Diamond Bank expends N90m in BET initiative
Supports budding entrepreneurs with N15 million
Diamond Bank Plc, has presented a cheque of N15 million to five budding entrepreneur, even as the bank has expended up to N90 million so far in its Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) initiative.
The initiative, according to the bank, is aimed at supporting the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operators, who showed exceptional entrepreneurial skills and productive ideas in their businesses.
This was disclosed during the cheque presentation of N3 million to each of the five entrepreneurs at the series six of the initiative, held in Lagos at the weekend.
The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Uzoma Dozie, explained that each of the five BET winners, spread across different sectors of the economy and the six geopolitical zones, received N3 million to invest into their respective businesses.
According to him, the Bank’s financial support is expected to help strengthen manpower, expand the product lines, and create increased service and product values that would make the MSMEs competitive.
He said the fund would help cushion the effect of the economic headwinds on their businesses, adding that young entrepreneurs need all the support and mentorship that they can get to enable them stand firm and add necessary value to the economy.
“We had over 500,000 applications and after several screenings, were pruned to the final 15; this is just to show how creative Nigerians are. We decided to support small businesses because we know how difficult the business environment is, and it is the only way we can guarantee sustainable economic growth and development in this country.”
The Head, Emerging Business, Diamond Bank, Mark Ifashe, said the bank, in partnership with Enterprise Development Centre, are working towards empowering emerging businesses to become a full corporate and add value to the economy.
“We are empowering them both in institutional capacity and financial capacity. Some seed capital is made available to some entrepreneur. These candidates have undergone several training after which we select some successful entrepreneur who got some capital from us to boost their businesses.
“On every series, we select five successful candidates, we give seed capital of N3 million per candidate and 30 entrepreneurs have emerge. We are going into series seven; the series six took into consideration agriculture, education and schools. The seventh one will be open for various sectors but will focus more on innovations.”
According to the Bank, to participate in the next BET season, a prospective candidate must have an existing business that has been in operation for at least three months prior to the application date.
He added that at the end of the process, the five participants who are adjudged to have the best plans would receive a grant of N3 million each from Diamond Bank to support their businesses.