As the Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey Entrepreneurship Support Scheme (RHABYESS) entered its sixth edition, four lucky young Akwa Ibom entrepreneurs have smiled home with business support funds totalling N1 million.
Among the beneficiaries were: Udeme Okon Essien, a native of Uruan Local Government, whose boutique at Oron Road, Uyo, was gutted by fire some time ago. He got a cheque of N500,000 to revive his business.
Other beneficiaries included a make-up artist, Janet Godwin Asuquo, a native of Uyo Local Government Area, who received a cheque of N250,000; Akaninyene Marcus, a native of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, owner of a laundry shop, who smiled home with N150,000, while Emmanuel Solomon James, an online business marketer, got N100,000 from the scheme.
Presenting the cheques to the winners recently, the speaker who was represented at the event by the clerk of the House, Mrs. Mandu Umoren, explained that the initiative complemented Governor Udom Emmanuel’s enterprise development drive.
According to him, the “the scheme is my own way of interpreting the Governor’s Dakkada philosophy to Akwa Ibom youths.”
He congratulated the beneficiaries for scaling through the selection process and also commended them for their spirit of enterprise while urging them to deploy the funds judiciously in boosting their businesses.
Rt. Hon. Bassey further reminded the beneficiaries of the need to apply business ethics and be prudent in the management of resources in order to keep their businesses afloat.
Also speaking, the senior special assistant to the governor on multilateral and donor agencies, Deacon NdianaAbasi Nana-Udom, shared his experience on business growth and sustainability with the beneficiaries and tasked them on the need to exhibit seriousness, good business acumen, and good customer relationship and cautioned against laziness.
Nana-Udom lauded the speaker for his passion in discovering, mentoring and supporting young entrepreneurs in the state, and described the initiative as a step in the right direction.
Speaking earlier, the manager of RHABYESS, Mr. Darlington Udobong, who set the tone for the event, described the July edition of the programme as unique in the sense that in addition to the three beneficiaries, a special entry in the person of Udeme Essien whose boutique at Oron Road was gutted by fire was added to the list under the speaker’s magnanimity.
Mr. Udobong had explained that the idea behind ‘RHABYESS’ was enshrined in the governor’s Dakkada philosophy, saying “the scheme is aimed at discovering, mentoring and supporting young entrepreneurs to financial greatness. We started this year in January. This is the sixth edition.”
According to him, “Participants are selected through an online contest at the end of which three winners would emerge for the cash prize ranging from N250,000, being the star price, followed by N150,000 and N100,000 for second and third positions respectively.”
High point of the ceremony was the presentation of cheques to the winners, which was jointly done by the speaker’s representative andcClerk of the House of Assembly, Mrs Umoren, and the SSA to the governor, Deacon Nana-Udom.
Also in attendance at the event were the chief of staff to the speaker, Charles Iwatt; deputy clerk of the House of Assembly, Barr. Anietie Udoka, among others.