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Why government, individuals must invest in youths, women

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It has been said that Africa’s economic prospects would be among the world’s best by 2021, and Nigeria with a 65-per cent young population has a lot to contribute to make this a reality.
 
Nigeria does not need the world to help improve its economic challenges considering its young population advantage. Perhaps, as the Federal Government is encouraging diversification, it should also invest more in youths and women through entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are the key drivers of any sustainable economy. The founder Felix King Foundation, Dr. Felix King, told The Guardian that Nigeria’s most dangerous challenge was the inability of the majority to be economically relevant amidst talent and skills.
 
Recall that the foundation recently launched an initiative in a bid to produce new set of entrepreneurs in Africa. Tagged ‘The Startups Africa’ it will groom and reward young and vibrant African youths with great entrepreneurial ideas with $10,000 startup grant.

 
According to King, “I strongly believe in the ability of young Africans to birth the innovative business ideas that can change the world for the better.”“We are willing to provide the help and support needed to actualize this. I have always believed that if you are a billionaire and all you think about is about your immediate family; how your children would attend the best schools, ride the best cars, live in the best of luxuries without a thought on how to lift others, then you are a poor person in your soul.
 
“We are not in this project because we have a surplus. On the contrary, we are driven by our conviction and belief in the saying that “we can only rise by lifting others. Africa can only be great when we lend the hand to lift one another.”
 
The launch of ‘The Startups Africa’ was in partnership with Trinity International University of Ambassadors, Georgia, has added fillip to the already existing programmes launched to alleviate poverty, empower trade and provide employment.   
 
Interested participants are to go to the foundation’s website and submit a business pitch with not more than 500 words. King said the importance of evolving a homegrown solution to Nigeria’s entrepreneurial challenges could not be over emphasised. He said, “Only Africans can help develop Africa and we need to start by empowering our women in the rural communities and our teaming talented youthful population with entrepreneurial dreams.”
 
King stated that entrepreneurs were the pillars that support the long-term goals of individuals, families and nations. “The very human motivators of fear and greed are inevitably intertwined into the decision to invest, but the return on investment can be much more than fiscal. It’s not so much a question of why we “need” to invest in startups, as it is why we should want to,” he said.Startups are hyper-innovators driven by ambition and insight to charge into the unknown. The 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI), had clearly stated that entrepreneurs improve economies and people’s lives by creating jobs, developing new solutions to problems and creating technology that improves efficiency. The entry for ‘The Startups Africa’ opens on November 15, 2019 and closes on January 31, 2020 with the grand finale holding in March/April 2020.


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