The March8th Initiative for Small Businesses – a youth entrepreneurial- focused grant launched by well-meaning Nigerians known as “Friends of Prof”, has completed the disbursement of funds to beneficiaries of its scheme put together in honour of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
This is contained in a statement released by the group on Wednesday evening in Abuja. The entrepreneurship support initiative, implemented by “Friends of Prof” is designed to support the dreams of brilliant Nigerian entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas, seeking opportunities for growth and expansion.
According to the statement, “after an extensive verification process to ensure that correct data was aggregated from the winners to guarantee a seamless distribution structure, winners of the grants have already started receiving their cash prizes from the initiative.
“Starting out June 4th, each business owner on the beneficiary list has been credited with the sum of N1 million. Beneficiaries such as Spring Safe Global Services Limited, Andie Wears, and mDairy Nigeria Limited among others, have begun sharing testimonies on social media under the hashtag #GrantsPaidByFOP and #FriendsOfProf.
“These funds will be used as investments into these businesses to encourage and increase productivity while generating more income.”
Continuing, the organisers said “this is coming as a timely intervention amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has caused a rapid decline in production, eventually trickling down and resulting in the loss of jobs and complete shutdown of businesses. The initiative offered N1 million grant to 100 businesses ranging from health and technology to education and agriculture.”
Stating the rationale behind the initiative, the organisers noted that “since his entry into office in 2015, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has remained a major proponent in the discourse around creating opportunities for Nigerian youth, and the overall development of our country’s MSME industry.
“Recognizing the opportunities entrepreneurship provides across sectors, unencumbered by educational or cultural backgrounds, as well as the Vice President’s passion for the cause, it became apparent that the best way to honor this selfless leader would be to support the dreams of brilliant Nigerian entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas, seeking opportunities for growth and expansion.”
It will be recalled that the process of selection of beneficiaries for the initiative started on February 29 with media advertisements which was closely followed by the collation of one-page proposals from Nigerian entrepreneurs who met the criteria listed for the programme.
As at the deadline date of March 3, a total of 20,200 applications were received from entrepreneurs across the country.
– Daily Trust