5 Alumni of The Footwear Academy emerge winners of the NDYEP Startup Grant Competition

The PIND Foundation in partnership with Ford Foundation, organized a project tagged, Niger Delta Youth Employment Pathway (NDYEP) sometime last year.

The vision of the project was to engage unemployed youths in the Niger Delta States, through enterpreneurial skills under the Finished leather, ICT, Agriculture, Construction and other sectors.

The Footwear Academy was selected as an implementing Partner under the Finished leather section to train 100 youths through shoemaking, this led to the birth of The Aba Mastering Footwear Program.

The Aba Mastering Footwear Program was an intensive shoemaking program designed to give participants in-depth knowledge of shoemaking, leadership and communication, Enterpreneurship, conflict management and career skills.

The 100 youths were trained in 2 batches of 4 groups consisting of 25 participants per group.

Interestingly, we had more of female participants than the male.

In a bid to engage the alumni of the NDYEP project, the PIND Foundation in partnership with Ford Foundation organized an NDYEP Business Plan Challenge.

A grant opportunity that would encourage and support innovative small business/start up from the NDYEP alumni.

Amazingly, 5 Alumni of the Footwear Academy emerged winners of the NDYEP grant competition.

They include:

1. Adighibe May Ezinne

2. Ikefuama Livingstone Okechukwu

3. Maximilliano Sopuru Ezeorachi

4. Daniel Ikefuama

5. Nwaonu John


The startup Grant ranges from #50,000 to #2,000,000 and this will be an amazing boost to their businesses.


We are super proud of them all and we wish them success on their shoemaking journey.

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