A new scheme tagged, “ Kwara’s Next Entrepreneur” has been set up by the Kwara State Government to promote entrepreneurship and competitiveness in the state’s informal sector.
The scheme allows existing and new medium scale enterprises to bid for funds to establish or expand existing businesses in the state.
To facilitate the start-up of the scheme, a sum of N150million has been earmarked and deposited at the Bank of Industry.
Briefing newsmen at the Government House, Ilorin, the Technical Adviser to the State Governor on Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Olusegun Soewu disclosed that a crop of successful businessmen had been engaged as managers and captains to scrutinize business plans of interested individuals.
According to Soewu, the panel of Captains include, Managing Director, Infrastructure Bank, Kunle Oyinloye, the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Esuwoye II, successful businessman and agro entrepreneur, Shuaib Ottan, accomplished banker, Retired Vice Admiral Samuel Afolayan: Former Chief of Naval Staff and successful Agro-Entrepreneur, Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Alli, Senior Advocate of Nigeria Lanre Sagaya, accomplished engineering consultant.
Others are Executive Director, Bank of Industry, Waheed Olagunju, Chairman, Avalon Hotel, Offa, Chief Tajudeen Owoyemi, and consummate businessman Gabriel Adewumi, Soewu explained that successful applicants would benefit from between N3 million to N10 million to be repaid over a period of time, depending on the nature of the enterprise.
On the duration of the scheme, Soewu said the competition will be held twice a year to ensure that as a many qualifying small businesses as possible benefit from the scheme.
According to him, the micro and small business owners will continue to receive micro-credit funding under a different window as the government is determined to economically empower people and create jobs by promoting the informal sector.
He recalled that the N250M Micro-Credit Scheme launched by the Ahmed administration in 2012 has reached a cumulative of N1.2billion and benefitted about 50, 000 small business owners.
Besides, he also revealed that more artisans would benefit from the revolving micro-credit scheme of the state government.