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Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: SMEDAN Offers Amazing Grant of N1.5M to Boost Business Success, May 4, 2024

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SMEDAN

SMEDAN, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, in a proactive move to bolster economic development and uplift female business leaders, recently unveiled a robust financial aid program. This initiative sees the dispersal of substantial grants totaling N1.5 million to five female entrepreneurs operating within Lagos.

Dubbed the Speed Pitch Competition, this inaugural endeavor signals a pivotal stride in fortifying the growth and longevity of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the nation. The grand event, hosted at the esteemed Eko Convention Center on May 1, underscored SMEDAN’s steadfast commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship and extending concrete support to deserving individuals.

Charles Odii, SMEDAN’s Director-General, underscored the initiative’s significance in augmenting the financial acumen of female entrepreneurs, thus furthering their path to success.

Through imparting valuable knowledge on efficient business structuring and marketing tactics, SMEDAN endeavors to furnish these entrepreneurs with the essential resources required to garner funding and flourish within fiercely competitive markets.

Odii conveyed SMEDAN’s unwavering dedication to broadening the scope of this competition beyond Lagos, outlining intentions to replicate it in other states throughout Nigeria. This expansive approach harmonizes with SMEDAN’s overarching objective of championing entrepreneurship and fostering economic advancement on a nationwide scale.

By granting SMEs access to expanded funding avenues and heightened visibility, SMEDAN endeavors to stimulate progression and ingenuity across diverse sectors of the economy.

Additionally, SMEDAN unveiled forthcoming masterclasses tailored explicitly for SMEs, honing in on crucial areas like business organization and persuasive pitching. Enriched with insights from accomplished founders and business leaders, these sessions aim to furnish practical wisdom and guidance, complementing the financial assistance extended by SMEDAN.

By arming SMEs with indispensable skills and support, SMEDAN endeavors to cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship and resilience within Nigeria’s business arena.

During the Speed Pitch Competition, five chosen enterprises seized the opportunity to make their case for the grants, spotlighting the merits of their ventures. The array of industries represented, spanning from fashion to technology services, underscored the depth of entrepreneurial prowess in Nigeria. Kanyinsola Demola-Seriki of Shea Tribe emerged as the recipient of the coveted top prize, securing N1 million to fuel her business aspirations.

Moreover, other meritorious entrepreneurs, such as Ogunkoya Goodness Adeola of Eco-Haven and Ahmod Mistura of Jumish ICT Services, were awarded substantial grants to propel their individual endeavors forward.

SMEDAN’s assistance transcends mere financial aid; it emphasizes furnishing SMEs with practical tools and mentorship. Leveraging its social media platforms, SMEDAN endeavors to keep SMEs abreast of forthcoming events and avenues for advancement.

This steadfast commitment to openness and inclusivity exemplifies SMEDAN’s unwavering pledge to empower entrepreneurs throughout their developmental trajectory.

Beyond financial assistance and educational endeavors, SMEDAN assumes a crucial role in facilitating SMEs’ access to infrastructure and resources. Through the establishment of common facility centers, SMEDAN effectively curtails production expenses while affording SMEs access to cutting-edge tools and equipment, thereby bolstering their competitiveness within the market.

Amidst the evolving landscape of Nigeria’s economy, SMEs persist as pivotal drivers of growth, wielding substantial influence in job generation and economic advancement. SMEDAN’s steadfast dedication to bolstering SMEs underscores their acknowledgment of these businesses’ indispensable role in fostering innovation, creating avenues for growth, and constructing a prosperous future for Nigeria.

Frequently Asked Questions About SMEDAN

  1. Who is eligible to participate in the program?

    Participation is typically open to all small and medium businesses operating in Nigeria.

  2. How can I stay informed about upcoming events?

    Stay updated by following their social media channels or visiting the official website for announcements regarding events and programs.

  3. What is the “GROW Nigerian” strategy?

    The “GROW Nigerian” strategy is a government-led initiative designed to boost local production and promote exports within key sectors of the Nigerian economy.

