IN an elaborate scheme to check growing youth unemployment, the Anambra State government is set to offer about 300 youths a chance at self employment as it flags off its Youth Entrepreneurship Start-up (YES) programme.
At a press conference in Awka Friday, the Commissioner for Youth Empowerment and Creative Economy, Mr Afam Mbanefo, said that the YES programme is a collaboration with the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Business School, Awka, in pursuance of the government’s Inventor, Investor Tripple ‘I,’ a project of the Ministry.
According to him, the programme was designed to equip youths in the state with employability skills in a bid also to make them employers of labour.
The commissioner explained further that the youths will be taught how to identify viable businesses, make good plan, nurturing and executing the business, write grant winning proposals and gain exposure to donor agencies and business management by scholars and entrepreneurs.
He said that the participants, who would be selected through electronic process, would be trained by experts in the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Business School, mentored at the end of the programme and given take off grants.
The Commissioner said those who were finally selected and had workable business proposals would be given start-up grants up to N5 million.
Mbanefo said: “This programme is made to produce 300 youth entrepreneurs annually, who would also become employers of labour.
“These youths must be creative and innovative with good business potentials and prospects.
“At the end of the programme, up to 100 participants with the best business plans, would be selected and funded up to the sum of N5 million.”
He said that the grant would be disbursed in tranches upon the satisfactory execution of the agreed business implementation plan.
While urging youths to apply by logging on www.anambrayouths.ng site, Mbanefo said the successful ones would also be recognised as friends of NAU.
The Director of the Business School, Professor A. U. Nonyelu, described the high level of youth unemployment in Nigeria as a huge challenge.
Nonyelu said that arming youths with employability skills to create employment was a priority for the school.
He said that a lot of businesses with high potential closed because of lack of in-depth plan, adding that the school would provide the young entrepreneurs with mentorship.
He lauded the state government and the ministry for the partnership, saying that the programme would be rewarding to Anambra youths and the state economy.