Government dignitaries, heads of agencies and captains of industries were in attendance at the sixth edition of the youth enterprise empowerment scheme, Kickstart Initiative Awards ceremony, in Lagos.
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The corporate social investment scheme initiated by the International Breweries Foundation, the CSR arm of International Breweries PLC, a proud part of the world’s largest brewers – AB InBev, gave out grants totalling N60 million to 50 young entrepreneurs across Nigeria as well as training, mentoring and ancillary costs worth another N40 million to other youths.
Kickstart Initiative empowers young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 and has been activated in the Southwest and Southeast of Nigeria since 2015 before evolving into a full-scale national programme in 2019.
With agriculture, circular packaging (recycling), water stewardship, renewable energy, retailing and others as this year’s focus areas, individual winners received grants ranging from N400,000 to N3 million, and for the first time, the people living with disabilities category was introduced to the list of awardees.
The Managing Director, International Breweries PLC, Hugo Rocha, said: “For us, the Kickstart initiative is an avenue to bridge the unemployment gap by giving life to the dreams and aspirations of millions of bright and enterprising young people across Nigeria.”
Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment Yetunde Arobieke hailed Kickstart’s commitment to empowering tomorrow’s business leaders.
Ogun State governor’s wife: Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, expressed delight at the model and impact of the programme.