Group empowers 45 participants on social entrepreneurship
In its bid to tackle unemployment and social issues in Nigeria, the youth wing of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), has recently empowered 45 young people from three states on social entrepreneurship.
The four-day empowerment programme, which held in Lagos, was geared towards raising social entrepreneurs, who would not only be employers of labour but also give back to the society.
The 45 participants, who came from three states of the federation, Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo, were encouraged to go into volunteering to raise little funds for these social projects and enterprises rather than wallowing.
The Lagos YMCA Youth coordinator, Adeniyi Akindayo, explained that the training was in furtherance of the British Council’s Active Citizen Programme, which commenced two years ago, and seeks to locally raise young people to impact globally.
“We are moving further from the Council’s programme into raising young social entrepreneurs who would learn to do business while solving their community’s problem,” he said.
According to him, the adoption of a business perspective to solving community problems would bring about sustainability, and “we won’t have to wait for aids and donation all the time.”
Akindayo, who identified lack of funds and commitment among the youth as major challenges in the discipline, maintained that as long as the business exists, source of fund for community projects would remain, which is the difference between social entrepreneurship and conventional business.
Some of the participants shared their views on the new orientation of seeing carrier paths in social enterprises, as they would not only be employed but as well engage others.
Commenting on the programme’s theme, “Social Entrepreneurship,” one of the facilitators, and Founder, Young Mothers Empowerment Network (YouMEN), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Taiwo Ayenuro, remarked that it was important because it keys into the eight sustainable develop goals, which support the creation of decent jobs especially for the youth. “And with the rate of unemployment in Nigeria, I think is apt and important.”
She advanced that the participants are being equipped on how to help themselves in business no matter how little, and also help others, as this would fill the gap since government alone can’t do everything.
Ayenuro, who expressed optimism on the commitment level of the participants, urged them not to shy away from volunteering for open doors.
Ogunsunya Johnson, a social entrepreneur also appealed to the society to encourage jobless youths into the venture, as he has encouraged and empowered many other young people in his over 15 years of existence in the field.