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Ecobank extends free micro funding to ‘enterprising Nigerians’

Ecobank Nigeria Plc has extended free micro-funding to enterprising Nigerians as it unveils the second phase of The Entrepreneur.

A statement from the bank on Saturday said registration of prospective participants for the ‘Season 2’ of the business reality television show, The Entrepreneur, had commenced in all branches of Ecobank nationwide.

The programme provides micro-entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas the opportunity to access up to N15m free micro-funding from the bank.

The main objective of The Entrepreneur, according to the statement, is to empower small business owners, promote entrepreneurship through investment in innovative social enterprises, educate people on the numerous strategies of pitching business ideas, and contribute to poverty alleviation in the society.

The TV series, which made its debut last year, injected over N12m into the businesses of 23 micro-entrepreneur winners.

Co-sponsored by the malt drink, Vitamalt, the programme has been endorsed by notable government and private sector organisations, which include the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Growing Businesses Foundation and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria as key partners.

The statement said, “In Season 2, The Entrepreneur TV series seeks to focus on encouraging Nigerians to engage in the real sector of the economy. Bright ideas in the areas of commerce and industry, agriculture, and health are sought, as well as innovative approaches to issues of food security and value-added farming.”

It quoted the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Dr. Sayyad Abba Ruma, as saying that it was a forward looking initiative that would help promote entrepreneurship in agriculture, thereby creating jobs and wealth for Nigeria.

It said, “Interested participants who wish to harness this opportunity and become successful entrepreneurs will be able to do so by picking up their forms at any Ecobank branch nationwide, or downloading the forms online.

“The zonal auditioning for registered participants will hold in Abuja, Enugu and Lagos to select participants with the brightest ideas who will face the panel of judges in the finals in Lagos.”

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