Chris Steven, Abuja
The Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment has approved the sum of N756.3 million for disbursement to 81 young Nigerian innovators as part of the Federal Government’s economic empowerment initiatives.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah made this known in Abuja on Tuesday during the grant award ceremony, which was also attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The grant was made possible through the Growth and Employment Project (GEM) financed by the World Bank IDA Credit.
The young innovators were selected following a rigorous technological innovation competition organized by the Presidency called Aso Villa Demo Day (AVDD) which targets young Nigerian entrepreneurs with innovative business models that could contribute to the growth of the economy.
Speaking during the ceremony, the Vice President said, “The GEM-AVDD partnership demonstrates Government commitment to celebrate and empower the most promising and highly scalable indigenous technology start-ups who are providing innovative solutions to local challenges in Nigeria.’’
On his part, the minister stated that, “GEM is about igniting businesses and building their capacity to grow and employ Nigerians. Above all, it helps solve the problem of funding faced by many of our MSMEs.”
Recall that the GEM Project is a $160 million World Bank IDA Credit with a Project Implementation Unit at the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
The Project Development Objective is to increase growth and employment in participating firms in Nigeria through provision of technical assistance and grants to qualified existing firms/businesses across Nigeria.