Experts in the technology sector have highlighted the potential of entrepreneurial skills in facilitating job creation and inclusive growth in Nigeria, if properly harnessed.
The experts, who spoke at a recent technology event held in Lagos, described entrepreneurship as a process of taking the risk of running business, with the intention to expand the business, sustain it over time and make profit from it.
They, however, expressed dissatisfaction over the case of young Nigerians who have to brave quite a myriad of challenges before they can actually float their businesses.
This, they said, has discouraged aspiring Nigerians to shelf their entrepreneurship dreams.
Head, PR and Communications at Jumia, Mr. Olukayode Kolawole, said: “Unknown to upcoming entrepreneurs, being an entrepreneur does not mean you must have a brick and mortar store. You can run your entire business online – thanks to internet penetration.
“Jumia has proven that direct and indirect jobs can be created via ecommerce. It has empowered thousands of Nigerians to run their businesses through various initiatives like the Jumia J Force Sales Consultancy, Jumia Vendor Hub, Jumia University and many others.”
He however called on government to take advantage of the skills inherent in Nigerian entrepreneurs, by creating the enabling environment that would enable them to further develop that skills in them into meaningful knowledge through capacity building.
“So when it comes to job creation, you do not need to wait for the government. The government only needs to create an enabling environment while the private sector and entrepreneurs will provide the much-required employment. And being an entrepreneur is a reliable tool for closing the unemployment gap,” Kolawole said.
Addressing the potential of entrepreneurs as engines of Job creation and inclusive growth, others experts called on government to support young people that can change the technology landscape of the country for the better through innovative solutions that are developed locally.
“As developing countries continue to struggle with the limited capacity to create jobs and absorb new entrants into the labour market, the attractiveness to include entrepreneurship in job creation toolkits has grown.
“Presently, entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are widely considered to be vital to national economies, particularly because they create a higher share of total jobs than other employers,” the experts said.
Looking at entrepreneurial activities as veritable platform to create some new jobs in the short term, and replace inefficient companies, some of the experts said the loss of jobs from those companies and from failing start-ups is offset by job creation in the first year of a firm’s life, providing a net increase in jobs for the overall economy in the long term.