Is YESgrant Another Ponzi Scheme In The Making?

Capital Exchanger

While MMM, a Ponzi Scheme is surging on, YESgrant might be another Ponzi Scheme in the making. Everything appears on the surface as a typical venture funding programme, however, the execution and structure says something else.

YESgrant is an initiative of an organisation called Nigerian Young Professionals Forum, NYPF. The organisation is a startup created by a team of eight young people with impressive profile and work experience.

However, YESgrant is suspiciously a scheme with an intent that is questionable.

First is that the scheme was advertised an launched as a platform that provides funding to young entreprenuers to boost their business and grow. However, the execution of the programme leave a sour taste in the mouth.

To benefit from the YESgrant programme, prospective applicants required mandated to pay a certain amount of money per annum as membership fee. Students must pay NGN10,000, NGN20,000 for graduates and NGN25,000 naira for other categories.

That is the red flag there! How on earth can a scheme advertised as a platform to provide funding to entreprenuers turn around to ask for a ‘substantial’ amount of money from each members. In the analysis of a Nairalander, NYPF might be raking in millions without the knowledge of the general public, see below:

‘Let’s do the maths, assuming 15,000 student registers with them as members and 20,000 graduates and 10,000 others. These numbers will not be hard to come by taking into consideration the high unemployment rate in Nigeria which some experts estimate at 80%. And also taking into consideration that the organisers are also targeting Nigerians in Diaspora

‘For students 15,000*10,000 naira = 150,000,000 naira
For Graduates 20,000*20,000 naira = 400,000,000 naira
Others 10,000*25,000 naira = 250,000,000 naira
Total 800,000,000 naira’

In the first place, an organisation that comes under the mantra to support young people with funding for their startups should have a basket of funding ready. Each applicant should be properly screened, NYPF is not obligated to give funding to anyone that does not meet its criteria. Therefore the idea to collect money from poor and struggling startup owners is a suspect.

The scheme has Heritage Bank as its banker. In the whole programme launching the scheme, there was no point when Heritage Bank claim they are providing funding to the scheme.

NYPF and its backers must come forward to explain what the general public does not know and give explanation why YESgrant is not a scam and or a typical Ponzi Scheme that is out to defraud poor and struggling young Nigerians.

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