For the inaugural edition, businesses seeking participation must meet the following criteria: they must be female-owned, registered entities, and have been operational for a minimum of three years.

Shortlisted candidates will undergo an assessment process to identify the top five performers, who will then have the opportunity to present their pitches at the main event in Lagos. The ultimate winner will be awarded a prize of one million naira, allocated for workforce support, procurement of essential tools, and business expansion. Runners-up will receive prizes of 300k and 200k respectively, coupled with complimentary Business Development support, as elaborated in the statement.

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FG to Distribute 50 Laptops Monthly as 2nd Cohort of 3 Million Technical Training (3MTT) Commences Training- Empowerment Initiative

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3 Million Technical Training (3MTT)

The Federal Government has announced its commitment to distributing 50 laptops per month to participants in its 3 Million Technical Training (3MTT) initiative. Dr. Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, revealed this during the launch of learning activities for the second cohort, comprising 270,000 fellows, on Thursday.

As per the Minister’s statement, the laptops will be distributed during the program’s monthly knowledge showcase, where participants share their acquired knowledge and its practical applications. Furthermore, as part of the ‘learning perks’ outlined by the Minister, the program will also provide 5 MTN routers to participants each month.

The Learning Phase Despite the launch of cohort 2 of the program in March, the Minister revealed that the learning phase is just beginning in mid-May. Tijani announced the commencement of this phase, expressing gratitude to all the fellows for their patience as the team ensured everything was set up for the start of their sessions. He emphasized the anticipation for what lies ahead in the 3MTT program as the fellows embark on their learning journey.

“For our upcoming 3rd and 4th cohorts, we encourage you to stay tuned for further updates regarding opportunities to actively participate in our Learning Community.”

Regarding job placements for fellows, the Minister revealed during the announcement of the second cohort’s selection that a considerable number of participants from the initial cohort are being placed in internships across the nation.

Moreover, he indicated that all participants from the initial phase have progressed to a stage where they will engage in hackathons within their respective states. This hands-on experience will allow them to apply their acquired knowledge, collaborate with fellow participants, and develop solutions that demonstrate their expertise.

Key Points to Note on the 3 Million Technical Training (3MTT)

Tijani highlighted that the 3MTT program is a pivotal component of the Renewed Hope agenda, aiming to bolster Nigeria’s technical talent pool to drive its digital economy and position the nation as a prominent exporter of talent. Initiated with 30,000 Nigerians, constituting 1% of the intended 3 million target, the program’s second cohort selection of 270,000 individuals brings the total to 10%.
In pursuit of the program’s objectives, Tijani outlined that various phases will be implemented according to a framework collaboratively developed with key stakeholders, including government agencies, training providers, educational institutions, development agencies, and the private sector.
Nigerians are undergoing training in a range of skills that leverage technology to augment diverse roles without necessitating direct involvement in tech creation. These encompass Digital Marketing, Project Management Software, Navigation of Cloud Platforms, Data Analysis and Visualization, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), CRM Management, Accounting Software, Graphics Design, UX/UI Design, and various others.
In conclusion, the 3MTT program stands as a beacon of opportunity for Nigerians, equipping them with a diverse array of skills vital for navigating the digital landscape of the 21st century. From Digital Marketing to UX/UI Design, participants are empowered to thrive in roles that harness technology without necessitating direct involvement in tech creation.
As the program progresses, it not only addresses the immediate demand for skilled professionals but also cultivates a talent pool poised to drive Nigeria’s digital economy forward. With a collaborative framework involving key stakeholders from government agencies to the private sector, the program is well-positioned to fulfill its mission of building Nigeria’s technical talent backbone and positioning the nation as a net talent exporter.
As participants embark on their learning journey and contribute to hackathons, they not only sharpen their skills but also forge connections and solutions that showcase their expertise. With continued dedication to skill development and adaptation to evolving industry needs, the 3MTT program holds the promise of a brighter, more technologically proficient future for Nigeria and its people.
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FG Unveils Student Loan Application Portal on May 24: Enhance your experience with this privilege.

