• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the premier chamber of commerce in Nigeria, inaugurated its young business owners group on Friday.

Speaking at the event, Michael Olawale-Cole, president of LCCI, said the formation of the group is strategic to the future of the chamber as it helps to change the perception of the chamber as an association of “old business owners and also encourages, educates and empowers young business owners.

“Today, you are set to discuss and tackle some of the issues inhibiting growth in your businesses considering the current economic realities. I would like to suggest that you focus on both internal and external factors affecting your businesses and identify unique and implementable initiatives to drive the needed growth,” he said.

He said young businesses have to grapple with the tough macroeconomic environment including high inflation, high cost of borrowing, exchange rate fluctuations, high and multiple taxes, poor electricity, huge infrastructure gap, etc.

“On the other hand, reports have shown that a significant number of young businesses fail due to internal factors such as wrong business model, skills gap, improper accounting procedures, poor feasibility studies, poor customer relationship management etc,” he added.

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According to the chamber, different reports have shown a significant increase in the number of startups in Nigeria owned by young entrepreneurs who are potential members of this group

“Also, data available from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that an estimated 18 million young people are unemployed in the country,” it said.

It added that if a reasonable percentage of the unemployed young people can be transformed into employers through entrepreneurship development programs, the young business owners group has the prospect of becoming the largest membership group in LCCI.

Olawale-Cole added that understanding this potential, the chamber promises to offer the best platform to assist in identifying opportunities, facilitating access to financing, advocating on their behalf, mentoring young entrepreneurs beyond the start-up phase, and helping them build the future they want for their businesses.

“I, therefore, call on all our stakeholders including partners and members to support this important group. The chamber will work closely with you and adopt several initiatives to continue mobilising and supporting young businesses in advancing a more sustainable future for you,” he said.