BOI and the NYSC Directorate on the 5th of October launched the N2 billion Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF) for youths undergoing the mandatory National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) programme. According to the bank, the Fund, provides a platform for serving NYSC members interested in entrepreneurship to be trained and granted access to finance for actualising their potentially viable business ideas.On the appraisal methodology, the Bank stated that, “Evaluation of how well the applicants completed the Questionnaire on their understanding of their value proposition, customer segment, risk, competition, among others ranked 40%, while assessment of the applicants’ Business Ideas ranked 60%.The business ideas proposed by the shortlisted NYSC members are all within the 35 SME clusters that are being accorded priority by the Bank of Industry.
“The list of Top 1,000 applicants consists of 997 applicants that are 2015 NYSC Members Batches “A” & “B” (Batches 15A and 15B), and 3 applicants that are Batch “C” 2014 (Batch 14C) NYSC members. “The list of 997 Batches “A” and “B” NYSC members has been validated by the NYSC Directorate as being authentic, while the 3 Batch 14C NYSC members have been confirmed not to have collected their discharge certificates.
The Bank explained that members of the three batches whose business ideas were screened had to be validated with the NYSC Directorate in view of the fact that their discharge certificate serves part of the collateral requirements for accessing a loan under the GEF Product Program since BOI would have a lien on the discharge certificates of loan beneficiaries under the GEF Scheme while the facilities subsist.
A review of the screening exercise showed that members of the NYSC Batches 15 “A and B” and those that have completed their national service but are yet to collect their discharge certificates under the Batch 14 C were considered for the GEF scheme.
“Out of this list of 1,000 successful applicants, 664 (66%) are Male while 336 (34%) are Female, while geopolitical distribution of the course participants on the basis of primary assignment showed that the North West account for 133, North East, 143; North Central, 147; South East, 137; South South, 141; South West, 144; and Lagos, 155. The training programme will take place simultaneously in NYSC camps located in the following 7 centres: Katsina in Katsina State, Mangu in Plateau State, Jalingo in Taraba State, Issele-Ukwu in Delta State, Ede in Osun State, Umunna in Abia State and Iyana Ipaja in Lagos State.