The management of Grooming Centre, a microfinance institution, has disbursed N18 million research grants to 60 undergraduates and 60 postgraduate students from across 47 public and private universities and polytechnics in the country.
The money was given at an award ceremony held at the centre’s headquarters in Lagos.
At the event, postgraduate students received N200, 000 each, while their undergraduate counterparts received N100, 000 each.
Head of Project, Grooming Centre Nigeria, Mr. Egulefu Chikezie, said the yearly non-refundable grant is one of the corporate social responsibility initiative of the bank on education to encourage evidence-based research activities and knowledge by tertiary school students in critical economic areas, such as microfinance, rural development, inclusive finance, social enterprise, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), technological development and other areas, to lift people out of poverty.
According to him, many university students in the country will want to carry out research works on issues that are impactful to the economy, but have no money, the firm is supporting them with research grants to fulfill their dream.
Chikezie said the target this year was 150 students, but only 120 out of about 350 applicants were successful.
The head of project noted that the winning research projects with the grants being managed by the Centre for Research in Enterprise and Action in Management (CREM) are focused on issues relevant to the Nigerian context, practical, innovative and capable of promoting any of the critical economic areas of interest in the country.
He said all the applications were evaluated by independent panel of jurists, making the entire selection process open, fair and transparent.
Chikezie expressed hope that the beneficiaries would create wealth with their projects and impact society.
Chief Executive Officer and founder, Grooming Centre, Dr Godwin Nwabunka, said Nigeria is a large market with many business opportunities, but only those with entrepreneurial and creative spirit could provide the products and services capable of satisfying the people’s needs to maximise profit and better the society.
He said the centre is interested in helping youths who are innovative and thinkers create wealth and attain financial freedom.
He said many youths are in need of a small push to come out of poverty and that is why the centre is ready to support such individuals through research grants.
Keynote speaker, Prof Bongo Adi of Lagos Business School, Lekki, said it is only through meaningful research that Nigeria and its people can truly progress and become a force to reckon with globally.
Some of the beneficiaries said the grants would help them deliver on their projects and attain greater heights.