is amongst others is geared to creating jobs and distributing wealth across the Nigerian economy.

Recently, Heritage bank made a “measured” entry into financing and empowering youths with the N3billion Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme fund by the Central Bank of Nigeria, with the active participation of the National Youth Service Corps and the bank as the sole financial institution and operating vehicle for the disbursement of funds to approved beneficiaries.

The bank in a statement made available by the Group Head, Corporate Communications, Fela Ibidapo, hinted that the major objectives of the scheme was to provide a sustainable mechanism to stimulate employment, contribute to the non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as address the challenge of youth restiveness in the country.

According to him, it is pertinent to state that this programme is one that will run in phases and not a one-off arrangement. Again, because revolving credit is involved, it requires a painstaking process to ensure that the three institutions and beneficiaries achieve their respective objectives, which converge essentially to making soft credit available to young people and helping them translate their credible business ideas into sustainable wealth creation endeavours that are capable of generating further employment to others.

Meanwhile, he explained that the first batch of the 310 successful businesses have been approved by the CBN, as they are expected to benefit from N774million as part of the N3billion earmarked under the YIEDP.

A breakdown of the fund disbursed so far showed that only 94 successful beneficiaries who met the stipulated requirements received N251million. 191 of 310 beneficiaries yet to pick up their letters as a pre-condition were yet to assess the funds totalling N473million and 25 chose to drop out of the scheme, which amount to N54million.

On the conditions for the loans, he noted that the beneficiaries to drawn from the funds which have been deposited into their accounts they must meet the stipulated requirements amongst others; “serving youth corps member, non-NYSC (not more than 5 years post NYSC), submission of completed HB PLC -CBN CRMS Detail form (Individual), Business Registration Certification or Certificate of Incorporation, application letter.”

Ibidapo, who affirmed that the programme would have a multiplier effect on job creation and economy, urged all the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the fund.

He added that the YIEDP has the potential of becoming the stimulus for job and wealth creation, growth and economic development through improved access to finance for young entrepreneurs.

He also assured the bank would continue to provide enabling environment, devise ways and means to support the youths towards a self-reliant economy.

BUSINESS

Fidelity Bank Hosts National Capacity Building Webinar For SMEs

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Fidelity Bank Plc, a top Nigerian lender is set to organize a National Capacity Building Webinar For Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country. The programme is part of deliberate efforts to assist entrepreneurs across all sectors of the Nigerian economy to develop a requisite capacity to unlock their full potentials and take their businesses to the next level of growth.  

Targeted specifically at existing businesses operating in critical sectors of the economy including trade and commerce, manufacturing, hospitability, education, entertainment, transportation, and agriculture, these virtual sessions will take place across the country on a state-by-state basis, with the maiden edition slated for Enugu State on January 27, 2021, by 10 am.  

The Enugu event is organized in collaboration with the Enugu State Ministry of Trade and Commerce and the Enugu SME Centre; Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN); Nigeria Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASME) and Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (ECCIMA). 

Themed “Funding and Financial Management”, the Enugu Edition will have in attendance special guests including Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi, First Lady, Enugu State, Sir Robert O. Anwatu, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Roban Stores, and Mr. Chiedozie Atuegwu, Director, Michelle Laboratories Limited. 

Other discussants billed to the participants in the webinar are subject matter experts with respect to funding and financial management for SMEs as well as model entrepreneurs who will share their success stories with participants.  

As a financial brand unswerving in its quest to develop the Nigerian economy, the SME Webinar seeks to help the participating MSMEs grow their businesses by educating them on the best measures to take in managing their finances, improving their sales and developing their business in general. 

Speaking on the event, Fidelity CEO, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe said, “The programme underscores our long-running support for the growth of small businesses which stems from our recognition of MSMEs as critical agents of economic development and transformation in Nigeria and the world at large.    

According to IOnyeali-Ikpe, the session aims at providing practical information, skills, and resources to help entrepreneurs become better managers of their businesses. The Bank has embarked on virtual SME-based events, to adhere to the social distancing guideline essential to promoting the safety of every participant in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Interested participants are required to click – https://www.fidelitybank.ng/SME-Capacity-Building/ – to register.

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BUSINESS

Zenith Beta Life Promo Is Still On!

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Zenith Beta Life Promo is still on, don’t miss this golden opportunity to have a better life!

Please visit www.zenithbank.com/betalife to learn more.

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BUSINESS

Africa Fintech Foundry To Boost Innovation And ‘Techpreneurs’ With 2021 ‘Accelerator’ Programme

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Africa’s foremost innovation hub, the Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), has opened up its registration portal for the 2021 Accelerator program.

The initiative, which is being executed in partnership with Access Bank Plc, seeks to fast-track the growth of the best start-ups operating within the African technology ecosystem. The ‘Accelerator’ programme will fast track and assist the selected start-ups to navigate issues such as start-up pricing and competitiveness, creating endearing customer experiences, support and retention, hiring and people management, scaling for growth and product development cycle fundamentals amongst others.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative, the Head of the Africa Fintech Foundry, Daniel Awe, said, “Research has shown that 90% of start-ups fail due to various reasons such as lack of funding, being in the wrong market, a lack of research, misaligned partnerships, ineffective marketing, and poor competitive positioning to name a few.  90% is a high percentage rate of failure. This indicates that many things need to go right for a business to succeed. Enabling start-ups to grow, scale and remain relevant in the tech space is where we play a major role as AFF.”

“Since its establishment, the Africa Fintech Foundry has progressively demonstrated leadership in the areas of innovation, financial technology, and entrepreneurship. We recognize the vast array of talent possessed by Africans and the wider global players and the immense potential that our technological start-ups have.

Hence, through the Accelerator programme, we will be providing cohorts with mentorship and clinic hours from leading entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts. They will also get access to funding, unrivaled business insights, access to markets, and networking opportunities with our partners at various stages of the program,” he said.

The AFF Accelerator programme will span 12 weeks, with formal and informal mentorship from established founders, investors, and pioneers across various industries.

Ade Bajomo, Access Bank’s Executive Director for Information Technology and Operations, highlighted the need for increased corporate investment in tech-focused capacity building initiatives.  He said “Technology can serve as the catalyst for solving many of the problems faced across various industries. We also believe that it holds the potential to resolve social and economic challenges faced across the African continent.  Therefore, as Africa’s gateway to the world, we have partnered with the continent’s leading accelerator, the Africa Fintech Foundry, to create a platform that will nurture the brightest minds, providing them the needed resources to develop and scale their projects, to the benefit of all.

Start-ups to be considered for admission into the programme include those that: have a tech-enabled solution; offer a unique solution or unique application in a regional setting; have a cross-functional team with a deep understanding of the market – which includes technical lead(s) and founder(s) that are fully committed to the business; have a defensible position (IP; network effects; domain or region expertise); have been in operations for at least 6 months, amongst others.

Interested participants can visit www.africafintechfoundry.com for more information. Those who meet the required criteria will be required to fill an online application. Entry deadline has been disclosed as Saturday, 31 January 2020.

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