By Charles Onyekamuo in Awka
South Africa’s leading brewing company, SAB Miller, which is also the major shareholder of Intafact Beverages in Onitsha, has initiated what it called the “Kick Start Programme” for youths in the South-east states of Nigeria.
General Manager of Intafact Beverages Limited, the makers of Hero premium larger beer, Mr. Lukas Van Deventer, said during a press conference at the company’s office in Onitsha said the programme was designed to improve the lives of the youths in the south east region of Nigeria through the building of short business entrepreneurial skills and instill a culture of entrepreneurship in them.
The initiative, he said shall cover all the states in the south east geo-political region namely Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi.
He added that participants, who would be between the ages 18 years and 35 years would be provided with intensive business skills, training, business development support, as well as provide a combination of low interest seed capital and grants.
The “kick start” initiative, he emphasised is aimed at assisting budding entrepreneurs to start up and expand their businesses through requisite training, mentorship and financial grants.
The programme, he said is part of SAB Miller’s Social Investment Initiative (SCII) on poverty alleviation and sustainable enterprise development in areas where it operates by assisting young people to build enduring entrepreneurial skills.
He said: “The programme is aimed at creating and developing a culture of entrepreneurship among our young people by promoting business skills, managerial awareness and material support through training, mentorship and provision of grants as start-up capital or expansion seed. The major objective is to ensure that the teeming youth in the South-East with bright business ideas turn these ideas into reality and in turn reduce graduate unemployment by engaging them meaningfully through an entrepreneurship programme that will help nurture and encourage them to bring their dreams to life.”
Deventer disclosed that to facilitate the programme, that would be launched on March 15, a foundation, “The SAB Miller Hero’s Foundation” has been established to actualise its objective and invest in the future of the region by helping to build a prosperous young society.
According to him, “Kick Start” scheme had successfully being tested in countries like South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Tanzania.
He said in Nigeria, the initiative was first tested in Ilesha in the south west and while the south east will be the second port of call.