A non-governmental organisation, Youth Entrepreneurship and Leadership Initiative (YELI) has said it seeks to leapfrog startup businesses and increase contribution of small and medium scale enterprises to the nation’s economy.
Reportedly, over 80 per cent of startup businesses close in Nigeria before reaching five years, due to prevailing challenges but experts, who gathered at the maiden edition of YELI competition insisted that the situation could be address through capacity development and necessary support.
Founder of YELI, Dr. Dorothy Jeff-Nnamani stated that building the capacity of young startup founders would enable them translate their business ideas from just ideas with zero to low funding to viable businesses.
She stressed that the YELI programme is directly aimed at changing the narrative for young startup businesses by helping them to transcend their limits and offer them an opportunity of a lifetime.
Speaking at the programme in Enugu, where over 1,000 startup businesses registered to be a part of a remarkable entrepreneurial quantum leap, she noted that there was need to pave the way for start up to improve the nation’s economic outlook.
With growing unemployment, poverty and weak economic situation, Jeff-Nnamani said, “With every opportunity, created or taken, there comes exposure to it and with the projects chosen, what matters most is how much can be made and how they can evolve individually as successful entrepreneurs.
“The end goal is to help young adults get peer insights and advice anytime through business networking, YELI support forums and member-led sessions. Connecting with their peers to share expertise, learning from each other to solve business challenges and also exploring and furthering their professional development.”
She noted that the initiative already produced young industrious alumnus to pave the way for newer budding entrepreneurs.
The programme which focused more on indigenes of Enugu state already received the support of the state government and other critical stakeholders like the former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.
The maiden edition saw emergence of Sunday Chibuike ONAH, Chinazom Juliana Ugwujide and Chukwuka Paschal Ogbabido as Winner, first Runner-Up and Second Runner-Up and 14 other finalists with prizes worth over N10,000,000 from a pool of over 10, 000 applications.
Some of the winners disclosed that they have already purchase working materials for their respective businesses with the support provided by the programme, adding that the coaching and mentoring sessions were already being applied to their businesses.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on SMEs Development and Director General, Enugu SMEs Centre, Arinze Chilo-Offiah said the SME Centre in the Enugu would offer leeway to the finalists while considering many more opportunities and what the future brings for the patch the start up founders and their businesses.