Winners receive 2017 Young Business Leaders Awards (YBL)
On Saturday, June 10, 2017, The Emmanuel Ivorgba Foundation, in partnership with House of Hilkiah Foundation, presented Awards and cheques to Winners of the 2017 Young Business Leaders (YBL) Awards. The Awards ceremony was held at the Empire Suites, David Mark Bye Pass, High Level Makurdi, Benue State. Each of the Awardees received the sum of One Hundred Thousand Naira, to support their business ideas.
The Winners of the 2017 Young Business Leaders Awards (YBL) are:
Marcus Edibogi Akor
Sedoo Hope Ahobee
Courage Iwanger Avajime
The YBL Awards Program
The Emmanuel Ivorgba Foundation launched its Young Business Leaders Award in March 2017, to support young Nigerian entrepreneurs with an integrated package of support to help them start and grow sustainable businesses. Helping young people to start their own business can make a direct impact on unemployment - because not only does the young person get a job, but they are able to create jobs for others. The Award provides access to finance, which is usually the most obvious challenge, as well training and mentoring support. Young Entrepreneurs will receive mini capital to grow their businesses as well as expert local support, specifically tailored to their needs.
The Reality of Youth Unemployment in Nigeria
Nigeria's population is said to have reached about 167 million people in 2012 (National Bureau of Statistics). National Youth Development Policy (2001) defines youth as people aged between 18 and 35. And they constitute "all young males and females aged 18- 35 which are citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria" (National Youth Policy of Nigeria, 2001:4). According to the National Bureau of Statistics (2004), young people aged between 15 and 24 years account for 52.9 percent of unemployed people while those aged between 25 and 44 years accounted for 41.1 percent. Therefore, those in age bracket of 15 and 44 years account for 94 percent of the total unemployed persons in Nigeria (Osibanjo, 2006)- (Osibanjo, O. (2006) Concept of Entrepreneurship: A paper presented at the workshop on entrepreneurship and innovation for 200 level student in the University of Ibadan, Ibadan.)
Youth unemployment continues to grow and manifest itself in alarming ways. Youth unemployment - and underemployment - is an escalating threat to economic prosperity, social cohesion and political stability. On March 18, 2016, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, inaugurated the Bank of Industry (BoI)'s N10billion-Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) scheme, aimed at developing the entrepreneurial capacity of youths and providing start up loans at concessionary interest rates to executive their business plans. The scheme will allow each of the eligible beneficiaries to access a maximum of N5 million loans for the procurement of machinery and equipment, including working capital.