• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

MTN partners Microsoft, Meta to empower 3000 entrepreneurs

MTN partners Microsoft, Meta to empower 3000 entrepreneurs

MTN Foundation, a corporate social investment trustee of MTN Nigeria, has initiated a working partnership with Microsoft and Meta to train 3000 young Nigerian entrepreneurs on ICT and business skills as part of its focus to help build sustainable businesses in its host country – Nigeria.

The empowerment, which is the sixth phase of the MTN’s ICT and business skills training in Nigeria, will be held virtually for five weeks with a mix of instructor-led and self-paced learning, commencing from September 4 to October 12, 2023.

The training, which aims to equip the 3,000 entrepreneurs with business and technological skills needed to build sustainable businesses in Nigeria, will feature a disbursement of N90 million to the top 300 participants as equipment grants upon the completion of the training. The 3,000 participants will be trained in modules including digital skills, artificial intelligence, and digital advertising.

Speaking on the importance of the training, Odunayo Sanya, executive secretary, MTN Foundation, said, “In Nigeria today, there are a lot of businesses run by young people who require skills to sustain and upscale these businesses. The training we are delivering aims to equip our entrepreneurial youths with technological skills that they can in turn use to grow their businesses.

“As a technology company, we are committed to empowering young entrepreneurs in Nigeria and we’re constantly seeking ways to bridge the gap between our youths and the skills they require to thrive in a digital world. We will continue to partner with other organisations in this quest.”

Commenting on the partnership, Ola Williams, country manager, Microsoft Nigeria, said, “Entrepreneurs play a pivotal role in Nigeria’s economy. According to PwC Nigeria, SMEs account for 96 percent of businesses and 84 percent of employment in the country.

Read also: Digitalisation: FG, NDDC, others transforming agriculture entrepreneurship in Niger Delta

“This adds up to a contribution of 48 percent to Nigeria’s GDP – no small amount. It’s these industrious and resourceful business owners we want to see succeed, but digital skills can be a major stumbling block to growth. By enabling SMEs with the right skills, we are creating opportunities not only for growth but employment for many people in Nigeria and the rest of the continent.”

But, Adaora Ikenze, director of public policy, Anglophone West Africa at Meta, expressed satisfaction with the tripartite arrangement and said, “At Meta, we strongly believe that small businesses play a critical role in driving economic growth and development, and as such, we are committed to supporting them.

“We are proud to have invested in programs that are specifically designed to provide small businesses with the resources they need to grow and succeed, and by partnering with organizations such as MTN Foundation, we are able to have a direct and positive impact on the local economy. We invite small business owners to tap into these programs and resources to transform their businesses and thrive in the digital economy.”

BusinessDay recalls that the past five phases of ICT training completed were done in collaboration with Oracle, KPMG, IBM, Digital Bridge Institute, CISCO, Google, Meta, and Microsoft.

This sixth phase is aimed at young business owners in Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Kebbi, Niger and Yobe State. Since the inception of the initiative, MTN Foundation has trained over 4,000 youths across 16 states in Nigeria including Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Borno, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Oyo and Rivers states.