The Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs Empowerment Nigeria (AYEEN) empowered 500 beneficiaries. These beneficiaries were pulled from thousands of participants who were screened pan Nigeria.
They pitched their ideas before the international and local business experts that served as judges at the audition phase of the program earlier this year.
The business ideas pitched cut across all the major sectors of the economy giving the judges a multifarious view of the Nigerian entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The A.Y.E Chief Executive Matron, Mrs. Folorunso Alakija encouraged all the beneficiaries not to relent in their effort to succeed in their chosen endeavours. She quipped that her entrepreneurship voyage has been one of continuous hard work laced with determination and resilience. She also added that despite the issues in the economy that entrepreneurs still play a vital role in the development of the nation.
The President, Mr. Summy Smart Francis charged all beneficiaries in his speech to forge ahead by ensuring that their naysayers especially those who have the opinion that their business will fail, do not have the last laugh. He spoke about the struggles of an entrepreneur but advised that the resources that is being provided by the organization to boost their operations is not utilsed for frivolities rather for the development of the business that will have a catalytic result providing employment opportunities for fellow Nigerians and Africans.
Through the night of the event, every speaker recommended to all the 500 beneficiaries that the journey of entrepreneurship comes with a lot of work but at the end it is rewarding with huge benefits that do not serve them alone but also the country. The 500 finalists were presented with awards, business mantles and celebrated by a cheering crowd. The AYEEN program did not only impact the 500 finalist, but the entire nation, when you imagine the ripple effect, one entrepreneur empowering ten others.
The Vice President, Ms. Ibada Ahmed created a solemn atmosphere as she called the attention of all present in the hall to an initiative that will see to the restructuring of Borno state themed Empower Borno, she gave the statistics of the damages and ruins effected by insurgency, orphaned and malnourished children, and the state of the Internally Displaced Persons camp. She asked that all rise to action because it just might be someone dear that could be next. This initiative in partnership with the Borno State Government sees to create a shift from old to new, restoring the calm and quiet Borno once enjoyed.
The finalists were full of gratitude, and the crowd was inspired. The smiles on the faces of the finalists spoke volumes and they could not hold back the euphoria when they were interviewed. The beneficiaries who ranged from the very young and energetic to the middle aged all had exciting stories to tell about their AYEEN experience, the screening, the wait, and the excitement of standing out from the multitude of applicants and making it to the top 500. All the finalists were in consensus that it was a pivotal moment in their lives, and we cannot wait to see the exciting projects that these innovative entrepreneurs would execute with their AYEEN funds.
The AYEEN grand finale which held on the 25th of November was a success in every interpretation of the word. 500 finalists were presented and celebrated. The AYEEN program did not only impact the 500 finalist, but the entire nation, when you imagine the ripple effect, one entrepreneur empowering ten others. AYEEN is changing the economy and the future of the nation an entrepreneur or rather 500 entrepreneurs at a time.
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