In line with the Kaduna state government policy to boost the state’s economy and create more jobs, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai expressed his administration willingness to train 5000 young entrepreneurs across the state.
Governor Malam el-Rufai during KADSTEP ceremony
The first set of 279 beneficiaries, who went through intensive three month training programme at Kaduna Business School graduated on Tuesday and another set of 500 students were inducted to go through the same training.
Addressing the trainees at the graduation and induction ceremony of the Kaduna Start-up Entrepreneurship Programme (KADSTEP), el-Rufai expressed his confidence in young Nigerians who can easily become new Bill Gates or Aliko Dangote.
The incumbent Governor of Kaduna state said: “Those of you graduating today therefore constitute a vanguard that has been empowered to make a difference. You have not been given handouts, but your government has provided you the knowledge capacity to thrive in challenging times. We trust that you will make the most of it. Some of you may falter before becoming the next Bill Gates and Aliko Dangotes of this world. But you have been given the tools to try.
To the incoming intakes, I welcome you to KADSTEP. Make the most of the opportunity to immerse yourself in business knowledge, sharpen your skills and be ready to fly as soon as you graduate. The first set had 279 trainees. The second set that we are inducting today has 500 trainees. We are taking an incremental approach to reaching our target of training 5000 entrepreneurs.
This is an investment in the future, and we are proud to do our duty to make this investment. Permit me to begin by saying emphatic congratulations to the first intake of the Kaduna State Entrepreneurship Programme (KADSTEP) who are graduating today. These 279 young persons took the opportunity presented to them to acquire sound business grounding that can propel their evident passion to set up their own enterprises, add value and create jobs.
They can be proud of themselves as the first graduates of a programme designed to help them think of their proposed businesses in a way that a potential investor can consider bankable. In applying for KADSTEP, our graduates demonstrated that they were not wedded to any sense of entitlement, but were ready to grab opportunities that could build their capacity to conceive strong and realistic business ideas.
These first intake have amply demonstrated that the youths of our country are ready to face challenges, and that they can embrace initiatives designed to help them succeed. Having undergone three months of business training, we look forward to hearing success stories from a lot of you. Our government noticed that the N1b intervention fund we had with the BOI was not been disbursed because the bank did not consider most of the applications it received as viable.
On our part, we did not want any potential entrepreneur to treat or consider these funds as unaccountable patronage, or as free funds to feed an unsustainable entitlement mentality. We decided that it was best to create a platform for the willing youth to acquire the necessary business skills. And we were lucky to find willing partners in the Kaduna Business School KBS and the Bank of Industry(BOI).
I wish each of today’s KADSTEP graduates success, not only in securing funding, but in building successful and sustainable businesses. And I welcome the next batch of 500 trainees into the programme. Your government sees you as the future, and treats youth with the seriousness they deserve.
Some other people cynically treat young people as easy fodder, to be fed paltry patronage and deluded into the belief that their future is dependent on the benevolence of thieving patrons. This government believes that the future of this country is hardworking, discerning youth who have trained their minds and hearts, and whose trust in honest endeavour is anchored on values that link effort to reward.”
Kaduna Startup & Entrepreneurship Program is aimed at encouraging, funding and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth in Kaduna state to develop and execute Innovative Enterprises.