Zakat, Sadaqat Foundation empowers entrepreneurs in business development
Determined to lead the quest for poverty eradication in the country, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) has empowered numerous young and able minds to develop and nature business ideas to the maturity stage.
The groups also enjoined all well to do Muslims and non-Muslims to support the entrepreneurship initiative so as to jointly pursue the course to grow the Nigerian economy.
At the presentation final stage of the Entrepreneurship Development Project (EDP) in Lagos recently, eight persons emerged as the overall winners with outstanding business ideas.
The ZSF Operations Manager Mallam Ahmed Ma’aruf, said the initiative is tailored towards empowering young Nigerians with business ideas either at conceptual level known as “Idea track” or transitional stage known as “Business Growth”.
ZSF Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Prince Sulayman Olagunju said the BPC is an aspect of ZSF Entrepreneurship development project (EDP) embarked upon last year with a view bring together business-minded Nigerian youths to compete and show case their creative ideas and business plans.
Olagunju said N15 million was expended on the competition.
He said: “It is no longer news that the economic hardship been experienced by Nigerians which has been worsened by increase in youth unemployment, Boko haram insurgency in the North East, military/terrorism in the Niger Delta, kidnapping cum armed robbery in the South-East and South West respectively and the high cost of living confronting the Nigerian youths can be effectively eradicated by designing and implementing appropriate entrepreneurial programmes to engage them productively. The EDP was also meant to empower the Nigerian youths with adequate seed capital and appreciate the role of Nigerian youths in nation building”
According to him, “the tree we planted together just one year ago, has grew up favourably and it has started yielding beneficial fruits that gave us more impetus to continue this competition despite low sponsorship.
“The number of participants increased from 128 last year to 165 this year. This increase in number of participants made our consultant and his team to spend more time in screening the participants. The consultant and of experts did a marvellous job to produce the winners we are rewarding today.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, please join me in congratulating all the winners and the finalists present here today. They have indeed performed very well and all of them deserved to be commended and rewarded handsomely. However, due to low sponsorships received, we shall be rewarding the winners as follows: the 1st position in the Growth Track will go home with the sum of N1.5Million, the 2nd position with N1 million, the 3rd position with N750,000 and 4th position with 500,000. The 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th winners in the Idea Track category will go home with the sum of N1million, N750,000, N500,000 and N250,000 respectively. All the remaining finalists shall go home with consolatory prizes of N100,000 each.”
Prince Olagunju urged all the beneficiaries to use the fund provided by the foundation judiciously to take your businesses to the next level as a demonstration of competence and confidence repose in them by the team of experts.
Chairman on the occasion, Ambassador Adamu Babagida Ibrahim said there is no better time to encourage the ZSF noble and lofty project than now.
Ibrahim said: “Therefore, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation’s intervention at this auspicious time is a welcome development that should be supported by well-meaning individuals and corporate citizens in order to complement the efforts of government in the delivery of socio economic welfare services to the less privileged Nigerian youths.
“I commend the board and management team of Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation for encouraging the Nigerian youths to be job creators and not job seekers. The practical steps taken by the foundation is a testimony of its commitment and passion to empower the Nigerian youths through the window of its entrepreneurship development project code-named business plan competition. You will agree with me that this one way developing the Nigerian youths as well as contributing to the socio economic development of the country.
“I am equally filled with joy to know that not only the finalists will be rewarded with prizes and certificates of participation but all the runner-up contestants will also be appreciated financially by the foundations as a way of encouraging them to do better in the years ahead.”