……..”Transforming Nigerian Youths Program” Is Aimed At Train 10,000 Delta Youths-Orode Uduaghan
…. Entrepreneurship Development: Mastercard Foundation Partners EDC, PAU, Others For MSMEs
…..Orode Uduaghan Commends Governor Okowa On Approval Of A Token Grant For 127 Participating Entrepreneurs.
By Victor Bieni, Asaba
Ms Orode Uduaghan, The initiator/ Coordinator, Transforming Nigerian Youths Program in Delta State has, said that the program as sponsored by the Mastercard Foundation in partnership with the Enterprise Development Centre Lagos (Pan Atlantic University) and with the support of the Delta State Government, will train over 10,000 Delta youths between the ages of 18 and 35 as part of the state’s effort to encourage innovation and creativity.
Miss Orode Uduaghan made this remark yesterday being on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, while fielding questions from some group of Journalists in Asaba, Delta State capital during the Grant award ceremony where the top performing beneficiaries who participated in the first phase of the training programs were honoured as she reacted to the importance of the entrepreneurship program to Delta Youths. Orode Uduaghan stated that, the essence of the entrepreneurship program, “Transforming Nigerian Youths Program” is aimed at empowering over 10,000 Delta youths.
Mastercard is a global foundation that seeks an avenue where everyone has an opportunity to learn and prosper. Its mission and vision are to support the younger African generation in their education programs and businesses. Also, to help them access loans to grow their careers as young African entrepreneurs and leaders.
In the words of the initiator and coordinator of the “Transforming Nigerian Youths Program: “This entrepreneurship program is brought to you by the MasterCard Foundation-Young Africa Works in partnership with the Enterprise Development Centre Lagos (Pan Atlantic University). The program aims to create a network of entrepreneurial and managerial change-makers, specifically youths and women (age 18 to 35 years) across micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), with a special focus on agriculture and creative sectors that live in Nigeria”.
“The program aims to achieve the following objective(s): transform the mindset of youths in Nigeria to become more entrepreneurial and equip them to be self-employed or employable. Other objectives are to develop management capacity, facilitate market access, and provide support services to existing MSMEs being run by young people in such a way that enables them to scale and create more jobs. To engage relevant stakeholders through advocacy to enhance opportunities for job creation for youth, especially young women, and to re-orient Nigerian youth to see jobs within the MSME space as dignifying. Benefits: The program provides free entrepreneurship training delivered via the Enterprise Development Centre’s online channels—the Learning Management System (LMS) and the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platforms to enable the registered youths to receive lessons at their convenience”.
“The IVR provides a shortcode, which the learner can dial to access the management courses on their smartphones or non-smartphones, all free of charge. Other Benefits: After which, the growth plan is reviewed, and the learner has an opportunity to move to the second phase of the program, which is Access to Market – an avenue to showcase products and services at an exhibition for visibility. Also, gain one-on-one business support with a certified business development service provider (BDSP). Access to information and personalized services for business”. ”The program is set to train 10,000 Delta State youths and MSMEs in a one-year period, which is a fraction of the 100,000 youths the program trains across Nigeria. So far in Delta State, about 3,000 youths are registered for the program, while 800 have completed their respective courses. Also, about 800 youths are currently in training, and a fraction of 1,400 youths just started, while others are yet to start. The program also trained 50 business owners to become SMEDAN-certified BDSPs. These BDSPs are tasked with mentoring participants who go through the program here in Delta for 3 to 6 months after training”.
“The mentorship cycle provides participants with free business registration, a website, logo design, certifications like NAFDAC for businesses that may require them, and many more opportunities. The governor approved a token grant for 127 top participating entrepreneurs to further support their businesses and encourage them. The EDC team will further monitor the progress of those who received the grants to see how well they fare in their businesses. Participants are also welcome to apply for a single-digit loan facility offered by the TNY program under a partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and FCMB. These loans run up to N10 million and are only available to participants who go through the program successfully”.
Orode Uduaghan then commended the management of the Mastercard Foundation for the sponsorship and other development partners for their moral, technical, and mentorship supports from which the youth intend to benefit in this program. Most importantly, I must commend the Executive Governor of Delta State, His Excellency, Senator Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, for giving us maximum support to kick-start and excel in this youth entrepreneurship development, or MSMEs, program. She said: “I commend our other development partners: EDC (PAU), represented here by Dr. Olawale Anifowose, the Associate Director of Enterprise Development Center (EDC) Lagos, for their support. Also, I must commend everyone who participated in this event.
“Finally, I must commend our political leaders who are government representatives in this program that have supported in one way or another; they have through the course of the program lectured, sensitized, groomed, mentored, and shared knowledge and experiences as accomplished entrepreneurs with participants. These leaders are: the Chief Economic Adviser to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Hon. Chief Kingsley Emu; the Executive Secretary, Delta State Vocational and Technical Education Board, Hon. Smart Ikem; and the Special Assistant SA to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Political Matters, Ambassador Uyero Erarawewho Jr. I thank you all for awakening the minds of Delta youths towards the direction of entrepreneurial and managerial skills for the sustainable and socio-economic development of Delta State”.