The Federal Government has given out over four million naira as startup seed fund to 17 young innovators under the Social Investment Programme at the South-South Innovation Hub in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
At the event, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the State Governor, said that with the startup seed fund, the Federal and State Governments have demonstrated their faith in the programme.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Taiwo Akerele, Obaseki said the hub is a creative and productive center set up to encourage young innovators in the South-South region to come up with innovative ideas and solutions to the problems confronting the country and hindering her development.
The Governor said, “Those that have put in the extra effort are those that have benefitted from the start-up fund today.”
He assured that his administration will continue to provide the enabling environment for youth in the state to advance their ideas and utilize opportunities created by the federal and state governments to contribute to the development of the nation.
The Managing Director of South-South Innovation Hub Tobi Gege, said “4,300 applications were received for the programme but the number was reduced to 87, out of which 17 performed well and today we have given them startup seed fund.
“The effort of the 17 young innovators have enabled them to get N250,000 each from the Federal Government. We will set targets for them and those that meet the targets will move to the next stage where they will get N1million.
After that, they will move to the N5 million and N10million stages.”
The focal person of National Social Investment Programme, Edo State, Miss Osayuwamen Aladeselu, said an opportunity has been created for 17 young innovators in the South-South region to become employers of labour and called on them to make the best of the startup seed fund given to them.
She assured that the event will encourage other young innovators and entrepreneurs to nurture their ideas and dreams as the government will continue to support those ideas to become solutions to problems.