Heritage Bank Limited has raised its support for entrepreneurship and education in the country with the launch of a N500 million Young Entrepreneurs and Students (YES) grant.
The initiative, which is in partnership with the Nigerian Youth Professional Forum (NYPF), according to the bank, will support students and young entrepreneurs toward socio-economic freedom.
The Managing Director of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, explained that the bank’s support for the programme arises from the fact that the initiative aligns with its vision, which is to help create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.
Sekibo, who was represented by the Group Head, Market Strategy, Obioma Emenike, added that the bank will also support the project in terms of training the beneficiaries, disbursement of the grant as well as in the monitoring and evaluation of the project’s milestones as agreed with the beneficiaries.
“We have been playing strongly in the education and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME) sectors of the economy. This project syncs with our mission and vision as a bank.
“The age bracket of 18 to 40years for the beneficiaries also aligns with our corporate goal, just like the key sectors which include agriculture, ICT and creative industry, identified for the project are pivotal for economic growth” he stated.
The NYPF, according to its Chairman, Moses Siasia, is a non-governmental organization conceived by a group of young professionals with the mission to promote innovative ideas for socio-economic development.
Siasia disclosed that the programme is geared toward assisting both aspiring and existing young entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses, and ultimately create jobs and distribute wealth in the economy.For the students, the grant can be accessed for tuition fees to help low income students and technological research and innovation.
While students in Nigeria can access up to N500,000, in the United Kingdom can access up to 3000 pounds and others in the United States can access up to $5,000.
For young entrepreneurs, the grant will be available for target sectors like Agriculture, Creative Industry, Information and Communication Technology, while in each category, an entrepreneur with an existing business can access up to N2 million.
Before now, Heritage Bank had packaged a N200 million loan facility for young graduates willing to advance their dreams in small-scale businesses.