The North-East region is leading with 1,300 applicants from young entrepreneurs seeking for loans to start or expand their businesses from the Bank of Industry (BOI), data from the bank has indicated.
BOI’s N10 billion Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) programme was launched in March, 2016 by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, to complement the federal government’s efforts in addressing the problem of youth unemployment in the country.
The bank’s Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive, Mr Waheed Olagunju, in a statement over the weekend, said the fact that the bank received more than 13,272 online applications as at 1st April, 2016 – two weeks after the scheme was launched which is in excess of the 10,000 applications that were projected to be filed in six weeks – was an indication of the wide acceptance of the YES programme amongst youths across the country as shown by the geo-political analysis of the applicants.
The second region with the highest applicants is the South West with 1,150, followed by the North -Central with 663. The North -West accounted for 634 of the applications while 526 were received from the South- South, with the South -East recording with 204, the lowest number recorded.
The BOI’s acting MD/ CEO further explained that considering the enthusiastic response to the YES scheme at this early stage, the bank and its 11 partnering enterprise development institutions were taking proactive steps to increase the number of the applicants that would attend the five-day capacity building sessions at eight centres in the six geo-political zones of the country.
He added that the fund size would also be increased to meet the increasing number of applicants that could potentially be transformed into becoming successful entrepreneurs in the required critical mass and ultimately turn employers of labour.