Speaking at the event, the Executive Director, Human Resources, Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, Mr. Femi Mokikan, said that the country would benefit from young, energetic Nigerians who are capable of transformational leadership by virtue of their education and exposure.
He listed some of the criteria for the scholarship selection to include: a valid admission letter from Harvard Business School, residency in Nigeria, relevant post-graduation self-application proposal to contribute to National development and the critical needs criterion – financial need to fund the scholarship.
He said the recipients of the scholarship are not bonded to work for Seven-Up Bottling Company on graduation as the sole aim of the company is to build a pool of future leaders who can cause positive disruptions for Nigeria’s economic growth. Misan Rewane, the first recipient of the 7up Harvard Business School scholarship, graduated this year. In line with the objective of the scheme, she is already providing leadership by establishing the West Africa Vocational Education (WAVE) to train approximately 25,000 young Nigerians and other West Africans annually to equip them with the necessary skills for jobs in the hotel and hospitality industry.
Highlighting other initiatives of Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, Head of Marketing, Mr. Norden Thurston said the organisation is always looking for ways to engage and empower its consumers.
Mr. Thurston said the 21 year old Pepsi Football Academy, which has produced the likes of John Mikel Obi, Osaze Odemwingie, Elderson Echejile (to name just a few) stands out among these initiatives along with the sponsorship of Nigerian Idol (a music talent Show that enables Nigerians to Voice their Dream) and Felabration (a music festival to celebrate the life and music of Fela Kuti, the Afrobeat icon). He went on to say that the company supports many community, school and University initiatives across the country.
Miss Kuyoro, from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, who will soon be jetting out to Harvard Business School in the United States to start her programme, thanked Seven-Up for helping her realise her dream of acquiring a world class education. She said her focus after graduation will be to use her skills gained at Harvard to help small Nigerian businesses grow through training and to further make an impact through the NGO she started, which aims to eradicate illiteracy, poverty and disease among young Nigerians.