YESGrant: Heritage Bank Empowers 35 Entrepreneurs with N50m

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As part of its culture of providing timely and affordable credit to assist youth in implementing their business ideas, Heritage Bank Plc. under the Young Entrepreneurs & Students Grant Scheme (YESGrant) has provided N50million in Grants to 35 entrepreneurs. In partnership with the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF), the Grant was awarded to about 35 young entrepreneurs from agricultural business, creative industry and the information & communication technology (ICT) sector after a rigorous and transparent review process conducted by an independent body, out of the tens of thousands who applied for the grant.

Group photograph of 2016 YESGrant Awardees at the Ceremony in Lagos.
Group photograph of 2016 YESGrant Awardees at the Ceremony in Lagos.

 

Speaking at the YESGrant award ceremony held at Four Points Hotel by Sheraton in Lagos, the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, who hinted that the nation’s economy has experienced severe down spiral, affirmed that the 35 successful entrepreneurs will be provided with the required guidance on fund management as individual beneficiaries would get at most N2million each. Sekibo, who was represented by the Divisional Head, Retail/SME, Mrs. Ori Ogba, stated that the bank supported this initiative because of its belief in Nigerian youth, who make up about 80 percent of the country’s population. She further explained that Heritage Bank was impressed with the nature in which talents were sought out, the rigorous selection process and the integrity with which the overall scheme was delivered. Ogba expressed her satisfaction in the long term sustainability of the initiative, stating, We will not support something that will not stand the test of time.

Divisional Head, Retail/SME of Heritage Bank Plc, Mrs. Ori Ogba, receiving an Award of Recognition on behalf of the MD/CEO of the bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, as Nigeria’s No. 1 Youth SME Friendly Bank in Nigeria from the Chairman of Nigerian Young Professional Forum (NYPF), Mr. Moses Siloko Siasia at the YESGrant Award Ceremony.
Divisional Head, Retail/SME of Heritage Bank Plc, Mrs. Ori Ogba, receiving an Award of Recognition on behalf of the MD/CEO of the bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, as Nigeria’s No. 1 Youth SME Friendly Bank in Nigeria from the Chairman of Nigerian Young Professional Forum (NYPF), Mr. Moses Siloko Siasia at the YESGrant Award Ceremony.

 

In his remarks, Mr. Moses Siasia, the Chairman/Founder of the NYPF said the idea of the Grant was born out of the desperation of young Nigerians to build businesses in an economy fraught with a seemingly endless onslaught of challenges. He explained that the society does not encourage young talents and innovations, while stating that the country is yet to tap up to 5 percent of its youthful resource. He called on all stakeholders to see youth growth as a priority for National development. Siasia commended Heritage Bank for its unflinching support for SME growth in Nigeria. According to him, Heritage Bank remains the only bank that had entered into partnership with NYPF on this scheme, after being turned down by other potential sponsors and appealed to all young people in the country to see the bank as their wealth partner.

 

YESGrant Brand Ambassador, Stephanie Okereke-Linus Speaking at the award ceremony.
YESGrant Brand Ambassador, Stephanie Okereke-Linus Speaking at the award ceremony.

NYPF’s YESGrant Brand Ambassador Mrs. Stephanie Okereke-Linus congratulated the winners of the Grants and praised Heritage Bank for its commitment to young people. She advised other banks to emulate Heritage Bank, while seeking beneficiaries to put the money received to good use. 30-year-old Paul Okoroafor owner of Santa Paulo Delakusa – one of the beneficiaries that received the sum of N2 million – said the fund will be used for full oil palm production. He expressed gratitude to the NYPF and Heritage Bank for giving hope to them.

Moses Siloko Siasia, Chairman of NYPF Presenting Dummy Cheque to Santa Paulo Delakusa; one of the award recipients.
Moses Siloko Siasia, Chairman of NYPF Presenting Dummy Cheque to Santa Paulo Delakusa; one of the award recipients.

Moses Siloko Siasia Chairman of NYPF Presenting Dummy Cheque to Kimi To-Rewa; one of the Female Award recipients.
Moses Siloko Siasia Chairman of NYPF Presenting Dummy Cheque to Kimi To-Rewa; one of the Female Award recipients.

Moses Siloko Siasia Chairman of NYPF Presenting Dummy Cheque being received by one of the Male Award recipients; Fishconcept Limited.
Moses Siloko Siasia Chairman of NYPF Presenting Dummy Cheque being received by one of the Male Award recipients; Fishconcept Limited.

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Heritage Bank will increase wallet of business transactions with Lagos State Govt - George-Taylor
L-R: Dr. Sophia Horsefall, Corporate Relations Manager, SPDC; Osepiribo Ben-Willie, Executive Director of Heritage Bank and Ivy Davies-Etokakpan, President of Eveafrique News at the Women Must Conference 2.0, titled “The Woman and Her Must” organised by The Kilali Tribe held in Port Harcourt.

PRESS RELEASE

Heritage Bank is agent for actualisation of SDG 5-Gender Equality, women empowerment – Kilali Tribe

05/12/2022:  Heritage Bank has been commended for being an agent for the actualisation of Sustainable Development Goals SDG 5 – Gender Equality, as well women empowerment for socio-economic growth.

This was stated by Kilali Tribe at the Women Must Conference 2.0, titled “The Woman and Her Must” organised by The Kilali Tribe which held in Port Harcourt.

The Kilali Tribe is an association of prolific Rivers and Bayelsa State women who come together to support themselves through peer learning, capacity-building initiatives, networking, and mentoring. Also, provide similar structured support to other women within the community.

Speaking at the event, Ivy Davies-Etokakpan, President of Eveafrique News who also member of Kilali Tribe, commended Heritage Bank for taking the lead in championing the empowerment of women over the years in the country.

“We are proud of Heritage Bank for making us soar while promoting women empowerment. Over the years, Heritage Bank has proved to be an agent for the actualisation of achieving SDG 5 – Gender Equality, as well women empowerment,” she said.

The Executive Director of Heritage Bank, Osepiribo Ben-Willie affirmed the need to deliberately adopt measures to deepen women empowerment to drive the nation’s socio-economic growth.

In her closing remarks, Osepiribo Ben-Willie hinted that the Conference had leveraged Kilali Tribe to come up with blueprint in promoting women’s equal right to socio-economic empowerment, as this is at the heart of the SDG5-Gender Equality.

The Executive Director of Heritage Bank affirmed that women all over have proved to be huge economic asset in the act of creation of a new sustainable economy, hence gender inclusiveness and women’s empowerment must be taken as a priority.

According to her, after evaluating the bottlenecks restraining the Kilali Tribe and other women to attain the platforms to grow professionally and thrive in all spheres of t heeconomy, it is a call to action to “tackle the challenges of gender disparity and lack of inclusiveness that have continued to impede the expected rapid economic empowerment that could help unshackle our women’s entrepreneurial prowess and foster more representation for women and girls at decision-making forums and Board levels in comparison to their peers in the developed countries.”

Ben-Willie added that for women to emerge economically and socially as independent there was an urgent need to tackle psychological, social and skill constraints.

Collaborating Ben-Willie’s, the Co-founder and former Group Executive Director of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, advocated for women and girl inclusiveness across all sectors of the society, including economic participation and decision-making.

According to him, the country should be conscious of gender equality, whilst emphasising that dealing with the psychological constraint will enable women to be balanced emotionally.

He stressed the need for organisation to leverage women positions on Board level, as they are resourceful and could enormously impact to the growth of any society.

Cole also charged women in being deliberate to position and champion course that would put them at the forefront of making difference. //END.//

Ozena Utulu, Ag. Group Head, Corporate Communications