The Bank of Industry (BoI) and the Kaduna State government have trained 375 entrepreneurs under its second phase of the Kaduna Start-Up Entrepreneurship Program (KADSTEP) initiative.
According to the bank, apart from benefiting from other loan windows of the bank, under the KADSTEP, successful small business operators would also have opportunities to leverage on existing N1 billion matching fund with the state.
KADSTED was designed by the Kaduna State Government in conjunction with the Kaduna Business School and the development finance institution to empower aspiring entrepreneurs to be able to access various intervention funds available to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the state.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the second batch of students of the scheme in Kaduna, the Acting Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Waheed Olagunju explained that the 375 graduates are those who met the cut off Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.75 in a class of 500 who emerged after the screening of 5,000 online applications that were received in the second phase of the programme.
“Today we are all witnessing the results of the bold step by the three partners, namely, the Kaduna State Government, Bank of Industry and the Kaduna Business School as we graduate these additional 375 KADSTEP Participants.
“It is germane to note that this graduation ceremony is taking place at a time when all hands are on deck to propel our dear nation’s economy out of recession. The launch of KADSTEP, prior to the recession is a manifestation of Your Excellency’s proactive nature and visionary leadership.
“While graduating the 175 pioneers of KADSTEP, a few months ago, we reported that 25 of them had actually applied. We then promised that BOI and KBS would give the other graduates the required support to meet the prescribed Risk Acceptance Criteria. I am glad to report that 137 of the pioneer graduates eventually applied and that 96 applications with a total value of N328 million have so far been approved and are undergoing disbursement.
“We hereby commend members of the first batch and those that are graduating today as well as those that are being enrolled for the third set for painstakingly participating in this laudable programme and thereby keying into the vision and mission of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, of creating more jobs for the people of Kaduna state, promoting the socio-economic well-being of the State and ultimately making Kaduna great again”, he added.
Source : Guardian.ngGuardian.ng