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Dons chart path to youth self-employment, economic recovery

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Nigerian-born professors in the United States, Chris Ehiobuche and Chizoba Madueke, have reiterated the call for youth self-employment as the gateway to self-sustenance and economic recovery out of recession.

The duo, recently in Lagos told The Guardian that a change in orientation from job search to business ownership was over due, especially the need for youths to source for start-up funds instead of waiting for government.

The two crisis management and organisational leadership exponents expressed confidence in Nigerian population and its teeming youths to upturn the fortunes of the country through enterpreneurship.

The National Population Commission estimated that over half of Nigerian populations are youths, between 15 and 34 years of age. Unfortunately, the youth unemployment rate in Nigeria has been rising in geometrical progression. In the second quarter of 2016, the youth unemployment rate hit an alarming level of 24 per cent from 21.50 per cent in the first quarter the same year.

Ehiobuche, Professor of Global business and Management at Larry L. Luing School of Business, Berkeley College USA, said though the statistics are worrisome, but therein also lies the potentials for economic growth.

He said Nigerian youths are well endowed to succeed, if only encouraged to take the bold step into enterpreneurship. His words: “If we keep teaching our youths that things are difficult and impossible, they will stop on impossibilities. But if we tell them that before they were born, somebody went to the moon and someone can go to the mars right now, they are in that generation with all the opportunities to go there.

“Starting up a business is a mind thing. What Dr. Zee (Madueke) and myself are teaching with our new book is that, stop thinking of going to a university to get a degree to be employed. But start thinking that whatever you study in the university, be it history, mathematics, economics and so on, can turn into your contribution to the society and you create employment with it.”

He added that while government should ensure right policies are in place, the road to self-sufficiency must begins with the individual. Co-author and Professor of Research Methods, and Management, Madueke said the idea behind the book is to “facilitate change and offer the young people some ideas and suggestions to help them navigate and mitigate these challenges and seize entrepreneurship opportunities.”

He said the book, titled: Youth Entrepreneurship: From Job Search to Business Ownership and Self-sufficiency (2017), is step by step approach to starting a business and be successful.

According to him: “We believe that this is an idea whose time has come, and may well fall into the fierce urgency of now. Nigeria as a country cannot afford to lose these young generations.

“The paradigm shift to an entrepreneurial mind set, can make a difference, for the youth and for Nigeria. It will behoove our school systems, to adopt this idea toward self-sufficiency,” he said.

Written in basic sixth-level grammar, Youth Entrepreneurship strives to enable every able self-driven youth the opportunity to be able to gather, garner, and grasp the knowledge about how to start and sustain a solid enterprise.”

The book provides a hands-on, transactional outline for future and current business entrepreneurs, managers and leaders. It also showcases a broad and detailed understanding of how entrepreneurships started in Nigeria and a must-read resource for potential entrepreneur.


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