The third phase of the Grooming Centre University Grant Scheme was concluded within Q4 2021, with a total of 68 candidates out of 155 applicants emerging as winners. These 68 winners, composed of 34 Undergraduate students and 34 Postgraduate students, received their awards at the 2021 Grooming Centre University Grant Scheme Award ceremony on Thursday, December 9, 2021. Undergraduates received One Hundred Thousand Naira each, while postgraduates received grants of Two Hundred Thousand Naira each. Due to strict COVID-19 protocols, only 29 winners were present during the award ceremony.
The Grooming Talent Hunt, which was created to empower the youths and discover exceptional talents, kicked off its 3rd edition in July with auditions and held the grand finale on the 13th November, 2021. Out of over 250 registered participants, the final 10 participants performed at the grand finale where the Chrysolite dance crew from Ibadan, Nigeria emerged winners of the grand prize of One million Naira. Additionally, a violinist, CJAY and a singer, Franca won the sum of Six Hundred Thousand Naira and Four Hundred Thousand Naira respectively as runners-up.
Following the virtual due diligence and conclusion of funding negotiations with Global Partnerships, a Seattle-based impact-first investment fund manager dedicated to expanding opportunity for people living in poverty for a loan facility, the Global Partnerships team based in Nairobi, Kenya paid a visit to the Centre’s Head Office and branches on Thursday, December 3, 2021. The visit involved high level discussions with key members of the Management team to better understand the Centre’s operating environment and structure.
The Centre held a 3-day offsite strategic retreat for Senior Management and Programme Managers from November 24th – 27th, 2021, to finalize the 2022 Business Plan. In addition, the team deliberated on strategies to develop the Centre’s blueprint for sustainable growth over the next three years, improve productivity, reinforce team building, and redefine organizational priorities. Key discussions centered on delivering the Centre’s mission within the new normal posed by the accelerating digital transformation as well as outlining future plans and key action points to be implemented. The retreat provided a platform to engage, inspire and brainstorm execution strategies in a relaxed environment.
With the conclusion of the digital transformation strategy advisory process with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Grooming Centre’s Digital Transformation Steering Committee was inaugurated to drive the achievement of milestones in the implementation plan and provide guidance and support to the Executive Management Team. Inaugurated in October 2021, the Committee is tasked with reviewing, monitoring and ensuring the implementation of the digital transformation plans as well as analyzing short to mid-term technology trends. The eleven-member committee, inclusive of Programme Managers and Zonal heads, is set to meet quarterly and will be chaired by the Chief Executive Officer.
In response to consistent feedback from clients, rampant inflation and reduced purchasing power as well as recommendations from the Programme Implementation Review Committee (PIRC), the Asset Loan Product Ceiling was reviewed from N200,000 to N300,000 on the 4th October, 2021. Also, preparations toward the launch of the Grooming Daily Loan Product (GDLP) in January 2022 are ongoing. The 100 Credit Officers required for the pilot phase have been recruited, classroom-trained and currently undergoing Field Operations training prior to deployment next year.