International Breweries Foundation has said it has earmarked 70 young promising Nigerian entrepreneurs to be awarded grants of up to N3 million each as seed money to help kickstart their entrepreneurial dreams. The grant, which is coming under the yearly International Breweries’ KickStart entrepreneurial initiative, will be disbursed to the beneficiaries at a formal award ceremony, this week in Lagos.
KickStart, according to International Breweries Plc, a part of the ABInBev family is a social investment initiative conceived to help reduce the unemployment burden on the economy. KickStart empowers young enterprising Nigerians by supporting their entrepreneurial aspirations with business management trainings, mentorship, and most importantly grants.
The yearly initiative, which started three years ago, has produced close to 800 beneficiaries, including this year’s 70, and has helped to create hundreds of jobs, with a projected 1000 plus new jobs to be created by the beneficiaries by 2021, International Breweries said.
The KickStart initiative has a number of phases over a period of five months designed to ensure that only serious and impactful young entrepreneurs and business ideas are supported.
The Pitchfest is the penultimate phase of the Kickstart initiative wherein participants defend their business proposals to independent judges. The judges use five critical criteria to arrive at their decisions which include business maturity, experience of the applicant to run the business, financial statement of the business and overall business concept.
Chairman, International Breweries Foundation, Peter Bamkole, said the process has been a very transparent one from inception during the application phase through to the Pitchfest phase.
Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Otunba Michael Daramola, said, “We are extremely happy that we have finally been able to conclude this process. We now have our beneficiaries whom we have trained and will continue to mentor into the foreseeable future in order to make sure they make the leap that we envisaged for their businesses,” he said.