International Breweries Plc has announced that over 500 young entrepreneurs, who were shortlisted, are currently attending its 2021 edition of the Kickstart Entrepreneurship training Programme.
In a statement, it stated that the training is part of AB InBev, the world's largest brewer through its Foundation efforts to empower young business owners between 18 and 35 years old.
It added that the training, which is being implemented in partnership with the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan-Atlantic University, will support the federal government's employment agenda.
"With over 6,000 applications received from the six geopolitical zones of the country, it's safe to conclude that a growing number of youths in Nigeria are embracing entrepreneurship and taking advantage of the opportunity the Kickstart Entrepreneurship Programme provides.
"The painstaking and merit-oriented 2021 selection process considered the following criteria: sustainability of the business, innovativeness, shared value, impact on community and experience. The Shortlist also drew about 100 beneficiaries from IBPLC's host communities, across the various locations where its Plants are located.
"The entrepreneurs' businesses are directly aligned with International Breweries 2025 Sustainability Goals, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) as well as its business focus areas spanning Agriculture, Circular Packaging, Technology, Retailing, Water Stewardship as well as Renewable Energy, "the statement reads.
Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, International Breweries PLC, Temitope Oguntokun in the statement noted that the lucky entrepreneurs will undergo rigorous training sessions on the minimum requirements needed to run a successful business.
According to Oguntokun, "This is the first time we're having an online training and reaching a critical mass. COVID-19 has made us more innovative in our approach; hence we're leveraging the technology available to us to increase the pool of applicants to the over 500 shortlisted candidates, who will attend the training."
She also expressed the desire of International Breweries Plc to expand the opportunity the 2021 Kickstart offers to more young people to grow their businesses. According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria's current unemployment rate rose to 33.3% in the last quarter of 2020, thereby signifying the need for urgent intervention.
"In line with our vision of 'Bringing People Together for a Better World', we are poised to continue to support the government by impacting the lives of more young people, and by extension, their communities and Nigeria as a whole through the tripartite strategies of training, award of grants, and mentorship to effectively address the challenge of unemployment and poverty while driving economic growth," Oguntokun added.
Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Peter Bamkole, said: "Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan-Atlantic University is excited to partner with International Breweries Foundation on the 2021 Kickstart Nigeria Entrepreneurship Training. The participants of the program are expected to gain skills and knowledge in business management areas including Customer Service, Marketing Management, Business Plan writing etc. We are confident that this will help them navigate the entrepreneurial journey.
"The next phase of the Programme is an intensive bootcamp session where 100 people who have been successful in the online training will be taught presentation skills, business proposal writing in preparation for the Pitchfest, where they will face a panel of judges who will decide on the final awardees for the 2021 Kickstart Entrepreneurship Programme."
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