By Modupe Gbadeyanka
In a bid to continue boosting entrepreneurship development in order to curb the high level of unemployment in the country, Heritage Bank Plc says it will once again be the headline sponsor for the fourth season of ‘The Next Titans,’ a Nigerian entrepreneurial Reality TV Show.
The move by the bank is a consistent commitment to build the next generation of sustainable Nigerian businesses; young and budding entrepreneurs who will end up becoming ‘titans’ in their own disciplines whether in Technology, Inventions, Media, Real Estate, Fashion, Agriculture, or Productions, and so on.
Speaking at a press conference to flag off the season 4 of the project in Lagos over the weekend, the Group Head of Corporate Communication of the lender, Mr Fela Ibidapo, explained the reasons for the continued support of The Next Titan project, stating that because it is associated with the development of young people through small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).
“We decided to support The Next Titan project, because its scope resonate with what our brand stand for which is the business of raising young people through SMEs either through the Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Programme (YIEDP), an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in conjunction with the Nigeria Youth Service Corp (NYSC), in partnership with the Nigerian Youth Professional Forum (NYPF) to support entrepreneurship and education in the country with N500 million Young Entrepreneurs and Students (YES) grant and the bank is also in partnership with Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) empowered 100 aspiring start-up entrepreneurs under the Young Entrepreneurship Business Training Programme (YEBTP), among others,” he stated.
He said the financial institution has always being supporting SMES from the creative industry to the agricultural sector of the economy among others.
He said at the heart of management of the bank is that one day, “We would be able to put people in front of the press to say that indeed this people came to us about two, three years ago and now we are taking their companies to the stock exchange for listing.”
The show will also bring the reality of pains and gains of entrepreneurial journey into the living rooms of millions of Nigerians, and viewers will be given opportunity to vote for whom they believe has the composite of a successful entrepreneur.
At the audition holding in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos from next week, 50 best applicants would be chosen from thousands of young and ambitious entrepreneurs that are willing to demonstrate their commercial insight, entrepreneurial acumen, and street-smartness, pitch their business ideas, before selection of the final 16 contestants who will tough it out over 10 weeks to see the crowned Next Titan carting away the ultimate prize of N5million and a brand new car.
Executive Producer of the Next Titan, Mr Mide Kunle-Akinlaja, said the importance of the Next Titan lied in igniting entrepreneurial spirit and showcasing the possibility of entrepreneurship in transforming lives with just an idea that could be scaled to greatness with a market and with Nigeria’s population.
He said the show, by scouting for young talented people who have entrepreneurial acumen, grooming them through a rigorous task and boardroom process and eventually funding a winner’s idea, leading to an opportunity to create jobs for themselves and others is indeed a big contributor to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
The Executive Producer said the Next Titan was designed to sharpen and ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in young Nigerians, and it represented opportunity and more importantly recognize ordinary Nigerians that have determination, gusto and can do attitude with some of the best ideas.
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