• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Foundation empowers 59 Owerri youth entrepreneurs with N54m

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An indigenous foundation in Owerri, Imo State, has empowered 59 youth entrepreneurs with N54.5 million, having undergone a series of rigorous screenings by a Canadian consulting outfit.

BusinessDay learns that the effort seems to attract the governor of Imo State who has offered to join the scheme through partnership in the next edition next year.

This is as Ikenna Egbukole, founder of EMEF (Eze Mitchel Egbukole Foundation), has called on well-to-do Imo State indigenes in all parts of the world to join the rescue effort of Imo youths by creating capital for massive entrepreneurship drive in the State.

The successful beneficiaries are to put their training and investment skills to work with one million each which was handed to them on Monday at Egbu in Owerri North, Imo State.

Some nine others got N500,000 each on compassionate grounds as recommended by the consultants. Some of them were persons with disabilities (blind, etc).

At the fund disbursement which took place at the Palace of the Eze-Egbu in Owerri to mark the 25 years of the demise of His Royal Highness, Mitchel Ezesomaga Egbukole, the V, father of the founder, Ikenna Egbukole said Government alone cannot be left to rescue Imo youths.

He said the time had come for private persons to set up funds to give grants or soft loans everywhere in Imo State to turn the State from a highly-educated people to a highly-employed people.

“We received 1,130 applications from ambitious young people across these 48 communities. Our selection process was rigorous and impartial.

“We engaged an independent Canadian Company ‘Dgytal’ to evaluate applications based on criteria including business knowledge, marketing strategy, customer understanding, business viability, scalability, and proposed use of funds.

“We also strived for representation from as many communities as possible”, he said.