Business leaders, top government officials, captains of industries, and budding entrepreneurs converged recently for the Kickstart Entrepreneurship Summit with the theme: Building a Sustainable Business in a Tough Economy: Key insights for MSMEs.
The event was organized by International Breweries Plc at the Civic Center in Lagos.
The Kickstart Entrepreneurship Program by the company’s CSR platform, International Breweries Foundation (IBF), was designed to upscale the skills of young entrepreneurs and further demonstrate International Breweries’ commitment to the development of the Nigerian youth while supporting the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
International Breweries Plc, a proud part of Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer with more than 400 beer brands and producers of Trophy lager and Stout, Budweiser and Hero lager amongst others decided to support the government’s long-standing commitment in addressing the challenge of unemployment in Nigeria through the youth-focused economic empowerment scheme—Kickstart.
Managing Director, International Breweries Plc, Hugo Rocha who gave the welcome address stated that IBF is supporting the government to bridge the unemployment gap by tapping into the abundance of potential inherent in emerging youth business leaders.
In his speech, Chairman International Breweries Advisory Board, Peter Bamkole explained that 708 young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 across a wide range of business sectors have benefitted from Kickstart and 571 jobs have been created through the social investment scheme.
Activities to commemorate the occasion kicked-off with an Alumni Workshop during the Global Entrepreneurship Week: 16th—22nd November 2020 with the theme: Networking for Business Growth.
The main speaker at the Summit, Chairman Economic Advisory Council, Federal Government of Nigeria, Dr Doyin Salami expounded on how businesses can thrive in a tough economy.
While addressing the youths, he said, “Four pillars are important for successful entrepreneurs: Knowledge, Competence, Patience, and Proactiveness, and notwithstanding the difficulties, there are opportunities to add value for entrepreneurs who are observant enough to explore the gaps in the environment.”
Other speakers and panel discussants include the representative of the Vice President, Senior Special Assistant on Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship, Dr Osagie Nurudeen; Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs Boladele Dapo Thomas; CEO, SO Fresh, Olagoke Balogun; Senior Lecturer and Director, Entrepreneurship Centre, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Olalekan Busra; Lawyer and Media Host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu; Founder & Principal, OSC College of Fashion, Sola Babatunde, and Chief Marketing Officer, Loose Media, Ized Uanikhehi.
In her closing remarks, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, International Breweries Plc, Temitope Oguntokun thanked the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan African University, the Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation & Employment, Lagos Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), and the Bank of Industry (BOI) for consistently supporting Kickstart’s efforts to promote national development by equipping young Nigerians across the country with the necessary skills and resources to tackle the challenges of entrepreneurship.