Int’l Breweries opens Kickstart application portal for young entrepreneurs  –

Int’l Breweries opens Kickstart application portal for young entrepreneurs  – The Sun Nigeria

By Merit Ibe           

International Breweries Plc, member of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), has announced the commencement of application for the 2022 edition of its award-winning entrepreneurship initiative, known as Kickstart. International Breweries,  the world’s largest brewer and a leading beverage company in Nigeria,  revealed that Kickstart’s online portal is which  opened on June 17, 2022, to receive applications from passionate Nigeria-based entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years.

The initiative, championed by the International Breweries Foundation (IBF), the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of IBPLC, has positively impacted the lives of numerous budding entrepreneurs through mentorship, training, and provision of grants to run their businesses. The initiative which was launched seven years ago has been rated as one of the leading programs that support young entrepreneurs in Nigeria

Speaking on the 2022 Kickstart launch, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director of the company, Temitope Oguntokun, said: “The idea behind the Kickstart initiative is to empower our young people economically, thereby contributing our quota to bridge the unemployment gap in the country. This year, International Breweries Foundation is partnering with the Small and Medium Enterprises Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University to train 400 youths in different businesses, skills and leadership development modules.”

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Oguntokun also urged young business owners to take advantage of the veritable platform that Kickstart provides and its antecedents in the youth empowerment space. ‘’The success and credibility of Kickstart are the hundreds of our alumni, which is a proof of the positive impact over the years, “she said.

The Chairman of the Advisory Board, International Breweries Foundation, Dr. Peter Bamkole said: “The Kickstart initiative is part of the commitment of International Breweries Plc to fulfil its vision of contributing to a future with more cheers for our youths. Launched as an entrepreneurship development platform, the initiative has over the years taken a more pan-Nigerian status due to its wide reach and acceptance. It focuses on enterprise growth for young entrepreneurs.”

Bamkole also added that the initiative is in its 7th year, with a total of over N385 million as funds invested, Kickstart has given grants to 325 beneficiaries, generated 571 jobs with 1,208 direct beneficiaries. Last year, in line with its Diversity and Inclusion agenda, International Breweries for the first-time recognized People Living with Disabilities (PLWD). Three (3) of the fifty-one (51) grantees were from this category, while 48% of the grantees are female, based on merit. In addition, applicants must be able to communicate (read, write, and speak) in English language and must reside and have their business operations within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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According to International Breweries, young entrepreneurs with business interests in Agriculture, Modular Retailing (Distributorship), Circular Packaging (Recycling) and Renewable Energy, amongst others can apply on the Kickstart portal by visiting https://reg.smetoolkit.ng/program-apply/2022-kickstart-powered-by-international-breweries-foundation. Successful applicants will receive intensive mentorship and training by seasoned entrepreneurs in their various fields, while acquiring the necessary skills required for entrepreneurship during a two-day boot camp before receiving the grants to grow their businesses. Applicants who scale through the bootcamp phase will proceed to a pitch-fest segment where a panel of judges will appraise submitted proposals before selecting the final winners. The winners of the pitch-fest segment will receive multi-million grants at the awards ceremony which will hold in Lagos later in the year. All participants must ensure that all ideas and concepts outlined in their application forms are their original works, and participants are under no agreement or restriction that prohibits or restricts their ability to disclose or submit such ideas or concepts for the competition.

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In recognition of its impact and tremendous feat, Kickstart earned an award as the Best Company in Poverty Reduction at the 2021 Sustainability, Enterprise, and Responsibility Africa Awards (SERAS CSR).

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