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Stakeholders advocate entrepreneurship to curb unemployment

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Irked by the rapidly growing population and unemployment in the country, stakeholders have harped on the need to encourage entrepreneurship amongst graduates to create jobs.

Speaking at the Train-The-Trainers capacity building programme, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said the institution is positioned for students to engage in entrepreneurship education and demonstrate entrepreneurship capabilities towards economic development.

He added that the institution is passionate about raising students that would create jobs and add value to the economy.

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Ogundipe, who spoke at an event sponsored by Bank of Industry, noted that UNILAG has approved the Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Business Incubation Programme(EIBIC) across the numerous disciplines to enable all course specialisations to be entrepreneurial focused.

The vice-chancellor disclosed that creation of the Train-The-Trainers programme in entrepreneurship and innovation mentorship certification was for various faculties to be involved in assisting the University to achieve the objective of creating sustainable and impactful entrepreneurship oriented university in Nigeria and Africa.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Industry, Olukayode Pitan said the Bank is fully in support of UNILAG and creating jobs is what the financial institution stands for.

Pitan, who was represented by Seun Tubi, disclosed that the entrepreneurship programme could be replicated in many other locations.

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“One of the objectives is to create opportunities for business to grow. We realize it is better to come closer to students and groom them to become Job creators. A student with years of the mentorship programme is likely to survive in business and we work with UNILAG to make it possible,” he added.

Similarly, Director, Entrepreneur and Skills Development Centre, UNILAG, Dr Sunday Adebisi said the programme would empower students with skills for self-reliance to fight poverty and unemployment in Nigeria through sustainable in-house mentorship abilities of faculty members.

He also explained that it would bridge the knowledge gap between theory and practice about entrepreneurship and business development in Nigeria through integrative collaboration among various discipline.

Adebisi added that the training would set up student competitions on entrepreneurship programme that could hinge on discovering a viable business idea that can end employment in Nigeria.

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The director harped on the need to have on the ground mentor in all faculties to support the students on innovation and project ideas at the early stage to assist as the enablers of bright ideas that can lead to the birth of innovation enterprise across the disciplines.
  
Director, Institute of International Business, John Papajohn Entrepreneurship Centre, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, United States, Dimy Doresca highlighted that entrepreneurship programmes are the drivers of the world.

“We want collaboration with UNILAG to build top entrepreneurship centre for Africa. It is the tool that can empower the youth looking for employment. Government and private sector won’t have enough jobs hence, the reason why the entrepreneur is the way.

“About 60 per cent of the African population is young. Nigeria opportunities abound. We are going to share knowledge and they pass it to students. We share everything they need to enable them to set up their business.”

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