Lagos, Nigeria — Today, the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) announced a partnership with the Mastercard Foundation to launch the Transforming Nigerian Youths program. Recognizing that employment is a pathway out of poverty, the program seeks to create a network of entrepreneurial and managerial change makers, particularly young people and women across the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector, in Nigeria. In a bid to help reduce the unemployment rate in the country, the free training program aims to boost employment creation and sustainable livelihoods.
This program is open to all and is primarily focused on the Lagos, Kano, and Kaduna states. Through this program, 40,000 young people will be supported with the resources and learning required to start, grow, and expand their businesses. The program will also provide support and resources to young people who want to become employable in the creative and agricultural sectors.
In the last decade, Nigeria’s unemployment rate has continued to increase. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 was 27.1 percent, indicating that about 21,764,614 (21.7 million) Nigerians remain unemployed, of which 13.9 million are young people.
Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan-Atlantic University, a leading enterprise development Centre, has in the last 17 years, provided support services to thousands of SMEs through capacity building, advisory services, and partnerships with organizations that have an interest in the development of the SME sector in Nigeria.
“We are excited to be part of the Transforming Nigerian Youths program to empower young Nigerians, especially women. It will serve as a catalyst for entrepreneurial reorientation, job creation, and sustainable livelihood,” says Mr. Peter Bankole, Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University.
The intervention will scale EDC’s online learning capabilities to provide core business training to an even broader grouping of SMEs in the agricultural and creative sectors of the economy. It will also ensure that even the most marginalized, including young women in the north, can access this world class training.
“Young Africa Works in Nigeria is committed to enabling opportunity for at least eight million young Nigerians. Entrepreneurship will play a key role in achieving this goal. Fortunately, Nigeria also has no shortage of young entrepreneurs. This initiative, which is part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, will prepare and enable young people to pursue their aspirations and create productive livelihoods for themselves and others,” says Chidinma Lawanson, Country Head, Nigeria at the Mastercard Foundation.
Applications are open for young Nigerians, especially women within the age range of 18-35.
To start an application, please visit https://reg.smetoolkit.ng/beTransformed, contact 09094561652, 09099241623, 08094468117, or Email: Youngafricaworks@pau.edu.ng
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
About Young Africa Works
Young Africa Works is the Mastercard Foundation’s strategy to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, across Africa to access dignified work. Africa will be home to the world’s largest workforce, with 375 million young people entering the job market by 2030. With the right skills, these young people will contribute to Africa’s global competitiveness and improve their lives and those of their communities. The Mastercard Foundation will implement Young Africa Works in 10 African countries in collaboration with governments, private sector, entrepreneurs, educators, and young people. The first phase of countries identified by the Mastercard Foundation are Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Nigeria.
About Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University
Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) is the Entrepreneurship Centre of the Pan-Atlantic University. The Centre emerged in 2003 as a direct response to the dearth of available professional business development and support services to small and growing businesses in Nigeria. EDC provides bespoke and cost-effective training for SMEs aimed at the development of the SME sector in Nigeria. For more information on the Enterprise Development Centre, please visit: www.edc.edu.ng
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Enterprise Development Centre
Nonye Mpho Omotola
Country Lead, Program Communications, Nigeria