International Breweries Plc through its subsidiary, International Breweries Foundation has offered a grant of N60 million to 50 young entrepreneurs as seed fund capital to scale their businesses.
A total of 26 females and 24 males received the award yesterday with a grant value ranging from N750,000 to the grand prize of N3 million.
This year’s grant which is the 8th edition of the Kickstart Awards Ceremony, themed: “From Ideas to Impact: Nurturing Young Entrepreneurs for Economic Growth,” will sum up the total amount of beneficiaries of the grant since inception to 425 with 1,600 direct jobs and by extension 3,000 indirect jobs.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Managing Director, International Breweries plc, Mr. Carlos Coutino, stated that the initiative underscores the company’s vision to positively impact the societies where it exists.
Coutino further explained that beyond the iniatiative as a Corporate Social Responsibility, the event is in line with the company’s dream for an empowered youth population to reduce the scourge of unemployment and boost the confidence of young people in their individual creativity and capacity.
“This year, our theme: “From Ideas to Impact: Nurturing Young Entrepreneurs for Economic Growth,” resonates deeply as it captures our vision to contribute and support Nigeria’s economy for prosperity. I am very excited as I stand before you today because Kickstart is not merely a project, but a passion for us at International Breweries Plc.
“Kickstart has been a beacon of hope touching countless lives through its commitment to effectively help young Nigerians navigate the entrepreneurship journey. This has contributed meaningfully to transforming the landscape of small, medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria,” he said.
On his part, the Chairman International Breweries Foundation Advisory Board, Mr. Peter Bankole, shared that the Kickstart Project is highly commendable as it coincides with the aspirations of the Nigerian government at all levels to provide an environment which encourage businesses to thrive.
He said, “Kickstart initiative aligns with the vision of our government, especially in the area of a better Nigeria where youth have sufficient jobs and decent wages, where citizens manufacture, create, and invent more of the goods and services we require, making Nigeria a nation of creators, and not just consumers.
“It is a catalyst that promotes the sustenance of thriving businesses, while positively igniting a real respect to others. We hope to continue counting on your unwavering support. Let’s build a better Nigeria together.”
The Legal and Corporate Affairs Director International Breweries Foundation, Ms. Temitope Oguntokun, stated that in furtherance of the agenda of the federal government to diversify the Nigerian economy from crude oil, agriculture related businesses made the largest proportion of beneficiaries for this year’s grant.