Beer manufacturing giant, International Breweries, recently held the 2020 edition of its Kickstart Entrepreneurship Summit, where business leaders and top government officials converged to chart a path for budding entrepreneurs among Nigerian youths.
The event which was held in Lagos was designed to provide practical tips to ensure survival beyond the current global challenges, hence, the theme: ‘Building a Sustainable Business in a Tough Economy: Key insights for MSMEs,’ was considered appropriate.
The entrepreneurship programme was conceptualised to upscale the skills of young entrepreneurs and further demonstrate International Breweries’ commitment to the development of the Nigerian youth while supporting the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Speaking at the event, Managing Director, of the company, Hugo Rocha, who gave the welcome address stated that IBF was supporting the government to bridge the unemployment gap by tapping into the abundance of potential inherent in emerging youth business leaders he described as the game-changers Nigeria urgently needs.
“We recognise economic empowerment as a means of solving unemployment, poverty, and insecurity whilst being a key driver of development; this is why we have invested time, energy, and significant funds into providing training, mentorship, and grants for budding entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years,” Rocha said.
In his speech, Chairman International Breweries Advisory Board, Peter Bamkole explained that 708 young entrepreneurs across a wide range of business sectors have benefitted from Kickstart and 571 jobs have been created through the social investment scheme. Describing the youths as “our future,”
Bamkole revealed that, “the Advisory Board visualised the long-term impact and its benefits for Nigerians if Kickstart succeeded in supporting the government to eradicate poverty. We are therefore happy at the successes of many young entrepreneurs that have been empowered by our initiative.”
One of the beneficiaries, Onyinyechukwu Eric-Mbah who runs Orchard Blends, a healthy food retail business explained that the N500,000 grant she received from the initiative enabled her to purchase equipment in record time–boosting her business as a result.
The main speaker at the summit, Chairman of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, Dr. Doyin Salami, expounded on how businesses could thrive in a tough economy.