Diamond Bank Plc says it has spent N40m on its empowerment programme, tagged ‘Building Entrepreneurs Today’.
The Head, Corporate Communications, Diamond Bank, Chioma Afe, while speaking at the BET7 dinner and award ceremony in Lagos, said thebank committed the N40m as funds to the Entrepreneurial Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University, to train and mentor entrepreneurs for about six months under its BET programme.
She stated that N3m was also given in cash to five entrepreneurs to support their businesses.
Afe said, “Beyond the cash aspect, we also connect these entrepreneurs to grants that will be suitable for them. We have partnerships with Women’s World Banking and the Cherie Blair Foundation to cater for that aspect.
“In terms of human resources and engagement, we also conduct business clinics and seminars, where we invite a lot of these BET participants to come around, teach and preach the spirit of entrepreneurship, and also learn.”
Afe added that the bank would play the stories of the entrepreneurs on television for a 12-week period to promote them and to make people learn from their experiences.
According to her, it will make people understand what Diamond Bank does, preach the spirit of entrepreneurship to people around, and make them realise that being an entrepreneur is a positive thing.
The Director, EDC, Pan-Atlantic University, Peter Bamkole, said, “The EDC, being the technical partner of Diamond Bank, holds the responsibility of conceptualising and implementing the entire process from selection to the winning stage.”
He added that after the sixth year, Diamond Bank decided to film the entrepreneurs from the beginning to the end, to show how they started, what they had been through and what they had been able to achieve.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie, said, “The main objective of the BET programme is to use technology to share experiences of entrepreneurs with millions of Nigerians in order to reduce unemployment.”
He added that the programme also aimed at encouraging innovation among youths to drive social and financial inclusion.