In its continued tradition to empower young entrepreneurs, MTN Nigeria has introduced the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) for young entrepreneurs in Nigeria. This programme offers a line of credit, valuable training and mentorship opportunities to eligible young entrepreneurs.
YEDP candidates are recipients of the MTN Foundation’s Annual Science & Technology Scholarship Scheme and the Scholarship Scheme for Blind Students, which provide awardees in federal government tertiary institutions with financial support to cover for their tuition fees, book allowance and stipend, from the second year up till graduation.
YEDP started with online and in-class training for the candidates which were facilitated by experts from the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), Pan-Atlantic University and Bank of Industry. They later pitched their business plans to a panel of judges comprising experts in various industries. The candidates’ business ideas cover various sectors including agriculture, ICT, health, beauty and fashion, oil and gas, education and others.
L-R: Kareem Damilola; Grace Ogunlowo and Ayodeji Adedara, during the pitch session
Speaking on the programme, the Acting Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya said, “Unemployment is one of the biggest challenges for Nigerian graduates. There are more young people than the available jobs and we decided to provide a solution to this. In addition to our employability workshops, we have taken a step further with the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme, by ensuring that these bright minds have access to the funds required to take an active part in building their businesses and support their families and communities. We decided to give loans so as to create a sense of responsibility in dealing with funds for their businesses”
Only participants whose business plan fulfil the criteria of viability and sustainability will be awarded the loan.
One of the YEDP Participants, Munirat Ojotu, during the pitch
Fifty successful participants will receive loan support of up to NGN 2,000,000 each with a grant of 10% on the principal amount. The loan is repayable after 36 months at an interest rate of 5% with six months moratorium. The MTN Foundation engaged the services of the Bank of Industry (BOI), based on their expertise, as an administrative partner to drive the implementation of this initiative.
Fela Akinse of Salubata, during his presentation
Head, SME Funds, Bank of Industry, Michael Oye; MD/CEO, Crown Natures Nig. Plc, Mrs Omolara O. Aromolaran; Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya; Regional General Manager, Lagos/South West, MTN Nigeria, Josephine Sarouk and Owner, Minuel Designs, Emmanuel Faleti during the first day of the pitch for MTN Foundation’s Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme, YEDP, an initiative targeted at empowering young Nigerian entrepreneurs, in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, February 11, 2020.