The Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI), in collaboration with the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, has equipped young entrepreneurs across Nigeria’s tertiary institutions with the skills needed to thrive in the business world.
Over the past three months, students from various universities and polytechnics participated in an intensive training program, which kicked off in August. During this initiative, they were exposed to valuable leadership and entrepreneurship skills by experts from diverse fields. The program culminated in a mentorship event held in Ikoyi.
Olusola Owonikoko, President of CYFI, noted the significance of investing in Nigeria’s youth, highlighting their contributions to the nation’s development. He said that “the entrepreneurship program was specifically designed to support young entrepreneurs navigating the challenges of sustaining their businesses in the current economic landscape.”
Owonikoko expressing deep concern for the future of the younger generation, underscored the importance of addressing employability issues to help them find purpose in their pursuits. He also advocated for universities to establish platforms that enable young entrepreneurs to develop essential skills and knowledge.
“I believe right now every university should have a technological and entrepreneurship hub because personally, I started my entrepreneurship in my University days but unfortunately, we didn’t get any support. Universities should start looking beyond traditional educational model to a futuristic model that promotes entrepreneurial thinking and innovative approaches to things,” he said.
Also at the event, Boboye Adeniji, the Project Coordinator of the program, called upon the government to implement policies conducive to the growth of small-scale businesses. He emphasized the program’s primary focus on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the aim of enhancing their sustainability and profitability.
Adeniji said, “Our key focus has always been on SMEs to ensure that they become more sustainable and profitable. Until we achieve this, we cannot effectively create wealth or address Nigeria’s problems, given their significant numbers. Empowering them to live up to their potential will substantially reduce the unemployment rate as they can then provide employment for one or two people.”
Allen Abu, the Programme Officer responsible for the entrepreneurship training, shared insights into the content of the training. He revealed that participants received comprehensive instruction on business strategy, branding, digital marketing, and various other essential topics.