Kwara govt launches interest-free loans for young entrepreneurs

•Successful pitches to get up to N3,000,000 each
•Scheme has 3-month moratorium
•Application opens May 10

Kwara State Government has rolled out plans to support young entrepreneurs in the state with huge interest-free loans, an ambitious plan of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to invest in and raise a new generation of successful young men and women.

One of Nigeria’s biggest investment in businesses owned by young people, Kwapreneur is open to Kwarans with viable and scalable business ideas and are not more than 35 years old.

It is being coordinated by the Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP) Office, according to a statement by the KWASSIP Ag. General Manager Mohammed Brimah.

Registration is open through http://www.Kwapreneurs.com. Application runs from May 10 to May 18, 2021.

The first phase of the programme targets at least 300 youngsters with viable business proposals, the statement said, adding that at least 1,200 young people will benefit from the initiative over the next four years.

Successful applicants will be trained and supported with interest free loans ranging from N350,000 to N3,000,000 each, depending on the scale of their proposed businesses.

Brimah said in the statement that Kwapreneur has been designed to harness the potentials of enterprising youths and raise a new generation of leaders through sustainable empowerment, thereby spurring socio-economic growth and job creation in the state.

“Young people are to the nation what the heart is to the body. They drive and make it beat. Kwara under this administration believes in the talent and industry of her youths. To hasten economic development, we need them to become employers of labour. This is why we are to support young people with visionary ideas with interest- free loans for their businesses,” the statement quoted Brimah as saying.

The application process will be in stages, including idea pitching and presentations, and training on business development before receiving funds, it stated.

“The youths-oriented programmes under KWASSIP are numerous. We have previously organised training for about 15,000 youths in basic digital skills, while we are looking to hit the 30, 000 mark in the next two years. Kwapreneur is also a sub-programme under K-power — a component for youths engagement and development,” the statement said.

“The programme will give successful applicants between N350,000 – N3,000,000 interest-free, while looking to equip them with skills, knowledge, and opportunities to become sustainably empowered in society. This is Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s definition of empowerment.”

Brimah said young people involved in high-potential business areas like agro-processing, logistics, transportation, among others, should apply.

He added: “No Kwaran covered in this age bracket is excluded. All entries will be judged by experts and professionals on their economic value. The most viable ideas will find their way through. We have put in place a free, fair and credible process to make it work. It is a non-interest loan. The icing on the cake is that beneficiaries have three months moratorium on the loans before they start refunding in tranche. Kwapreneur is a good opportunity to move from unengaged to an employer of labour and we trust that the youths will make the best of it.”

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