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Nigeria: International Breweries Uplifts Nigerian Youth Enterprise, trains 330

The International Breweries Foundation, the CSR arm of International Breweries Plc, has granted a total of 60 million Naira to 50 promising entrepreneurs in the 8th edition of its Kickstart Initiative. This accomplishment coincides with the training of 330 young entrepreneurs by IBPLC in the same year.

The Kickstart Initiative, aimed at fostering entrepreneurship among Nigerian youths aged 18 to 35, promotes empowerment through intensive business training, mentorship, and grant provision. The event convened a diverse audience, including individuals, industry leaders, high-ranking government officials and agencies, and a multitude of Nigerian youth.

Managing Director, International Breweries Plc, Carlos Coutino expressed the importance of the Kickstart Initiative to the organisation. “The young, business-minded men and women who have been empowered with knowledge through the training they received are also going to be mentored by some of the best minds in the entrepreneurship space, and the grant they will receive will serve as seed money for their businesses. This makes me very proud,” Coutino said.

The Kickstart Initiative stands as a beacon of hope, impacting numerous lives by steadfastly guiding young Nigerians through the entrepreneurial journey. Its unwavering commitment has played a pivotal role in transforming the landscape of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

Guest Speaker at the event, Paul Onwuanibe, who is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Landmark Group, took the Kickstart awardees through critical business case studies from personal experience and those of entrepreneurs who have built global brands. He encouraged the young entrepreneurs to be persistent in order to succeed in business. In his words, “As an entrepreneur, you need to work hard, demonstrate resilience, and surround yourself with the right people in the pursuit of your goals.”

In his remarks, the Chairman Advisory Board of International Breweries Foundation, Peter Bamkole emphasized the foundation’s unwavering commitment to youth empowerment in Nigeria. “Kickstart has remained steadfast in its mission to empower the leaders of tomorrow. 330 selected applicants of Kickstart received entrepreneurship training in a partnership between IBPLC and the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC); followed by a further shortlist of 73 youths trained during an intensive two-day boot camp in various entrepreneurship skills before proceeding to participate in a competitive pitch for grants which informed the selection of the final awardees,” he noted.

The event marked the celebration of granting funds to 50 successful graduates, thereby adding to the growing community of empowered entrepreneurs who have gained support through the Kickstart Initiative.

In addition to Kickstart, International Breweries administers various empowerment platforms to address the unemployment gap. The Retailer Development Programme adopts a train-the-trainers approach, aiding retailers in improving their business skills. The Technical Apprenticeship Programme focuses on bridging the technical skills gap, establishing a reliable pipeline for critical positions within technical functions. Hero Igba Boi provides seed capital, mentorship, and business grants to apprentices in their final year of training.

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