The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Bank of Industry Nigeria, on Thursday last week, formally launched a N10 billion Youths Entrepreneurship Support (YES) project to empower youth with loans to start businesses in Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch of the project in Abuja, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said that the ‘YES’ entrepreneurship project of BoI was part of the Federal Government’s youth employment scheme, saying that about 36,000 jobs would be created annually through ‘YES’.
Waheed Olagunju, the acting Managing Director of BoI, said that a participant under the scheme could access up to N10 million loan with single digit interest rate and repayable over three to five years.
He said that participants will be drawn from young aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years and an applicant must present NYSC or higher education certificate as collateral to qualify for the loan with two external guarantors.
According to Olagunju, the YES Programme entailed building the capacity of the youths by equipping them with the requisite entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, while also funding their business plans. He said this would enable the young Nigerians to be self-employed and manage their own businesses.
According to an online report, the programme comprises eight weeks of extensive online entrepreneurship and business management training, where participants are tested and their progress tracked
The acting MD said there would be five days in-class entrepreneurship and business management training covering five modules, adding that 10,000 online applications would be solicited nationwide, out of which 2,000 would be selected for the online training.
“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,” he disclosed.
He said the in-class training would be delivered by BOI accredited partner training institutions and would take place on a bi-annual basis at selected centres spread across the six geo-political zones of the country, including Lagos and Abuja, adding that 600 participants were expected to be trained at the designated locations twice in a year.
Some of the 11 training facilitators with whom BoI signed the MOU included African Community Bridge Foundation, After School Graduate Development Centre, Empretec Nigeria Foundation, Fate Foundation, and Growing Business Foundation, among others.
Olagunju said the final evaluation and selection of the candidates qualified for funding under the YES-Programme, will be by a seven-man panel comprising senior management staff members of the bank and other eminent members made up of successful entrepreneurs, professionals, and retired bankers.
How To Apply for Bank of Industry Business Loan (YES)
You can apply for the BOI YES Loan here.