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‘How capacity building can leapfrog start-up businesses’

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
22 October 2021   |   2:56 am
Stakeholders under the Youth Entrepreneurship and Leadership Initiative (YELI) are targeting to leapfrog start-up businesses and increase the contribution of small and medium scale enterprises

Stakeholders under the Youth Entrepreneurship and Leadership Initiative (YELI) are targeting to leapfrog start-up businesses and increase the contribution of small and medium scale enterprises to the nation’s economy.

Reportedly, over 80 per cent of start-up businesses die 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 addressed 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 to translate their business ideas from just ideas with zero funding to viable businesses.

She stressed that the YELI programme seeks to change the narrative for young start-up 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 businesses registered to be a part of the programme, she noted that there was a need to pave the way for start-up firms to improve the nation’s economic outlook.

With growing unemployment, poverty and a 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.”

The maiden edition saw the emergence of Sunday Chibuike Onah, Chinazom Juliana Ugwujide and Chukwuka Paschal Ogbabido as the winner, first runner-up and second runner-up and 14 other finalists with prizes worth over N10 million from a pool of over 10, 000 applications.

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 startup founders and their businesses.

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