The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has launched sensitisation and capacity building programme for 100 young entrepreneurs in Ebonyi, under its scheme, “Young Business Owners in Nigeria (Y-BON).”
The agency’s Director-General, Dr Dikko Radda said at the ceremony in Abakaliki on Wednesday that the programme was designed to provide a platform where existing entrepreneurs either as stand-alone entities or cooperative societies are selected for capacity enhancement.
Radda, represented by the agency’s South-East Coordinator, Mr Canon Anyikwa, described Y-BON as one of the agency’s wide impact programme for young business owners since 2017.
He pointed out that the main objective of Y-BON was to encourage the diversification of the economy.
“Essentially, the target beneficiaries are 3, 000 existing enterprises owned by young people between the ages of 20-45years.
“The focus on this target group is because of the need to create new opportunities for employment and enterprise growth, which are usually not easily realisable in start-ups.
“Some other objectives are: to create confidence through exposure to current business processes and procedures, enabling participants to plan systematically and thus, increase their chances of success.
“To sharpen the skills and expose participants to latest technology and tools and enhance the development of MSMEs in Nigeria among others,” the D-G explained.
Prof. Ogbonnaya Chukwu, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Ebonyi, urged the young persons to embrace entrepreneurship rather than searching for white-collar jobs.
Chukwu stressed the need to develop oneself in business, adding that the benefit of entrepreneurship to human capital development could not be over-emphasised.
Mr Chigozie Asochukwu, SMEDAN’s Coordinator in Ebonyi, said the participants in the programme were selected from the 13 local government areas of the state.
Asochukwu urged the young entrepreneurs to be focused and make good use of what they are going to learn.
Mr Aja Sunday, a participant, promised that the beneficiaries would utilise the knowledge to establish themselves.