Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, on Friday, launched an entrepreneurship support program for young Abians.
The initiative is for Abia youths with innovative ideas but need minimal financial support to actualize their projects.
The Governor was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr. ACB Agbazuere during the presentation of funds to Chukwudike Okorafor, the first beneficiary of the programme from Umunneochi Local Government Area.
According to him, “We hope to use this program to raise at least 24 entrepreneurs within the next two years, with one winner emerging every month for the next two years.
“It has always been our dream to approach empowerment from a different perspective rather than the traditional means of giving Keke NAPEP to graduates as empowerment.
“We want to support ideas because it is what rules the world and I know there are many young Abians with brilliant ideas we can support as long as they meet our criteria”.
He directed the state Commissioner for Information to set up an appropriate platform for those with good entrepreneurial ideas, within the budget of the program, to participate in a monthly competition with the best emerging as winner.
The State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, stated that a team made up of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mrs Ijeoma Ogbonna and DG BCA will select the winners every month and called on young Abians who are resident in the state to submit their proposals to his office in sealed envelopes for consideration.
According to him, “While the first winner emerged from the agric sector, the program is open to all areas of entrepreneurship as long as the proposal can be funded within the monthly one million naira limit.
“All you need to qualify is to be a young Abian that is resident in the State and has good ideas that can be supported to yield good results.”
He said that the start-up fund is non refundable but has a monitoring team that includes the relevant council Chairman that will ensure that the money is used for the stated purpose.