By Peter Egwuatu
Diamond Bank Plc, a quoted bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE is partnering with the Federal Government to develop entrepreneurial skills among youths as a way of addressing the increasing rate of unemployment. The bank has been involved in entrepreneurial programmes and has announced the launch of the 3rd phase of the Building Entrepreneurs programme tagged “BET 3”.
The first phase of the BET programme commenced in 2010 in which Diamond Bank empowered five entrepreneurs with growth capital of N3 million each after they emerged top 5 from rigorous business training at the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan African University.
Diamond Bank seeks to continuously increase the capacity and enhance the growth potentials of Nigerian entrepreneurs and has renewed its partnership with EDC to implement Building Entrepreneurs Today 3 (BET3). Diamond Bank is part of the sponsors of the Aso Villa Demo Day celebrated last week. Aso Villa Demo Day is a programme of the Federal Republic of Nigeria set to accelerate and support the best in the fields of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship with a focus on economic diversification and inclusive enterprise.
The Acting Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Vincent Olatunji in his remark at the occasion, said: “Demo Day is the first of a series of events to inspire a movement within the Nigerian economy. It is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and fostering job creation and economic growth through the use of new and emerging technologies.”
He stated that President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to the diversification of the economy having stated that Nigeria “must redouble it efforts to sustain the economic development of the country, ensure empowerment of the youths, create more jobs, improve and upgrade infrastructure, and promote good governance.”
He disclosed that the Demo Day necessitates that talents, ideas and investors are celebrated; creativity and measured risk nurtured, promoted and transformed into value added services and product for the Nigerian and the world’s market. There were 70 selected participants that pitch their ideas to an experienced panel of judges who selected 50 participants to go on to the Abuja exhibition.