The $100,000 two-year scholarship award which had Misan Rewane and Olujimi Williams as former recipients was instituted by 7Up company three years ago to give young qualified Nigerians the opportunity to acquire business skills and leadership training in the top business school.
“One of our problems in this country is leadership. We want to fill the gap by training young Nigerians in Harvard where they can acquire leadership skills to save our country from future leadership problems,” Femi Mikikan, Executive director of the company said.
Announcing Kuyoro as the third scholarship award recipient in Lagos, Mokikan further said that the country would benefit from the 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 bound 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.
Williams is currently undergoing industrial trainings after his first year at various companies in Nigeria. Highlighting other initiatives of Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, Head of Marketing, Norden Thurston said the organisation is always looking for ways to engage and empower its consumers.
Thurston said the 21 year old Pepsi Football Academy, which has produced the likes of John Mikel Obi, Osaze Odemwingie, Elderson Echejile among others 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.
Kuyoro, from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, who will be leaving to start her studies at Harvard Business School in the United States, 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.