The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has lauded International Breweries Foundation, describing it as the social investment vehicle for awarding grants of over N73 million to 90 deserving young entrepreneurs through its Kickstart initiative.
The vice president, who stated this recently in Lagos was represented by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo.
Osibanjo said the Kickstart initiative is a very commendable one that could be replicated by other private sector players to augment government’s empowerment programmes to help reduce unemployment and empower Nigerians economically.
According to him, government can take key learning from the way Kickstart is structured, which ensures the integrity of the programme.
Osinbajo said, “The very thorough process by which Kickstart selects its heroes, beneficiaries, the training, the bootcamp, and mentorship are all very commendable and it is something we as government can learn from when we open it up to genuine beneficiaries.”
In his speech, Chairman of the Advisory Board of International Breweries Foundation, Mr Peter Bamkole, said, “Indeed, we envision the initiative as the nursery of innovation in business, where we plant, nurture and transfer by way of training, granting and mentoring. We are optimistic that every successful beneficiary will pull others out of unemployment because every job they create will take about three other people out of the job market.”
Bamkole said the 2019 Kickstart, which was pan-Nigeria, has revealed the hunger for a national programme as applications were received from all 36 states and the FCT, adding that the acceptance has reinforced the company’s belief in the potential of Kickstart to impact and influence the youth population in the country.
In his presentation, entitled Harnessing the Potential of the Youth for National Development through Innovation, Employability and Social Investment, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, while commending International Breweries for such an impactful initiative as Kickstart, noted that the nation must begin to invest in its youth in the areas of education, skills acquisition, vocational training, as well as encouraging science and technology if the country must achieve sustainable growth and development.
According to a beneficiary Aishatu Adekoya, who is into snail farming, “My Kickstart journey has been amazing and interesting. The training was intense and the coaches were amazing. I want to assure that I will use this grant to grow my business. I say a big thank you to Kickstart and thank you to International Breweries Foundation.”