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FG opens student loan application portal May 24

Nigerian Education Loan Fund Sets May 24, 2024, as Official Date for Student Loan Application Portal Launch.

In a statement released by Nasir Ayantogo, the media lead for NELFund, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, announced the opening of the student loan application portal on May 24, 2024. This milestone signifies President Bola Tinubu’s dedication to promoting accessible and inclusive education for all Nigerian students.

President Tinubu Fulfills Campaign Promise, Signs Student Loan Act into Law

In a significant move, President Bola Tinubu signed the Student Loan Bill into law on June 12, 2023, fulfilling one of his campaign promises to liberalize the funding of education, according to Dele Alake, a member of the then Presidential Strategy Team.

The Act, popularly known as the Students Loan Law, established the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) as a corporate body responsible for processing all loan requests, grants, disbursement, and recovery. The fund aims to provide interest-free loans to eligible Nigerian students to cover tuition, fees, charges, and living expenses during their studies in approved tertiary education institutions and vocational training centers within Nigeria.
The Act addresses several challenges faced by students in accessing higher education by removing barriers such as family income requirements, the need for guarantors, and disqualification based on parents’ loan history. It also extends loan eligibility to students pursuing vocational and technical skills development programs in government-owned institutions.
To ensure sustainable implementation, the Act stipulates that loan recovery efforts will commence two years after the completion of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program. The legislation also provides for debt forgiveness in the event of death or acts of God causing an inability to repay.
The implementation of the Student Loan Act is set to commence in January 2024, as announced by President Tinubu at the 29th National Economic Summit. This move aims to address funding challenges faced by public tertiary institutions and prevent further industrial actions that have disrupted academic activities in the past.
Initially slated for a September launch, the government’s scheme faced multiple delays, culminating in an indefinite postponement in early March. The Presidency attributed the setbacks to President Tinubu’s directive to broaden the program’s scope to encompass vocational skill loans.
Following a briefing from the NELFund team, led by Minister of State for Education, Dr. Yusuf Sununu, on January 22, President Tinubu instructed the Fund to provide interest-free loans to Nigerian students interested in skill development programs.
This decision stemmed from the President’s recognition of the importance of accommodating individuals opting for skill acquisition over traditional university education, emphasizing the equal significance of vocational skills alongside academic qualifications. President Tinubu emphasized the inclusive nature of the program, highlighting the diverse talents and interests of young Nigerians across various fields.

President Tinubu Emphasizes Inclusivity in Skill Development Programs

President Tinubu emphasized the inclusive nature of the program, highlighting the diverse talents and interests of young Nigerians across various fields. He underscored the broad scope of the initiative, stating,
“This is not limited to aspiring doctors, lawyers, and accountants but extends to individuals eager to contribute to nation-building through their skilled craftsmanship”.
In alignment with this vision, President Tinubu directed NELFund to actively pursue avenues for integrating skill development programs, recognizing that not all individuals seek a traditional university education.
The wait is over Students can now break free from financial barriers and pursue their academic dreams through the newly launched NELFund portal. This innovative platform offers a seamless and user-friendly experience, allowing students to submit their loan applications with ease.
The Nigerian government is urging all eligible students to seize this opportunity to invest in their future and contribute to the nation’s growth and development.
To get started, students can simply visit the portal at www.nelf.gov.ng and begin their application process today.
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Revolutionizing Admissions: JAMB Unveils Innovative Pathways for Seamless Acceptance, Empowering Students 2024

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JAMB Unveils Pathways for Seamless Acceptance

JAMB has accused certain Nigerian tertiary institutions of manipulating admission offers on behalf of candidates to create openings for less-qualified but preferred individuals. As a result, the agency has declared that candidates can now access their results through a dedicated phone line.

FCT, Abuja – In a recent development, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has introduced innovative channels for accepting admission into Nigerian tertiary institutions, as detailed in its weekly bulletin sent to Legit.ng on Monday, May 6.

