Encouraging entrepreneurship among youths

A cross section of Nigerian youths at a youth seminar.

Due to bad economic trends, salvaging the economy of any nation is of paramount importance, hence, the need for encouragement of entrepreneurship and its education.

Entrepreneurship education aims at preparing people, especially youths, to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers and who contribute to economic development and sustainable communities.

Entrepreneurship is not something new or strange in the world of business, especially in a country like Nigeria. One could either be an entrepreneur on a small scale, medium scale or a large scale, which mostly involves corporate bodies. With the level of unemployment in the nation today, entrepreneurship seems to be taking its toll.

There are several programmes and initiatives brought up by the government to educate the people and promote entrepreneurship. For instance, Nigerian Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (NYEDP), Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWIN!), Risxcel Youth Entrepreneurship Award Scheme (Nigeria), are some of such programmes that encourage and promote youth entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

FATE Foundation and Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability, and Professionalism (LEAP) Africa are big organizations that promote entrepreneurship. These programmes give established and aspiring entrepreneurs opportunities to gain insights into the world of business.

They hold programmes from time to time help inspire, build, develop and empower persons by providing the skills and tools necessary for effectiveness as the youths and graduates from tertiary intuitions are not equipped with the skills with which to exploit the natural resources that abound in Nigeria.

Analysts have said that the Nigerian youths fractions over half of Nigeria’s population with most of them unemployed with low skills level, little wonder the sky-rocketing crime rates which has become the bane of the society.

Inadequate capital; unhealthy and unstable economic environment; fear of the people to take risk on entrepreneurial activities and government policies are identified among other factors hindering entrepreneurship in the country.

“Entrepreneurship is the best part of business” Frank Nwaoma, a youth stated. “It involves going out to sort for partnership or customers. It helps you interact one on one with your customers and actually know what they actually need at a point in time. Entrepreneurship encourages the direct interaction between buyer and seller. I am into my own business but I don’t attend programmes on entrepreneurship. I hope to do so someday”.

Edo Albert, a youth said that entrepreneurship is an avenue to think of new activities that makes things work. “I am into part-time business and I am planning to attend entrepreneurial programmes because it is an avenue of business enlightenment”.

Similarly, John Patrick, a 25-year-old self-employed, opined thus: “Educational institutions, both secondary and tertiary, even the primary should endeavour to hold entrepreneurial talks at least twice a year and also take them out to attend programmes to enable the students understand what entrepreneurship is all about. It should be entrenched as part of the school’s curriculum.

“Entrepreneurship education should also be taken as a subject or course in schools to broaden their knowledge on it”.

“Having a workshop where the students can practice what they are being taught is also very essential. It could also give them the opportunity to explore their potentials and take their minds off fairytale wishes of the kind of lives they hope to get after school. It would go a long way in cutting down crimes as the mind would get focused in creative thinking”.

“Being an entrepreneur doesn’t just end at raising the capital and establishing a business, its sustenance and growth should also be considered and well deliberated upon; and this is the essence of attending entrepreneurial programmes which also keeps you abreast on how to run a business”.

“In addition, entrepreneurial programmes should be flooded with teeming youths as I have observed that most youths do not show up at these programmes. Rather those you find there are the older generation. Could it be that information about these programmes does not get to the youths?”

Also, Christian Anusiem, a 33-yearold trader remarked thus: “The Nigerian youths should invest their time and energy in building the country rather than destroying it. Build yourself, build your nation and remember they axiom ‘think not what your country can do for you, rather what you can do for your country’”.

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