Heritage Bank Provides N5bn Funding Package for Entertainers, Others

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A funding package worth N5 billion has been set aside for players in the showbiz industry in Nigeria by Heritage Bank, one of the lenders in the country.

The funding support is to take the creative sector to a greater height and eventually stimulate sustainable growth to the nation’s economy, especially now that it is battling to exit recession.

The entertainment industry is one of the major avenues for boosting economic activities and creating massive jobs. However, the coronavirus disease pandemic has dealt a huge blow on the sector in 2020.

But Heritage Bank is coming to inject a new life into the ecosystem through various initiatives, including an online giveaway competition for the launch of the bank’s new product, the Ynspyre Account, which was set aside for talented young Nigerians in the different spectrum of the creative and entertainment industry.

At the unveiling of Ynspyre Account, the winner of the online contest, Mr Damilola Adeyemi, was presented with N1 million cheque by the brand ambassador, Mr Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, better known by his stage name D’Banj.

The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo, emphasised that the development and growth of the entertainment industry will get as many people as possible involved as manufacturing, banking and other sectors cannot do it alone.

“The entertainment is going to take a new lease of life [and] with the Ynspyre platform, we are hoping to start with this and obviously it will grow to another level. You will see greater things in a couple of months,” he was quoted as saying in a statement from the lender.

Mr Sekibo said the music industry has done much for Nigeria in terms of employment and foreign exchange earnings and if more resources could be put into it, the country would be better for it.

Besides supporting individual artistes in the industry, the bank has also partnered with some organisers to perform and produce some entertainment shows.

In his remarks, D’Banj commended Heritage Bank for assisting the entertainment sector, especially with the N5 billion, noting that, “The reason for setting up this fund is for creative people like me, you (Adeyemi) and the other upcoming artists to have access to it.

“I want to commend Heritage Bank for believing not just in me but in the creative industry. Over the years, Heritage Bank has worked behind the scene to sponsor and invest in lots of creative projects.”

Speaking on the modalities of the product, he disclosed that the Ynspyre Account is the perfect account, specifically created to accommodate and support creative ideas in the industry, which do not need collateral.

“Just open your Ynspyre account, get your proposal ready on what you intend doing in the creative industry; be it music, fashion, lifestyle, IT and others because they have created categories for each and every one of us to enable us to assess funds, supports, loans and grants at single-digit interest rates,” he explained.

On his part, Mr Adeyemi, who disclosed the creative industry had never got such spotlight before, said that he was inspired by the cash reward, as the Ynspyre Account product serves as a boost to the creative industry.

“Prior to now, artistes struggle to get to the level they find themselves either through their personal funds, manager or parents’ funds. Finally, it is actually time for us to shine and the spotlight is on us.

“Big thank you to Heritage Bank for creating this platform, for creating this opportunity, I am so excited. It couldn’t have come at a perfect timing; N1 million during COVID-19, it only can be better. I want to thank Heritage Bank for believing in D’Banj and the creative industry, for counting us worthy to invest in us,” he stated.

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