The Hardball Foundation, has given a grant of N1 million (N200,000 each) to five selected Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Abuja to boost their businesses in order to reduce the pressure of unemployment.
The cheques for the grants were issued during the closing ceremony of a two-week extensive training exercise that drew participants of varied small scale businesses in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Foundation, through its Decent Work Initiative (DWI), is building the capacity of the small businesses and supporting them to sustain their businesses with an after care mechanism that will assess the performance of the beneficiaries and to deepen the engagements.
Speaking during the event, the Executive Chairman of the Bwari Area Council, Dr. John Shekwogaza, tasked the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunities in order to add value to their businesses.
Represented by the Deputy Speaker of the Area Council, Abdulmumini Kawu, the chairman also urged the beneficiaries and all the participants to build businesses on digital innovation in order to move their communities forward.
The Director and Founder of Hardball, Oluwatobi Adesina, told reporters in an interview that the programme was designed to ensure that everything the participants have leant, is put into practice.
“They have been taught on how to ensure that the money given to them is spent in the right way so that their businesses can grow,” he said.
The CEO of the Foundation, Eva Dan-Yusuf, in her remark, said the programme was necessitated by the need to address the challenges of funding for small businesses and the requisite knowledge that they lack to sustain and expand their businesses.
On how to sustain the initiative, the CEO said, “we will visit these businesses every six months to ensure that they are managing the money properly. The idea is that at the end of the six months, they should be able to stand and weather the economic storm.”
Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Obiabo, who represented the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), noted that the agency, which is one of the partners of the initiative, will always provide facilities that will enhance the capacity of the small businesses and urged them to register with the agency in other to enjoy the benefits that will acrue.
One of the beneficiaries, Isa Danjuma Ali, who is into phone repairs, expressed his appreciation to the Foundation and vowed to make a productive use of the grant that he received.
The Hardball Foundation is a non-profit organization building sustainable livelihood to reduce economic inequalities through decent work.
It collaborates with the United Nations to promote the Sustainable Development Goal 8, which promotes Sustainable, inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work.