BY UGOCHUKWU ALARIBE
ABA- Thirty entrepreneurs based in Abia state have been empowered with N7.5 million to boost their businesses through the support of Life Continental Lager Beer, brewed by Nigerian Breweries, NB, Plc.

The programme tagged, “Life Progress Booster” is an entrepreneurial talent hunt and mentoring radio programme initiated by Life Continental Lager Beer which is targeted at helping innovative businessmen and women in the South East zone.

South East Voice gathered that the beer brand had presented N15 million to 60 entrepreneurs in Enugu and Owerri in June and August 2016, respectively,  and is set out to boost 200 businesses with N250, 000, each in 2016 in the five states of the zone.

•Winner, Progress Booster, Okoro Mario, flanked by Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Larger and Stout Brands Emmanuel Agu and another official Rotimi Odukudu

Speaking at the occasion, Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager and Stout brands, NB Plc, Emmanuel Agu, saidthe Life  Progress Booster programme is designed  to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of the people of the South-East zone  and  using the brand to touch their lives as well as reach consumers.

Revealing the selection criteria, Agu added that the  20 winners in Aba were pre-selected during the monthly radio program while the other 10 entrepreneurs were selected from among those given the opportunity to present their business ideas to judges through a live interview at the venue.

According to him, “In the Life Progress Booster programme we encourage entrepreneurs to submit their business ideas and we vet them. The interested entrepreneurs must not be lower than 18 years of age. When we find their proposals credible, we empower them. It is a programme to support the underlining proposition for the Life beer. ‘When we talk about life, we talk about progress. Life as an act of living is about progress. It is a yearly event,last year we empowered 50 entrepreneurs. Each package is worth N250, 000.

Our goal for 2016 is to empower 200 entrepreneurs and so far, we’ve funded 96 businesses through the Life Progress Booster platform.

“That is what the life beer stands for. So, when you tell people that life is for progress, then you look at them, they are not making progress, is it not wise to bring your brand essence or proposition to empower them? This is the fourth event we are doing since we started the first one at Nnewi, Enugu, Owerri and Aba. Our next berth would be Abakiliki, Ebonyi State.”

Agu stated that the choice for South East stemmed from the fact that the brand had its root from the zone while stringent measures exist to ensure a fair distribution across the five states to avoid domination of the list of winners.

A cross section of the winners of the Life Progress Booster programme, including  Dorathy Ameh, who produces Ogiri in powdered form, Madu James, a producer cocoyam powder, Ngozi Nduba, a producer of local pap (Akamu) and Ikedichi Irolewe, producer of local ice block molding machine,  shared stories  nf how the money given to them by Life Continental Beer has secured growth for their businesses.

 

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