Nigeria trains ICT entrepreneurs

Training got underway this week for thousands of aspiring ICT entrepreneurs under a new development programme in Nigeria.

The programme aims to nurture young ICT entrepreneurs by establishing ICT business incubation centres across the country.

The Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (You WiN!) Programme is a collaboration of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Communication Technology (CT), and the Ministry of Youth Development, in partnership with the private sector.

With the first phase of the project complete, thousands of applicants will now begin their training. By the end of December, business plans by the aspiring entrepreneurs will be assessed and winners will be notified by the end of January 2012.

The programme is designed to attract ideas and innovations from young entrepreneurs from Universities, Polytechnics, Technical colleges, and other post-Secondary institutions in Nigeria.

It will provide business training for up to 6 000 young entrepreneurs and a one time equity grant for 1 200 selected entrepreneurs to start or expand their business concepts and mitigate start up risks and is expected to generate 80,000 to 110,000 new jobs for currently unemployed Nigerian youth over the three years during which the three cycles will be implemented.

Communications Technology Minister Omobola Johnson recently underlined the government’s commitment to nurturing new ICT business.

She noted that many of the household names in IT today, such as Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook, were started by young entrepreneurs with great ideas and access to venture capital. She said the government aimed to develop an environment that would discover, nurture and unleash local talent to drive the growth of Nigeria’s ICT industry.

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