IS THE YOUWIN BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION FOR NIGERIAN ENTREPRENEURS COMING BACK?

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Youwin Programme

310309_177687375643912_487495792_nPerhaps YES! But that would depend on what young Nigerian entrepreneurs do;

how much attention we can draw to the issue and how soon the much expected restructuring of the programme would happen

In the publication by SALISU NA’INNA DAMBATTA, Director (Information) in the ministry of Finance
dated June 28, 2016 on the Ministry’s Facebook Page,

it could be recalled that while disbursing N7.4 billion to the winners of the third edition of the Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN) business plan competition,

the federal government promised that it was going to begin consultations with representatives of the beneficiaries of the YOUWIN programme drawn from the six-geo-political zones and other stakeholders in order to chart a way forward for the programme.

The said consultation was scheduled to commence on July 22, 2016 as Nigerian youths with bright entrepreneurial skills wait anxiously for the continuation of that very lofty programme that turned many job seekers to job creators.

Unfortunately, one month on, nothing seems to be heard about the consultation, which invariably means prospective young Nigerian entrepreneurs might need to continue waiting (perhaps indefinitely) for the anticipated restructuring of the YOUWIN programme.

According to the finance ministry, the YOUWIN programme is to be “restructured and refocused with the objective of injecting new ideas for its sustainability”.

But, one wonders what kind of restructuring to expect when examples abound among the 3,900 YOUWIN awardees of those who have developed their businesses into big enterprises employing many Nigerians and creating enormous wealth.

Wouldn’t it amount to gilding the lily?

Indeed, the reality is that so many Nigerian youths are anxiously waiting for the YOUWIN programme to be continued so that they can have access to funding, mentorship and entrepreneurial training to develop their business ideas.

For anyone who believes otherwise, the overwhelming number of entries that the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) receives annually since the (temporary) discontinuation of the YOUWIN programme and the sadness and disillusionment that greets hundreds of thousands who are deemed not successful should be a clear and convincing evidence.

Government is indeed a continuous process and a lofty programme like the YOUWIN business plan competition should not die off with the administration that instituted it.

It therefore behoves all entrepreneurs and Nigerian youths in general to in whatever way, draw the attention of public officials, especially those directly responsible for the YOUWIN programme to immediately reconsider re-launching the programme in the interest of Nigerian youths most especially now that layoffs are become more rampant.

#BRINGBACKOURYOUWIN

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