Some Entrepreneurial Ambassadors on Wednesday called on African youths to be self-reliant and also create partnerships that would grow their businesses as well as place them in leadership positions.
They said on Wednesday in Lagos, they urged youths to look beyond their current challenges and rather stay focused on their plans in order to achieve success.
Mr Sucex Bright, Convener, African Youth Leadership and Economic Summit (AYLES), said the work environment in the continent was stifling to youths and discouraging them from making much impact.
He decried the situation where entrepreneurs couldn’t get loans for their businesses because of requirements that were far-fetched for youths.
He urged the private sector to create opportunities that would help economic transformation of the youth and the country ultimately.
“Government is doing its bit but whatever it is doing will not create the jobs we need in Africa.
“So, we need to look inwards and begin to sponsor Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for young people who are ready to do something because we have the potential to do well,” he said.
Bright, however, said there was need for value reorientation to help boost the confidence of youths in their potential.
“Today in Nigeria, we have this mindset that somebody needs to help us.
“There’s this believe that, `if my uncle is not helping, government is not helping, we can’t achieve anything with our lives’,” he said.
Bright called for a change in attitude for African youths so that they could be ready for political and business leadership roles.
Also, Ms Odunola Abayomi, Director, TOD Media, noted that there was need for youths who aspire for leadership positions to be distinguishable in both their personal lives and businesses.
“Every youth should have what they stand for, what they advocate; they can decide to have a niche for what they represent.
“It is important for Nigerian youths who run businesses to brand themselves and businesses; show it in a way that distinguishes them from another person,” she said.
Abayomi urged young entrepreneurs to be self-reliant and keep doing what they are doing; always believe in themselves and never give up regardless of the government or situation in the country.”
Ms Aishat Jimoh, Chief Executive Officer, Sinmi Tea, said the major challenge for her and other young entrepreneurs was lack of partnerships that would help their businesses grow.
“Young people do not want to partner with us; they want to mix with the big people out there, who are already established.
“It’s not good for people like us who manufacture our products or those who offer services,” she said.
Jimoh advised young entrepreneurs to stay focused on their plans so that they could surmount the challenges they faced in their businesses.