Stakeholders root for business parks to drive entrepreneurship
Stakeholders playing in Nigeria’s incubation and accelerator sector are canvassing for the establishment of business parks across the country to drive youth entrepreneurship.
The stakeholders, who spoke at the OXFAM Nigeria and the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI) incubators and accelerator meeting held recently in Lagos, stated that entrepreneurship was a call to action for young Nigerians to provide solutions to societal problems.
“If you look at the evolution of our country, there are new problems that are emerging that existing businesses cannot solve. By default, such will require entrepreneurship. Youths need to be educated on the need to collaborate to solve societal problems,” said Tayo Olosunde, executive director, Mindthegap Innovation Hub.
“We need to establish business parks to create entrepreneurship and youths have to collaborate to achieve this,” Olosunde said.
Also speaking at the meeting, Olufunbi Falaji, partner, Passion Incubator, said that the essence of the stakeholders meeting was to access the impact of incubation and accelerator programs on Nigeria’s entrepreneurship space and ensure efficiencies and effectiveness in running the programs.
“The entrepreneurship climate in the country is looking good. Since the country experienced the recent economic recession, everybody has been taking entrepreneurship seriously, understanding that it is the only way to create jobs and make businesses more efficient and effective,” Falaji said.
“We are moving away from entrepreneurship being an after-thought to a deliberate action plan,” he added.
He noted that incubation hubs were more critical for the country at this point in time, stating that most of the would-be entrepreneurs lacked the required skills to run a successful business.
“Incubation exposes them to the right skills set, network and other entrepreneurship soft skills. Incubation is taking you from zero to one, while accelerator is taking you from one to two. Zero to one is more critical now because we have lots of talents but the pipeline is not looking good,” he further said.
On his part, Wole Odetayo, executive director, Wennovation Hub said, “We need to pay more attention to youth education. The soul of any development is knowledge and I think that as a nation we are not doing enough in getting the right knowledge for our youths.”
Odetayo added that incubation hubs across the country were beginning to open up lots of opportunities which the country had begun to benefit from, stating that this had helped create hundreds of jobs over the years.
Big Read |