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‘How research grants can aid financial inclusion among students’

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The project coordinator, Grooming Research Grant, Chikezie Egbulefu, has explained that the university grant for undergraduate and postgraduate students is aimed at improving ideas and innovation in microfinance and business development in Nigeria.

Egbulefu, in a chat with journalists on the sideline of an entrepreneurship workshop organized by the Centre for Research in Enterprise and Action in Management (CREM), in Lagos, explained that the lack of opportunities for students to share their innovative business ideas and get rewarded is a major concern.

He called on students to grab the opportunity and become part of the growth in the microfinance sub-sector.

“I am here because I believe so much in what our youths can offer to the development of this country. How we can all fine-tune the micro-credit scheme to best international practice? We have a research grant that is currently running till September 4, 2019 for undergraduate and postgraduate students and the sole purpose is to improve the knowledge of microfinance and financial inclusion in students.

“Although the reward is not as fascinating as expected, we do hope that at least 150 undergraduate and postgraduate students will benefit financially; 100 undergraduates will get N75,000 each, while 50 postgraduate students will get N150,000 each, and they must be students of NUC approved Nigerian universities or NBTE accredited polytechnics. We have all the details on www.groomingresearchgrant.org.”

Egbulefu revealed that the feedback from the technical committee saddled with the responsibility or reviewing every entry confirmed that students are showing interest in the area of focus.

“The technical committee that has been set up to review all entries said that students are responding, and we only hope that more people show interest. We are in talks with some universities to encourage students to apply for free and lend their voices to the growth of research in business development and inclusive microfinance.

“When people hear of microfinance, they usually don’t show interest, but we want all of that to change because we want to be the link between entrepreneurs and the over 180 million potential customers for their businesses in Nigeria.”

He called on stakeholders to show commitment to improving human capital development which Nigeria has untapped potentials across the board, so that local and international investors can have a pool of qualified skilled graduates to employ, thereby bridging the unemployment and poverty gap in the country.


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