SABMiller, South Africa’s brewing giant and majority shareholder of Intafact Beverages in Onitsha has unveiled an entrepreneurship programme called “Kick Start” for youths in the South Eastern States of Nigeria.
Speaking to the media at the company’s facility in Onitsha, the General Manager of Intafact Beverages Limited, makers of Hero Lager beer, Mr. Lukas Van Deventer, said the programme was designed to improve the lives of the youths in the South East region of Nigeria through building of short business entrepreneurial skills and instill a culture of entrepreneurship in them.
The initiative, he said will cover all states in the South East geo-political zone, namely Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi.
Deventer added that participants between the ages of 18 to 35 would be provided with intensive business skills, training, business development support, as well as low interest seed capital and grants.
The “Kick Start” initiative, he said is aimed at assisting budding entrepreneurs to start up and expand their businesses through adequate training, mentorship and financial grants.
He added that the programme is part of SABMiller’s Social Investment Initiative (SCII) on poverty alleviation and sustainable enterprise development in areas where it operates by assisting young people to build enduring entrepreneurial skills.
He said: “The programme is aimed at creating and developing a culture of entrepreneurship among our young people by promoting business skills, managerial awareness and material support through training, mentorship and provision of grants as start-up capital or expansion seed. The major objective is to ensure that the teeming youth in the South-East with bright business ideas turn these ideas into reality and in turn reduce graduate unemployment by engaging them meaningfully through an entrepreneurship programme that will help nurture and encourage them to bring their dreams to life.”
Deventer disclosed that “SABMiller’s Hero’s Foundation” had been established to facilitate the unveiling of the programme on March 15, which objective is to invest in the future of the region by helping build a prosperous young society.
He said that the “Kick Start” scheme had successfully being tested in countries like South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland and Tanzania.
In Nigeria, the scheme was first introduced in Ilesha in the South West, where SABMiller owns another brewery, International Breweries Plc.
SABMiller is the second largest brewing company in the world and is currently in the midst of being acquired by Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev), the No. 1. When the deal closes, the combined company will control roughly 30% of the world’s beer volumes. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2016.