Tears of joy; excited hugs; dancing; laughter and unending celebrations.

This was how the curtains came down for the IB PLC KickStart Initiative Season 2. Mere words couldn’t describe the elation the lucky finalist felt and the electrified mood of sheer pleasure invited guest and family had when the results were announced. “You could cut the atmosphere with a knife”, was how one very excited guest said.

International Breweries PLC Foundation truly raised the bar and keeping to their promise of fulfilling dreams by supporting young and brilliant minds on how to generate employment and create wealth for themselves through itsKickStart programme, on the 20th of April, at the Zenebabs Half Moon Resort Event Centre, Ilesha – Osun State, rewarded 24 deserving applicants with various amounts in grants that had passed through a very rigorous elimination and screening process that lasted 10 months.  

Somebody please wake me up! This must be a dream” these were the words of Mrs Adewusi, the mother of JANET ADEWUSI whose daughter was one of those to win a grant on the kickstart program. According to her, Janet had always been enterprising and from a very young age always wanted to do her own thing. “Seeing her standing there with all those winners with a cheque of 1 Million Naira in her hand, I can’t help but shed tears of joy for her, I’m so proud of her”. 

“The ultimate goal of the programme is to help build a young prosperous society by helping to create a culture of entrepreneurship among the youths, thereby reducing youth unemployment in the South West. TheKickStart programme is one major initiative that would turn around the lives of youths in the area and improve the economic prosperity of the South West”, these were the words of the COO, MICHIEL OERLEMANS.

Truly these are what dreams are made of, I don’t know what else to say, Thank you IB PLC....Thank you KIckstart”, were the spoken words of the grand prize winner of 1.8 Million Naira, ODUMOSU OLORUNTOBA. A fresh undergraduate who will be attending his service year but whose dreams were too good to let go of. “I want to encourage everyone to hold on to their dreams especially the youths. Stay focused and never back down even when all seems hopeless”.

It’s going to get bigger; it’s going to get better. We don’t just want to provide these grants and support to individuals alone, but we want it to have a ripple effect in order to touch more lives and make a difference in society. We want to see start-ups that are able to employ 2 to 3 other people if not more and can be sustained to grow and expand. That is our major focus for now”. The CBD, OTUNBA MICHAEL DARAMOLA said in his speech addressing the guests at the awards. 

The awards ceremony was a showcase of glam and culture, as the host IB PLC turned the rich town of Ilesha to a melting hub of class and distinction. The ceremony had in attendance representatives of the Government of Osun State. Representing the Governor was the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Titi Laoye Tomori who in her speech applauded IB PLC for such a worthy initiative and poured commendations for sustaining it and even making it better than the first season. She went on to say “I look forward to seeing much more from this initiative and hope more especially, that the idea is sustained and nurtured for the benefit of communities it has identified to support”. Also in attendance was theSecetery to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti and Head of Service, Mr Olayinka Owoeye. Royalty were not left out, as the event had also present the SAWE of Ijesha, Chief Akinwande Akinola who represented the Owa Obokun Adimula of Ijesha Land and Dr. Bayo Fajemisin. Other important dignitaries in attendance were, the Chairman Tastee Organization who was also the Special Guest of Honour Mr. Adekunle Adebayo; Mr. Femi Phillips of the Lions Club, Mokola – Ibadan; Couicil Manager of Ilesha North-East Local Government; staffs of Standard organization of Nigeria and AB in BEV West Africa.

The evening activities were not just about the awards and grants. There were colourful displays of traditional dances and musical performances to the keep guest well entertained. The Master and Mistress of ceremony made sure that there was not a second of delay leading to the grand finale. And when the time came the whole venue erupted in jubilation as the names were announced. Truly it was a day to remember.

In her vote of thanks, the Corporate Affairs Manager, Mrs FOLASHADE OMOLE recognized everyone in attendance and offered thanks to the support the initiative had gotten so far. Representatives of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had earlier presented a special award during the ceremony to IB PLC, to this end Mrs Omole made a special plea to NANS to spread the word that kickstart was for them the youths of the South – West Region. She also spoke on the need of looking for ways to evolve the initiative as needed, so as to make it better and much more encompassing. The lucky winners were admonished on the importance of sustainability and hard work, while those that didn’t win grants were encouraged to dig deeper and make good of what they had learnt during the course of the training and selection process. Special recognition was also shown to the Judges and Trainers who she praised for the immeasurable contributions to the success of the program especially during the screening, selection and proposal defence stage. The judges were in the persons of:

     Dr. Issac Abereijo
     Engr. (Mrs) Olu Maduka
     Prince Tunde Ponle
     Mr. Makunjuola Ajewunmi
     Mrs. Harriet Amale
Others were:
     Prince Filade of Filade Marbles
     Mr. Ranti Adewoye of the NDE
     Mr Oyedemi Olusegun of the Ministry of Commerce
     Mrs. Foluke Onibonoje of Potter & Clay

Kickstart is a corporate social investment (CSI) initiative run by its subsidiary IB PLC Foundation. It is aimed at instilling a culture of entrepreneurship among youth in the South Western Nigeria by encouraging them to develop their big ideas into sustainable businesses or expand their existing businesses through the provision of material and financial support which include:
             Business development skill training
             Business mentoring and coaching
             Provision of grant for business start-up and or expansion

As the curtains dropped down on Season 2, it was certain that Season 3 can only be left to the imagination. Below is a list of lucky winners that emerged this Season.

Ogunlowo Oladejo
Fiyinfunjah Dosunmu
Coker Afolabi
Adeleke Ruth Olusola
Funke Adekola
Adeku Funmilola
Odumosu Oloruntoba
Faleye Olanrewaju Samuel
Adewusi Janet
Popoola Agnes Adenike
Oyeneyin Temidayo Emmanuel
Adeyemi Latifat Adenike
Oyedeji Busoye Oyebami
Fadugba Bamidele Julius
Babatunde Ojobaro
Omolegoh Hansen Ayoola
Olabode Iyabo
Damilare Akinwunmi
Awe Akintunde Oluwatimilehin
Ajifowobaje Kayode
Abdulraheem Aishat
Murtala Joseph
Agbeniyi Adetola
Akanni Olajumoke Bolanle

More photos below...

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