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AMCON promotes Corps members’ entrepreneurship with N1.5m

The introduction of the business plan contest was aimed at providing funds to enable the winners actualise their business dreams, and in the process, contribute to the economic development of the country.

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), has initiated an entrepreneurship and empowerment programme for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), posted to carry out their national service with AMCON.

The scheme, tagged: the “Managing Director’s Annual NYSC Entrepreneurship Competition,” was introduced to encourage Corps members to initiate business plans as entrepreneurs and contest among themselves by making presentations before a panel set up by AMCON to select the best three realistic business plans that stand the chance of winning the MD’s cash reward.

At the end of the maiden edition of the initiative, three of the 15 contestants came tops and were presented with cheques of N500,000 each at a ceremony held recently at the AMCON head office in Abuja.

Winners in this maiden edition included Joanna Jewel Adamu, Umar Aliyu Gosta, and Abdulsamad Saidu Usman, whose business proposals centred on online art and fashion business; poultry production; and technological innovation respectively.

AMCON Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ahmed Lawan Kuru, while addressing the participants noted the high rate of graduate unemployment, and the need for stakeholders to work towards steering the mind-set of youths away from seeking white-collar jobs to entrepreneurial engagement, which must be encouraged by institutions both private and public.

Kuru, reinforcing the incorporation of functional entrepreneurship training into the nation’s education curriculum said AMCON initiated the programme for Corps members in appreciation of the invaluable contributions of the NYSC to national development.

He said the intervention began with the conduct of Entrepreneurship training for the Corps members with some members of staff of AMCON volunteering as resource persons.

He explained that the introduction of the business plan contest was aimed at providing funds to enable the winners actualise their business dreams, and in the process, contribute to the economic development of the country.

He noted that aside from the winners, many of the other competitors came up with excellent business ideas, adding that the latter group will also be supported with some token, without giving further detail.

The introduction of the business plan contest was aimed at providing funds to enable the winners actualise their business dreams, and in the process, contribute to the economic development of the country.

Kuru promised not only to sustain the programme, but also to increase the number of winners in subsequent editions, and assured of AMCON’s readiness to go into broader partnership with NYSC in the area of entrepreneurship and empowerment.

Speaking, the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, said the Scheme complements the implementation of its Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme (SAED), adding that many ex-trainees were now owners of flourishing businesses.

He said Corps members had enormous potential for self-employment, but added that the challenge was always that of access to funds to actualise their business plans.

The Director-General said this informed the proposal for the establishment of the NYSC Trust Fund, to make the SAED training more functional, and also serve as a sustainable source of funding for the Corps entrepreneurs.

Ibrahim therefore thanked the AMCON management for supporting the empowerment of Corps members and assured of effective partnership for the continued success of the new initiative.

On behalf of her colleagues, Joana Jewel Adamu thanked AMCON for availing them the opportunity for empowerment, which she described as life changing. She assured that they would justify the confidence reposed in them through judicious utilisation of the funds as expected.

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