KADSTEP is empowering Kaduna youths to create jobs

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 The Kaduna Start-up and Entrepreneurship Programme (KADSTEP) was established by the Kaduna State Government to equip young, aspiring entrepreneurs with requisite business skills. Through ten weeks of training, the participants are given the know-how to prepare business plans that are sound enough to attract funding. KADSTEP is a practical intervention to ensure that Kaduna youths are able to access the N1bn intervention funds jointly held by the Kaduna State government and the Bank of Industry (BOI). Such successful entrepreneurs could then create jobs and stimulate economic activity in the state.

Hafiz Bayero, Special Assistant on Job Creation, said that attaining the objective of KADSTEP required a tripartite arrangement between the Kaduna State government, the Bank of Industry and the Kaduna Business School. Through this partnership, Kaduna State pays for the training that is delivered by the Kaduna Business School, while BOI will provide loans to the trainees that are able to submit bankable business plans. The objective is that through these new businesses, job opportunities will be created in the 23 local government areas of the state.

KADSTEP graduates have submitted 133 business proposals to the BOI which has disbursed more than N300m to successful applicants. Some of those who have accessed their loans have set up their businesses.

Nasiru Mohammed, from the first set of KADSTEP entrepreneurs is one of the first people to receive the Bank of Industry loan. He commended the scheme and its sponsors. “Before whenever Government says something, people are always cynical, it is Government nothing will happen. Like me I don’t know anybody, I applied without knowing anybody, I was called, and I did the training”

Today, Nasiru runs a vegetable oil processing plant, in Kaduna.

Anthony Baror also a beneficiary of KADSTEP, owns a poultry processing farm in Kaduna. He said the business has been profitable especially with the ban on importation of some food items in the country. “40% of the poultry eaten in the whole country is imported and with the recent ban by the Federal Government to encourage local production, we have been able to raise our production level”

Chuka Henry Okonkwo was on the first set of KADSTEP trainees. He said that “KADSTEP was very helpful to me especially because I learnt how to go about business, market, how to present myself to customers, how to develop a sound product and how to do my financials.” He is now running a groundnut oil processing plant.

KADSTEP has trained 779 entrepreneurs using the facilities of the Kaduna Business School.

On 12th October 2016, 500 aspiring entrepreneurs were enrolled in the third set of KADSTEP trainees.

The goal of the Kaduna State Government is to train 5000 entrepreneurs and provide loans for them to set up businesses that can create jobs and reduce youth unemployment in the state.

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