Youth unemployment is one critical issue that is facing our contemporary World. It is currently put at 50% in Nigeria. Our young people are potent force that can bring about meaningful change in every sector of the economy but they don’t have access to real training and funding to execute these ideas they’ve got. It is against these backdrops that the Bank of Industry (BOI), a leading financing institution in Nigeria came up with Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Programme. The YES programme was officially launched today at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Thursday, 17th of March, 2016 at 10:00am. The YES program will provide training for youth on entrepreneurship and business management and business loans for up to 5 million to start their businesses. Applicants will apply for the loans after the training with their business plan at 9% interest rate per annum and 1% processing fee. The loan tenor will be 3-5 years with 6 months moratorium.
BOI’s approach to tackling the youth capacity building challenge is to focus on young aspiring entrepreneurs within the age bracket of 18 – 35 years that have viable business ideas by developing a Product Program, YES Programme for empowering them. Participants will be drawn from young aspiring entrepreneurs with innovative ideas who must have a minimum educational qualification of an Ordinary National Diploma (OND).
Components of the YES Programme The YES Programme comprises the following:
Eight (8) weeks extensive online Entrepreneurship and Business Management training which has the ability to test participants’ understanding and track their progress
Five (5) days in-class Entrepreneurship and Business Management training (5 modules)
Technical skills training in partnership with the various technical training and vocational institutes in the country
Applicants will register online and will be expected to provide accurate answers to questions. Such answers count towards determining the suitability of the applicants for the training programme. Only the top 1,200 online participants will qualify for the in-class training programme annually. The in-class trainings will be delivered by BOI accredited partner Training Institutes and shall take place on a bi-annual basis at selected centres spread across the six geo-political zones. Hence, 600 participants shall be trained at the designated locations bi-annually. The final evaluation and selection of the candidates that will qualify for funding under the YES-Programme, will be by a seven-man panel made up of senior management staff of the Bank and other eminent members made up of successful entrepreneurs, professionals, retired bankers, etc.
Ayodele Farinde is an agribusiness, greenhouse and organic agriculture expert.
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