The Bank of Industry (BOI) has funded 15 start-up entrepreneurs in Kaduna State, with a loan grant worth N48.44 billion.
Acting Managing Director, BOI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju declared, at the presentation of cheques to beneficiaries of the Kaduna Start-up Entrepreneurship Program (KADSTEP).
KADASTEP is an initiative established by the Kaduna Government in partnership with Kaduna School of Business and BOI, to empower and fund young entrepreneurs in the state and also curb the menace of unemployment in the state.
According to Olagunju, only entrepreneurs that meet the bank`s risk criteria, after training, can benefit from the program, with the assurance that the bank will continue to aid the state government achieve its blue-print agenda, which will grow Kaduna to be the center of economic excellence in the northern of Nigeria .
“We are optimistic that most of them will eventually scale through and encourage others to complete their applications in good time so that they could also become beneficiaries.”
“Under KADSTEP, successful small business operators would also have opportunities to leverage on existing N1 billion matching fund instituted between the bank and the state government.”
On his part, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, said his administration’s desires is to empower 5,000 young entrepreneurs in the next four years under KADSTEP.
“As business creators, they will strengthen the SMEs sector as a driver for job creation. Empowering our youths with the skills and the funding to establish businesses is not a trivial matter.
The challenge of unemployment is largely a youth issue. And people under 35 years constitute the significant majority of 8-10 million people that live in Kaduna state. Indeed 88% of people in Kaduna is age 35 years and below.” The governor said.