The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank Plc, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, has said the bank is committed to developing young African entrepreneurs.
A statement on Wednesday said the bank, in partnership with the organisers of the Next Titan Nigeria, Bravopoints International Limited, had unveiled 16 finalists with brightest business ideas that will compete for the grand prize of the competition.
The Next Titan is an entrepreneurial reality TVshow where young entrepreneurs across the country compete for a grand prize of N5m and a brand-new car.
According to the statement, the finalists were unveiled in Lagos on Tuesday out of a total of 60 contestants that emerged from more than 2,000 budding entrepreneurs that were screened in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Lagos.
In a keynote address delivered at the Next Titan Season-4 Premiere Show/Gala Evening, Sekibo charged the 16 finalists to see themselves as winners striving to provide solutions to the menace of youth unemployment in Nigeria.
The Heritage Bank MD, who was represented by an Executive Director of the bank, Jude Monye, said, “In Heritage Bank, we are passionate about entrepreneurship. This is extremely relevant today given the unemployment challenges that we face in Nigeria and Africa at large.
“Nothing is more fulfilling than to groom-to-empower young aspiring start-up entrepreneurs and mentor them to grow and become large corporates listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. We are dedicated to developing the next generation of outstanding young African entrepreneurs, who will shape the continent’s economies and the world at large.”
He said government alone could not solve the problem of unemployment in the country.
“We seriously need to create our own Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jack Ma, and we need to multiply our Philip Emeagwali, Dangote, Florence Seriki, Bankole Cardoso, Jason Njoku, amongs others. Only entrepreneurs can create the millions of jobs we need to power our economy out of poverty,” he said.
According to the Executive Producer of the project, Mr. Mide Kunle-Akinlaja, the objective of the Next Titan Nigeria is to present entrepreneurship as a viable career option to young graduates.
He said, “The project is about demystifying entrepreneurship and presenting it as what young unemployed graduates should start leveraging on to build lasting wealth for themselves and for the nation.”