BoI targets more youth entrepreneurs under extended GEF scheme

With an objective to reduce the high level of youth unemployment rate in the country, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has extended its empowerment scheme under the Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF-2) to improve entrepreneurial capacity of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members.

Indeed, the Development Finance Institution (DFI) added that the fund, which was launched last year in partnership with the NYSC seeks to encourage graduates in the nation’s tertiary institutions to become employers of labour rather than job seekers.

The Acting Managing Director, BoI, Waheed Olagunju, during the opening ceremony of the four-day-in-class capacity building session of the GEF-2, said the scheme was also to address the entrepreneurship capacity gap of the young NYSC members. It will also deepen financial inclusion by substantially de-risking the NYSC members and making them more eligible for small business loans and to ensure the sustainability of the businesses of the young graduates through effective monitoring.

He pointed out that the first phase of the scheme recorded a total of 896 participants at the three-day capacity building programme held in November 2015, at seven designated training centres across the country. He maintained that at the end of the training, a total of 361 candidates had submitted requests for an aggregate sum of N695.16 million spanning across 27 out of the 40 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) product clusters identified by BOI.
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