Guidance for JAMB UTME Candidates on Accepting or Rejecting Admissions

As a reminder, JAMB had previously allowed accredited computer-based test (CBT) centers to access candidates’ profiles on the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS).
However, this scenario has shifted with the latest update from the agency led by Professor Ishaq Oloyede. The examination body explained that it opted to introduce new channels following the discovery of numerous abuses linked to the admission acceptance process.
These abuses involved unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of unsuspecting candidates. JAMB expressed its concern, stating, “In light of this policy change, the board has observed with disappointment that certain institutions have been manipulating admission offers on behalf of candidates to create openings for less-qualified but favored individuals.
Additionally, cybercafes and some centers have been involved in these practices to either blackmail or extort money from candidates.”
JAMB emphasized the criminal nature of this practice and has implemented preventive measures. The new procedure for accessing results requires candidates to send “ACCEPT” or “REJECT” via their dedicated phone line to 55019 or 66019.
Additionally, JAMB offers an alternative method to access admission. Candidates can utilize their fingerprint at any accredited CBT center or JAMB office in Lagos, Abuja, or other regions across Nigeria.

What are the requirements for using the fingerprint option to access admission results?

To access admission results using the fingerprint option, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have their fingerprints registered at any accredited CBT center or JAMB office in Lagos, Abuja, or other parts of Nigeria.
  2. The fingerprint registration must be done as part of the biometric verification process during the admission process.
  3. Candidates will need to visit an accredited CBT center or JAMB office with their fingerprints registered to access their admission results using the fingerprint option.
  4. The fingerprint authentication will be used to securely verify the candidate’s identity before allowing access to the admission results.
  5. This fingerprint-based access is an alternative to sending “ACCEPT” or “REJECT” via the dedicated phone line (55019 or 66019) introduced by JAMB to prevent unauthorized access and manipulation of admission offers.

Candidates must have their fingerprints registered during the admission process and visit an accredited CBT center or JAMB office to access their results using fingerprint authentication. This option provides an additional layer of security to protect the integrity of the admission process.

What is the difference between the new channels for admission acceptance and the previous channels?

The new channels for admission acceptance introduced by JAMB involve candidates sending “ACCEPT” or “REJECT” via their dedicated phone line to 55019 or 66019, as well as utilizing fingerprint authentication at accredited CBT centers or JAMB offices. On the other hand, the previous channels allowed accredited CBT centers to access candidates’ profiles on the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) for admission acceptance.

The new channels aim to prevent abuses in the admission process, such as institutions manipulating offers on behalf of candidates and cybercafes exploiting candidates. These changes provide additional security measures and alternative methods for candidates to access their admission results, ensuring a more transparent and secure admission process.

How will the new channels for admission acceptance affect the timeline for admission acceptance?

The new channels for admission acceptance introduced by JAMB, which involve candidates sending “ACCEPT” or “REJECT” via their dedicated phone line to 55019 or 66019, as well as utilizing fingerprint authentication at accredited CBT centers or JAMB offices, are likely to impact the timeline for admission acceptance. These new methods provide more secure and direct ways for candidates to respond to admission offers promptly.

As a result, the streamlined process facilitated by these channels may lead to quicker responses from candidates, potentially shortening the overall timeline for admission acceptance. This efficiency could enhance the admissions process by reducing delays and ensuring a more timely and organized response from applicants regarding their admission status.

In conclusion, JAMB’s introduction of new channels for admission acceptance is a significant step towards enhancing the integrity and efficiency of the admissions process in Nigerian tertiary institutions. By allowing candidates to directly respond to admission offers via dedicated phone lines or fingerprint authentication, JAMB aims to prevent abuses and manipulation that were previously observed.

These new methods provide candidates with secure and convenient options to accept or reject their admission offers, potentially leading to a more streamlined and timely admissions process overall. As candidates adapt to these new channels, it is expected that the timeline for admission acceptance will improve, with quicker responses from applicants regarding their admission status.

This change not only safeguards the admissions process but also empowers candidates to take control of their academic futures. JAMB’s proactive approach in implementing these new channels demonstrates its commitment to ensuring fairness, transparency, and efficiency in the Nigerian tertiary education system.

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