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Standard Chartered launches new programme with youth business international

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Is the heavenly reward no longer worth waiting for?…To support young entrepreneurs hit by the economic impact of Covid-19

Funded by the Standard Chartered Foundation in collaboration with Youth Business International (YBI), the project is part of Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, a global initiative to tackle inequality.

YBI and Standard Chartered Foundation are working together to provide crucial support to over 33,000 underserved young entrepreneurs in six countries across Africa, Asia and Europe. In Nigeria, the project will be implemented by FATE Foundation.

Funded by the Standard Chartered Foundation, the project is part of futuremakers by Standard Chartered, a global initiative to tackle inequality. FATE Foundation aims to support 2,000 young entrepreneurs whose micro and small businesses have been especially hard-hit by COVID-19.

The global economy is suffering from catastrophic economic shocks as a result of COVID-19. With typically tight margins, micro, small and medium businesses are vulnerable to economic downturn. The current pandemic and the resulting lockdowns are having a particularly serious impact on business owners and entrepreneurs from underserved communities, including young people (aged 18-35 years), women, refugees and other migrants and those with disabilities and visual impairments. Many are struggling to get through the crisis and need support now.

Speaking on the project, Dayo Aderugbo, Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing (CABM), Nigeria Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria said, “It is with great pleasure that we launch the Youth Business International initiative in Nigeria today in collaboration with the FATE Foundation. We are optimistic about the impact this initiative will have in lives of thousands of young entrepreneurs in the country and the ripple effect this investment will have on the nation. This initiative builds on the Bank’s track record of supporting employable youths, adolescent girls and women through various financing and capacity building initiative and serves as one of the ways we remain Here for good in our communities.”

READ ALSO: Standard Chartered focuses on hybrid working to appeal to future workforce

Micro small and medium businesses have a crucial role to play in economic recoveries post-COVID and ensuring supporting a diverse range of young entrepreneurs will contribute towards a richer, more varied and more resilient economy for everyone.

Funmilayo Hannah Awoyomi, an entrepreneur who owns 701 Stitches and is based in Kaduna has this to say “Small businesses like me have suffered a lot since March, 2021. Business has not been the same since the lockdown was first implemented. We need to know how to compete without spending our entire savings on this digital marketing thing that everyone is talking about. I look forward to being part of a program like this.”

Anita Tiessen, CEO of Youth Business International, noted “As the ongoing effects of the pandemic continue to cripple economies and disrupt normal business operations, young entrepreneurs, especially those running smaller businesses and from underserved communities, have been hardest hit. I’ve been inspired by the response of our network, supporting more than 200,000 businesses through COVID last year.

The struggle is far from over for many and I’m delighted that YBI with Standard Chartered Foundation’s new funding will help us expand and continue this crucial work and help more than 33,000 businesses get the support they need to survive and thrive to contribute towards a richer, more varied and resilient economy for everyone.”

In Nigeria, FATE Foundation will provide a holistic package of support including Digital Transformation Workshop, Resilience Building Series, and Remote Consulting & Advisor services to be delivered virtually to 2000 entrepreneurs across Nigeria. We will specifically target underserved entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-35 who have been hardest hit by the crisis.

Commenting on the collaboration, Adenike Adeyemi, Executive Director of FATE Foundation, added “We are committed to supporting young Nigerian entrepreneurs contribute to the economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic and are excited to be part of their success stories. We are also excited about the potential of this program in making significant impact in the Nigerian Entrepreneurship space”.

Youth Business International and Standard Chartered Foundation are working together to provide crucial support to over 33,000 underserved young entrepreneurs in six countries across Africa, Asia and Europe.

Priority will be given to traditionally disadvantaged business owners who have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 economic crisis, including rural, micro and female entrepreneurs, business owners with disabilities and visual impairments and those excluded from formal financial support.

The aim of the programme is to ensure that a diverse range of young entrepreneurs will contribute towards a richer, more varied and more resilient economy for everyone.

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