The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprise (NASME) has stated that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) lack the capacity, orientation and technical know-how to run sustainable businesses.
NASME added that besides generic challenges such as lack of access to finance, poor market access and poor standards, SMEs lack the capacity to run profitable entities thereby leading to their early mortality within the first five years of operation.
The president and Chairman of Council, NASME, Dr. Abdulrashid Yerima, represented by the Vice president North Central, Prince Ajisefinni Tajudeen at a press conference to herald the NASME 2022 youth empowerment conference scheduled to hold on July 21st, 2022 at the RMRDC auditorium in Abuja, said the association is holding the conference to equip young entrepreneurs across the 36 States in the country with the requisite skills needed to keep their businesses afloat and profitable.
He added: “The MSME youth empowerment conference is aimed at providing an interactive forum for dialogue between young entrepreneurs representing the youth business community and policy makers as well as development organizations to discuss the need to invest in access to finance, technical assistance in young people’s transition, work and citizenship, giving the significant roles of young people as agents for positive, social, and economic
change.”
According to him, the main objectives of the NASME Youth Empowerment Conference is to create a conducive platform for young entrepreneurs, to showcase their entrepreneurial abilities, stimulate an efficient synergy that could uplift the growth and development of young entrepreneurs in Nigeria and help draw attention to the challenges and prospects of young MSMEs in Nigeria.
He also added that the conference will assist in the development of the latent entrepreneurial capacities of the youths In Nigeria as a means for wealth creation and help young entrepreneurs focus on critical policy issues capable of crystallising, diversification to areas of comparative competitive advantage.
He urged financial institutions and development partners to present their youth empowerment initiatives based on their criteria for interested youths, saying that the best 10 will be shortlisted for the finals where three eventual winners will emerge and be given cash prizes, technical support and other assistance.
“An MSME clinic with key frontline regulatory agencies in attendance to support MSMEs with a view of removing impending bottlenecks will also run side by side with pitching competition,” he added.
He said over 1000 participants and exhibitors across the country are expected to attend the event as important and burning Issues would be discussed and dissected by various industry experts.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, W-Holistic business solutions, Olanrewaju Oniyitan, said ten final applicants will be selected based on the applicant patriotism, passion and youthfulness, pointing out that applicants must be Nigerian citizens between 15-29 years in accordance with Nigeria’s National Youth Policy 2019 -2023.
She added that the main applicant must reside in any of the 36 States or FCT in Nigeria and the business must solve a unique problem or provide a new /better way of solving an existing problem.
“Businesses targeting the SDGs or tackling a local challenge have an added advantage. The business must be beyond the idea stage. It must be at proof of concept stage or early-stage with the entrepreneur running this full-time. “There will be a cash grant for the top three winners. The first would go home with N1 million, second with N750,000 and the third with N500,000. They will also get business development support opportunities and one year free membership with NASME across the 36 States in the country,” she added.
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