David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
A group known as Young Entrepreneurs Initiative has said it has identified young business people in the south-east region that will make the country proud with their innovative and entrepreneurial skills if given good mentorship.
The group’s coordinator, Ngozika Okoye, who briefed journalists in Awka, Anambra State capital, said it had decided to take up mentorship role for as many young entrepreneurs and innovators in the region, to ensure growth for their businesses.
Okoye, who was a former finance commissioner in Anambra said there was less encouragement for young business people, and that it was not right for government to leave them to compete with already established businesses. He stressed that they deserved to be encouraged as they hold the hope of entrepreneurship for the next generation.
“Our mentorship for these young people will start with holding a free trade exhibition for them in Awka in November this year.
“This country is in direst straits than it has ever been in her entire existence. Not even during the war were things this bad. Young people who form the largest segment of the growing population are hit with severe level of unemployment. It is for this reason that we are set to encourage young entrepreneurs.”
She stated that part of the incentives for young entrepreneurs would be connecting them with government and international agencies, companies, high-network individuals, investors, banks and other financial organisations that could assist them with soft loans, grants and advisory services.
Okoye, who lamented that youths no longer believed in hard work, but always looking for easy means to wealth, stated that the aim of taking on the young entrepreneurs was to encourage them as they have decided to go into legitimate businesses.
“There are business opportunities everywhere, but only people with trained eyes can see it. Doing this is our own way of giving back to the youths, because the young business we help today may be the African conglomerate of tomorrow.”