Foundation engages youths on skills at development forum
As part of efforts to create wealth through the promotion of small and medium businesses, FATE Foundation is organising a policy dialogue series on entrepreneurship skills for young Nigerians.
The group said the programme, the third edition in the series, became necessary following the significant gap in research work within the country’s entrepreneurship system and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) space.
It stated that effective policy for Nigerian MSMEs could only be achieved through a reliable and updated data to guide the policy making process, as well as their implementation and monitoring.
The forum with the theme: “Scaling Entrepreneurship: How State-led Effort Can Unlock Youth Potential,” holds on Thursday June 22, 2017 in Lagos and would be attended by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, among other eminent Nigerians.
El-Rufai would speak on his state youth entrepreneurship policy and initiatives, with particular focus on the KADSTEP programme, which provides knowledge, business support, mentoring and access to finance for aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs in the state.
The executive director of the foundation, Adenike Adeyemi, stressed the need to equip young Nigerians on entrepreneurship skills, noting that they have enormous potential to start and grow successful enterprises if given the right support that is uniquely focused on their own geographical dynamics, environmental challenges and context.
Her words: “It is very clear that the scale and impact desired to create an enabling environment for MSMEs will achieve a lot of the desired results if proper focus is given to entrepreneurship support at the state or sub-national levels particularly on young Nigerians”.
“Our focus this year is to look at what is happening at the state level, in particular with youth entrepreneurship which is hinged on jobs creation. A number of states are doing a lot of programmes to enhance, support and educate their youths on entrepreneurship skills but it has to be done in a sustainable way.”
She said it was encouraging that the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) recently disbursed funds to empower young entrepreneurs, adding that the foundation gave N5 million each to eight entrepreneurs to startup their own businesses.
The director of FATE Foundation, Habibat Balogun, who was impressed with the innovations and creative ideas young Nigerians churn out on daily basis, said such ideas had helped scores of entrepreneurs in spite the economic challenges in the country.
Balogun advised youths to bring their creativity to bear in their workplaces to justify their continued stay on the job. “This is the time you can learn new skills to bridge the gap, make yourself entrepreneur-able. You have to learn anew to keep yourself competitive and employable,” she added.
FATE foundation policy dialogue series on entrepreneurship is an annual programme that brings together key private and public sector stakeholders to discuss annual research findings and deliberate on improvement areas to improve small businesses in the country.