The Federal Government on Thursday announced its decision to launch Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria, YouWiN!Connect, which is a repackaged version of the YouWin programme initiated by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The immediate past administration had kick started the programme in 2011 as part of federal government’s job creation initiatives, which provided grants to young Nigerians to start small businesses each year.
The Ministry of Finance, in a statement issued by its Director of Information, Salisu Dambatta, disclosed that a weekly print media enterprise education programme designed to assist entrepreneurs start, plan and grow their businesses would be launched on Sunday.
It stated that the programme would be launched by the Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWiN!Connect), adding that the publication would be syndicated in five national newspapers on Sundays and Wednesdays.
“Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun noted that the weekly editorial would showcase entrepreneurship as a job and wealth creation option, for young people adding that versions for Radio and Television would be launched when arrangements are concluded,” the statement said, noting that the programme has midwifed 3,900 enterprises since inception.
The Federal Government had through the Finance ministry stated in June 2016 that it would consult with beneficiaries and other concerned parties on the restructuring and refocusing of the multi-billion Naira Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria programme, with the objective of injecting new ideas for its sustainability.
Dambatta stated that a formal review of the programme undertaken by the Ministry of Finance found that, whilst successful, at the initial stage of enterprise development, the YouWin programme needed enhancement to ensure sustainability.
He added that the findings suggested that funding should be combined with an increased focus on enterprise education to better prepare entrepreneurs in areas such as accessing bank finance, book keeping, accounting, marketing and tax filing.
“This has influenced the redesign to YouWiN!Connect, which takes YouWiN! to the next level,” the statement said, adding that the Minister described YouWiN!Connect as “a multi-media enterprise education initiative that will provide the tools and skills required to support the emergence of the next generation of successful Nigerian-owned enterprises across the nation,” the statement partly read.
It further explained that the weekly publication would focus on sharing information and advice from entrepreneurs and technical experts to inspire, encourage and support young entrepreneurs to run sustainable businesses.
The Finance minister stressed, in the statement, that practical advice and information will be provided on the technical, legal and financial aspects of running a business in the YouWiN!Connect Academy section.
It added that the overall aim of YouWiN!Connect is to develop the next generation of Nigerian business leaders, fully equipped to compete on the global stage.
YouWiN!Connect is said to have also set up an advisory board which is made up of experts from different areas of business and entrepreneurship, who would answer questions from members of the public weekly.
“Members of the board include the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Aisha Abubakar; the founder and C.E.O of House of Tara International and pioneer of the bridal make-up profession in Nigeria, Mrs. Tara Fela-Durotoye; Former Banker and current MD/CEO of L & Z Integrated Farms, Alhaji M.D. Abubakar.
“Others are Mr. Sunday Egede and Mr. David Chukwuma Ojei, founders of the Prince Ebeano Supermarket chain; the founder and Managing Director of Sankore Investments and Venture Capitalist, Mrs. Titi Odunfa Adeoye. The Managing Director of the new Development Bank of Nigeria is also on the advisory board,” read the statement.