Bank of Industry Prepares 1,000 youth Corps Members to Receive N2bn Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund
Bank of Industry, on 18th November, 2015, resumed training of 1000 successful corps member applicants of the Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund. The Fund which was launched in October, is targeted towards empowering National Youth Service Corps members who submitted brilliant entrepreneurial ideas with loans of up to N2m each. Out of 3,100 applications received nationwide through the Bank’s portal, 1000 were shortlisted for a 3-days intensive training programme, which held simultaneously between 18th and 20th November, 2015, in the 6 geo-political zones of the nation, including Abia State, Osun State, Katsina State, Delta State, Taraba State, Plateau State and Lagos State.
This initiative was implemented in partnership with the National Youth Service Corps directorate to in response to the unemployment scourge facing the nation. The Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund will serve as a platform for Nigerian graduates to become business moguls and contribute to national development by creating job opportunities, rather than join an already saturated employment market.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training programme, the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, elaborated on the necessity of empowering Nigerian graduates, taking into consideration the fact that the government and the private sector cannot succinctly address the unemployment situation Nigeria is currently facing. He said “the training programme is aimed at preparing the corps members to translate their business plans from mere paperwork to becoming bankable and profitable business plans”. Mr. Olaoluwa also included that “the N2m loan to be benefitted by each corps member will be provided in forms of machinery and working capital and although the corps members are the direct beneficiaries of the loan, the entire nation will eventually benefit from this programme”.
Facilitators at the programme across the country included LEAP Africa, African Community Bridge Foundation, After School Graduate Development Centre, Empretec Nigeria Foundation, Growing Business Foundation, Kaduna Business School (KBS), NYSC SAED Department, Prinsult Global Consult Limited, VSL Consulting Limited and FATE Foundation. The 3-day long programme ended on Friday, 20th November 2015 and the Fund is expected to be disbursed during the third phase of the GEF Programme, with each eligible beneficiary accessing loans between N500, 000 and N2m at 9% p.a for 3 to 5years.