By Dipo Olowookere
Fifteen more artisans have been empowered by Isedowo, Goldberg empowerment scheme launched last August to uplift and support artisans and entrepreneurs in the Southwest.
The new set of beneficiaries received their reward of N300,000 each at the climax of the initiative in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Friday, February 9, 2018.
With the conclusion of the activations across the southwest region, Isedowo has now fulfilled its promise by giving N30 million cash grants to 100 artisans in Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo and Ogun States.
Emmanuel Agu, Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager and Stout Brands, Nigerian Breweries Plc, said that he is impressed with the thousands of artisans that showed interest in the scheme during its maiden edition and that it demonstrated the willingness and drive of youths to start their own businesses.
“With this first edition of Isedowo, artisans and entrepreneurs have experienced the elimination of poverty and unemployment by offering business grants that would help to grow local businesses,” he said.
Agu further revealed that the second edition of the empowerment scheme would start in few months, and charged entrepreneurs and artisans in the southwest to be alert and ready for the opportunity as more local businesses would spring up in the economy with the ₦300,000 business grant to each beneficiary.
Gbenga Ogundairo, a shoe cobbler and one of the beneficiaries in Abeokuta, said that “being an entrepreneur is paying off in Nigeria at last.” He commended Goldberg and Nigerian Breweries Plc for making Nigeria a better place to invest in, particularly by helping to promote small scale business owners.
“With a scheme like Isedowo, it pays to be an entrepreneur and be very good at what you do, so that when opportunities like these arise, we can tap into them to grow our value chain,” he stated.
“Nigerian Breweries Plc and Goldberg have contributed to growing small businesses in Nigeria, and their efforts should be emulated by other corporate bodies for our economy to grow. I thank Nigerian Breweries Plc for the support,” he further said.
Sesan Ayanlowo and Adegboyega Joseph, another set of beneficiaries, also commended Nigerian Breweries for the Isedowo initiative, saying that the scheme would encourage not just the “ready-made” business owners, but also prospective businesses through the credible platform of empowerment that Isedowo has offered the business environment.
Azeez Lawal, an auto mechanic, said that Isedowo would make the vision of Nigeria to be reckoned with as an industrial superpower possible as it has supported more businesses in the economy these past few months. “It is very difficult to start up and sustain a business in Nigeria. However, with an initiative like Isedowo, youths can make the effort and be better at their craft and pray that someday, a business grant like that offered by Isedowo would come to support them,” he said.
It was a mirthful night as most small business owners, artisans and indigenes in Ogun State and its environs trooped to the venue to witness the celebration of hard working artisans and entrepreneurs in the state. Popular Afro hip hop sensation, Seriki thrilled the audience, while star actor, Odunlade Adekola spiced up the night with comic performances as the host.
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