Heritage Bank empowers 100 young entrepreneurs with N8.5m

In
continuation to its commitment to creating jobs, wealth, as well as
deepen financial inclusion, Heritage Bank Plc has empowered
100 aspiring and existing young micro entrepreneurs in Ajegunle, Lagos State with a grant scheme of about N8.5million.

From the left:  Adekunle Adewole, Cluster Head Apapa Region, Heritage Bank Plc; Prof Pat Utomi,
Founder/CEO at Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL);
Kehinde Olugbemi, Divisional Head, Corporate Banking Apapa Region;
Jubril Adeojo, Head, Interventions Funds and other
Support Scheme; Fijo Wisdom Team member Interventions Funds and other
Support Scheme at the graduation ceremony of the Young Entrepreneurship
Business Training Programme (YEBTP) in Lagos.

This is being executed in partnership with
the Center for Value Leadership (CVL), as part of the Heritage Bank
various impact-driven
programmes to empower the youths and women particularly in the
under-developed communities in Lagos State and one of these is the Young
Entrepreneurship Business Training Programme (YEBTP).

Specifically,
the programme involves grooming, mentoring and financing up to 100
aspiring and start-up entrepreneurs in Ajegunle,
Lagos State. The business lines of focus for the programme are majorly:
hair dressing, footwear cobbling, tailoring, and catering services.  
A statement made available by the bank’s Group Head, Corporate Communications, Fela Ibidapo, disclosed that the
funds would be used to purchase the equipment needed by the entrepreneurs to start their businesses. 
He
explained that under the grooming aspect of the programme, the
entrepreneurs went through a 3-month intensive capacity building
training programme in the areas of keeping accounting records,
financial discipline, sales and marketing in order to equip them with
the knowledge base needed to succeed as entrepreneurs.
To
further drive financial inclusion, he hinted that the business mentors
on the programme opted to be part of the Heritage Bank’s
Agent Banking Network in order to extend banking services to the people
of Ajegunle community, essentially make banking easily accessible for
the people.  
According
to him, the management of Heritage Bank believed that the essence of
financial inclusion is not only about opening accounts
for the unbanked and under-banked (low-income) people, but it is also
significantly centred on financially and socially emancipating them for
the common good of the community – This is the ultimate objective of the
programme.
Ibidapo
further explained that the entrepreneurs underwent a month hands-on
internship/mentoring experience with the business mentors
to understand and be acquainted with the technical skills needed for
each specific business lines, under existing and experienced business
owners in Ajegunle.
“Also
the business mentors, will provide further support to the aspiring
entrepreneurs when they start their business in the terms
of gaining access to market.
“In
line with the strategic focus of the scheme to aid ease of finance, HBL
is collaborating with CVL to set up a grant fund. This
was in form of an equity finance to release to the entrepreneurs to
fund the setting up of their business by purchasing
start-up kits and
work tools, as well as provision of working capital,” he explained.
At
a graduation ceremony in Ajegunle, one of the graduates of the scheme,
Miss Chinyere Kwuneme, who was presented with a generator
and hair dryer, expressed appreciation to Heritage Bank and CVL and
said the gesture would relive her of further expenses in the future.
Mrs.
Chikereuba Nkechi, a graduate of Fashion Design, who was also a
beneficiary, and presented with an ‘over locking machine and
a mannequin’ said she was surprised when invited to come and collect
the equipment. “I felt overwhelmed and surprised. I didn’t know they
would go through with it, but I am indeed grateful to Heritage Bank and
CVL for their support,” she said.
Aminu
Khadijat, another beneficiary of the programme, expressed her
satisfaction and lauded Heritage Bank for supporting the initiative
which she said would add value to her life.
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