Diamond Bank Plc has kicked off season 4 of the Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET4) programme, a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of the bank aimed at enhancing the growth potentials of Nigerian entrepreneurs through capacity building. This year, Diamond bank is giving out N15million out.
Speaking at the official launch of the fourth season of the programme in Lagos, Mr. Olumide Akindele, Head, Consumer Propositions Group, Diamond Bank PLC, said, “The Building Entrepreneurs Today programme is a strategic initiative of Diamond Bank to invest in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises segment of the economy by increasing the capacity of these small businesses to run thriving businesses.
“We are pleased to announce the 4th edition of the programme. This is a reflection of Diamond Bank’s resolve to ensure that many young businesses get the right assistance to excel and contribute to the economy,” he added.
Mr. Peter Bamkole, Director, Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University, the facilitators of the programme, lauded the bank for its sustained partnership with the EDC on the BET programme. He noted that the bank’s support of young entrepreneurs through the BET programme has given a massive lift to various businesses with its attendant contribution to job creation and professional and sustainable business management.
He said: In the last four years, Diamond Bank Plc has been supporting MSMEs by giving them the knowledge they need to build viable ventures and manage success. This Corporate Social Responsibility initiative is making a huge impact on the lives of these young people and is gradually changing society. Small business owners are equipped with the right knowledge and skills to properly manage their businesses.
On the areas of interest for the fourth edition, Mrs. Ayona Trimnell, Divisional Head, Corporate Communications, Diamond Bank Plc, said programme will focus on ICT, Agro-Allied and Renewable Energy sub-sectors, adding that these are three areas which have been identified as youth-centered endeavors with high development potential.
“At the end of the training, successful participants would have imbibed the culture of entrepreneurship that Diamond Bank Plc stands for,” she said.
To qualify for selection, a candidate must have an existing business that has been in operation for at least three months prior to the application date. Applications are reviewed by a panel of judges based on a predetermined set of criteria after which successful candidates are invited for an interview session. Fifty shortlisted candidates will thereafter undergo a six months training with the EDC, following which the top fifteen are selected for a second phase of top-flight advisory services where they are required to present their business models.
At the end of the process, the five participants who are adjudged to have the best plans are each given a three million naira grant by Diamond Bank Plc to support their businesses.