Keystone Bank boosts start-ups with grants, other empowerment schemes

Keystone Bank Limited has unveiled ‘The Keystone Startup Advantage Programme (KSA Programme)’, a specialised incubator scheme with offerings to address the needs of startup businesses.

A statement by the fast-growing financial services provider, on Monday said the move was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for the growth of the SMEs sector and aligns with the United Nations Envision 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) 8 – to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

In his comments, Anayo Nwosu, Divisional Head, Retail, SME & Value Chain Division, Keystone Bank said capacity building remains key for the growth and development of SMEs, adding that SMEs in every part of the world are the livewire of the economy.

“Like in every economy of the world, SMEs are the lifelines. They contribute significantly to the economy’s GDP, creation of jobs and wealth, economic prosperity, and of course, all these details to economic growth and development,” Nwosu explains.

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“Through the programme, it is our vision as a bank to impact 100 start-ups annually and up to 1,000 start-ups in the next five to ten years. The programme also serves as a platform to connect innovative SMEs and tech start-ups with potential investors,” He further adds.

The KSA programme, a three to four-month Investor Readiness scheme, will adopt a blended approach, as it will offer a hybrid option with virtual and physical sessions.

Three successful SMEs/startups from the programme will win a N3 million grant each to support their business operations.

“The modules will be both tutor-led, and self-study modules within a friendly e-learning platform. It will be an intensive programme designed to have groups as well as one-on-one mentoring and coaching sessions during the period,” Nwosu said.

The programme will be premiered on January 24-25, 2022 with an Open Day webinar tagged ‘Building Sustainable Start-ups’ Applications will open on January 31, for interested and eligible tech startups & SMEs with innovative ideas, solutions and business methods to submit entries.

“All the information needed to learn more about the programme, its opening webinar and how to apply are available on the bank’s website,” Nwosu concluded.

Keystone Bank is a technology and service-driven commercial bank offering convenient and reliable solutions to its customers.

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