Heritage Bank Plc says it will support youth entrepreneurs to grow businesses either as start-ups or prospective owners amid the global economic challenge caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Ifie Sekibo, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, said this in a statement on Monday in Lagos.
Sekibo said that the pandemic had devastating impact on the nation’s economic system, hence, the bank’s stance of investing in youth entrepreneurs.
“Heritage Bank is mindful of the devastating impact of the pandemic to the nation’s economic system.
“As an institution at the forefront of investing in human capital development for critical economic recovery, we will up our game to empower youths who are one of the bedrocks of any vibrant economy.
“One of the channels churned out in partnering the youths to leverage their talents and contribute their quota to the growth of the economy is the use of financial inclusion strategy.
“The strategy will be adopted to boost entrepreneurship development, as this is critical to Heritage Bank’s mission to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations,” he said.
Sekibo noted that the bank’s various entrepreneur schemes in the support for business had always focused on dependable job-creating sectors.
He listed such sectors as agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
The managing director restated that the objective of the bank was to emancipate the latent entrepreneurial spirit in the teeming youths to unleash their support to the growth of the economy.
“At Heritage, nothing else is more fulfilling than to groom-to-empower young aspiring start-up entrepreneurs, as we mentor them to grow and become large corporates enlisted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
“In recent times, we have worked with private and public sectors — The Next Titans, Creative Nigerian Summit, National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), NYSC and the Central Bank of Nigeria to support youths and young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses as a start-up or prospective business owners.
“The bank has continued to make efforts to lead the recovery of the Nigerian economy through championing several empowerment schemes”.
He said that the schemes by which the bank empowered youth entrepreneurs include the Prime Women Builders Foundation of Nigeria and Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP).
Others are Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) on Young Entrepreneurship Business Training Programme (YEBTP), Young Entrepreneurs and Students (YES) Grant and Nigerian Young Professional Forum (NYPF).