No fewer than 300 Anambra youths are to benefit from the first edition of state government’s Youth Entrepreneurship Start-up (YES) programme, Mr. Afam Mbanefo, the Commissioner for Youth Empowerment and Creative Economy, has said.
Mbanefo said this at a news conference to mark the official commencement of the programme on Friday in Awka.
Mbanefo said the YES programme, which is being organised in collaboration with Nnamdi Azikiwe University Business School, Awka, was an arm of the Inventor, Investor Tripple ‘I’ project of the Ministry.
He said that it was designed to equip youths in the state with employability skills and also make them employers of labour.
According to him, the youths will be taught how to identify viable businesses, make good plan, nurturing and executing the business, write grant winning proposals and gain exposure to donor agencies and business management by scholars and entrepreneurs.
He said the participants, who would be selected through electronic process, would be trained by experts in NAU Business School, mentored at the end of the programme and given take off grants.
The Commissioner said those who were finally selected and had workable business proposals would be given start-up grants up to N5 million.
“This programme is made to produce 300 youth entrepreneurs annually, who would also become employers of labour.
“These youths must be creative and innovative with good business potentials and prospects.
“At the end of the programme, up to 100 participants with the best business plans, would be selected and funded up to the sum of N5 million,” Mbanefo said.
He said that the grant would be disbursed in tranches upon the satisfactory execution of the agreed business implementation plan.
Mbanefo said the successful ones would also be recognised as friends of NAU, while urging youths to apply by logging on www.anambrayouths.ng.
The Director of the business school, Prof. A. U. Nonyelu, described the high level of youth unemployment in Nigeria as a huge challenge.
Nonyelu said that arming youths with employability skills to create job was a priority for the school.
He said that a lot of business with high potentials closed because of lack of plan, adding that the school would provide the young entrepreneurs with mentorship.
He lauded the state government and the ministry for the partnership, saying that the programme would be rewarding to Anambra youths and the state economy.