At the historic inauguration of the Nigeria team of the Europe Initiative Investing in Young Businesses in Africa, the Federal Government reaffirmed its dedication to creating an environment conducive to entrepreneurship, innovation, and the expansion of businesses across the country. During the launch, which was held in Lagos, that included a discussion on “Supporting Young Entrepreneurs: Nigeria and Team Europe Working For The Future,” Sunday Dare, Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, expressed gratitude to the European Union for its assistance in a variety of other crucial areas of growth for the country.
Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A), who is the organizer, affirmed that their initiative serves to close the gender gap in the market by educating and empowering African women to become successful business owners, as well as by facilitating greater access to regulated financial services and markets. A new agenda to develop the digital enabling environment in Nigeria at the cost of €15 million is one example of the kind of program that is being implemented in Nigeria. GIZ, The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, which the EU and Germany fund, will carry out the implementation.
Youth advancement is prioritized in the European Union-Nigeria partnership.
The goal of this initiative is to help more women and young individuals improve their technological and enterprising abilities while also aiding policymakers and agencies like the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in their efforts to promote digitalization and boost business support organizations. In his presentation, the minister said that the European Union-Nigeria Collaboration has been impactful and that the EU’s priority on youth is both energizing and effective. He said that with over 33 million young Nigerian entrepreneurs that no longer require empowerment but are desperate for investment, this initiative occurred at a better moment.
According to the “State of Entrepreneurship in Nigeria 2021” report by The Fate Institute, 43 and 67 percent of entrepreneurs in the nation are women and young people with ages ranging from 18 to 35, respectively. There were three main topics covered in the report: the entrepreneurial index in Nigeria; businesses founded and run by women and young people; and the effects of technological advancements on companies. It showed that entrepreneurial advancement in Nigeria is growing but that there are significant barriers to this development due to a lack of access to capital, poor infrastructure, and a lack of safety. More so, there is a lot of untapped potentials that can be seen when the status of entrepreneurship in Nigeria is measured against five pillars of market performance: perception, opportunity, digital adoption, skill acquisition, and enabling environment.
Business friendly environment will be created with the initiative.
More so, the majority of firms in Nigeria are under ten years old, and 49% of them are run by young individuals. After seeing how COVID-19 affected Nigeria’s enterprise, the minister said the government realized they needed to collaborate with the private and public sectors to create an environment conducive to company development and innovation. In Nigeria, SMEs are responsible for producing 48 percent of the country’s GDP, making up 96 percent of companies and providing 84 percent of the country’s job opportunities. No longer the usual.
Mr. Sunday explained that being an entrepreneur is the most often mentioned ideal profession, even more so than being a doctor, engineer, or tailor. Additionally, it is the most prevalent among a variety of subgroups of young people, such as those classified according to gender or consumption level. As a ministry, they have dedicated time, energy, and funds to ensure that they establish an ecosystem conducive to the growth of youth-owned enterprises. This has resulted in the creation of DEEL initiative components such as entrepreneurial training as well as the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF).
Empowered youths will be established to be independent.
Lastly, he added that the N25 billion annual NYIF will support young entrepreneurs. It goes beyond empowerment to invest in youth-led enterprises, new ideas, and skills. The current youth need entrepreneurship more than ever to create jobs, wealth and contribute to the country’s GDP. The Nigeria Youth Investment Fund is a separate fund that gives young business owners loans of between N250,000 and N3,000,000 to invest in their enterprises. Training to enterprise, a program run by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports will also be provide. It makes sure that every young person it trains gets not only skills but also gets a pack that helps them turn their skills into a business that can make money.