Young entrepreneurs in the South East of Nigeria have started applauding Life Continental Lager Beer, a brand from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc for the maiden edition of its innovative entrepreneurial talent hunt radio show. The entrepreneurs said the initiative has addressed the challenges hitherto militating against their smooth operations.
The entrepreneurs, whose applications for lifeline have been considered outstanding so far in the scheme primarily meant for young tycoons of South-East extraction, described the talent hunt competition as a relief that has assisted them in realising their dreams.
Life Continental Lager Beer initiated the N12.5 million worth talent enhancement and empowerment competition to encourage and enhance the dreams of budding and talented businessmen and women within the South-East.
One of the past winners in the scheme, Mr. Madubuike Maxwell, whose application focused on Palm Produce, disclosed that the grant given to him for winning in the radio show has taken his business to higher level.
Maxwell said the fund came at the right time when his business was in dire need of vital implements. According to him, personal attempts to source for grants from other sources failed because of the prevailing lull in the nation’s economy. Again, he said banks in the country are not helping promoters of the SMEs as they are always asking for collaterals that are not available.
His words: “My business has moved to another level following the grant given to me by Life Continental Beer. In fact, we have employed more hands for the business and in two years time, we should be using foreign machines instead of the local machines we currently deploy.”
Similarly, Mr. Benjamim Ukwuora, an indigene of Anambra State who is into mechanical engineering, expressed gratitude to Life Continental Beer for the entrepreneurial talent hunt scheme, which he said gave him a ray of hope that Nigeria will be better very soon.
Ukwuora, whose application focused on transparent bar soap production, disclosed that he was building a machine for his production plant when the Life Continental Lager Beer talent hunt project was flagged to him. He disclosed that for two years, he had been struggling to raise money to complete construction of that machine.
He said: “For two years now, I have been yearning for finance to inject into my business and to complete the building of a machine for the enterprise. That was not forthcoming until I got the grant from Life Beer. I am very happy and grateful because the money will surely fast track our process. Before now, we could not meet up with demand because we did not have enough tools, but by the time we finish with the machine we are building, there would be improvement.”
For Stella Okechukwu, who is a Hair Dressing Salon Operator from Abia State, her immediate plan is to open her personal hair salon. She said in the past six years, she had been working with another stylist who paid her peanuts. Okechukwu said: “I have been into this business six years now. I have been under somebody throughout the period because I could not open my own shop. I could not afford the monthly rent, but with this grant from Life Continental Beer, I intend to open my own saloon.”