By Adedapo Adesanya
The United States Consul General, Ms Claire Pierangelo, has substantiated the importance of entrepreneurs to the growth of Nigeria’s economy, noting that they are responsible for creating up to 85 percent of jobs in the country.
This was disclosed at a one-day capacity-building seminar for the first batch of the Tony Elumelu Foundation alumni, where she noted that country was set to become the third most populous country by 2050 and by extension, events in the country could have wide-ranging global repercussions going forward.
“If Nigeria is successful, it’s extremely young population will represent a tremendous source of productive labour and an extremely attractive market for a variety of products and services.
“Its success will be Africa’s success and the world will also benefit from the creativity and resourcefulness of its people,” she noted.
The envoy added that the United States government, seeing the boon of entrepreneurial potential, was committed to supporting entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
“Right now, according to sources, small to medium sized enterprises run by entrepreneurs create about 85 percent of all jobs in this country. We are therefore committed to working with you and our local partners, including the Tony Elumelu Foundation, to help you maximize opportunities to use your drive and skills to create a better Nigeria for all of us,” she stated at the event.
Business Post gathered that United States government in October last year announced a partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to promote entrepreneurship initiatives in Nigeria, through a public diplomacy grant of $105,000 or approximately N37.8 million.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the foundation, Ms Ifeanyinwa Ugochukwu, highlighted the importance of strategic alliances for the country’s sustained economic development.
“It is clear that development aid does not solve economic problems, handouts never work in the long-term and in no developed country does government shoulder economic burdens alone. On the other hand, partnerships such as this support the job-creating, solution-driven mentality which Nigeria needs to lift itself up,” she pointed out.
The event also included a presentation on “Globalization and Nigeria” by John Doggett, a Senior Lecturer at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin.
It concluded with a panel discussion on the “Key to Success” featuring Olori Anita Ololade Odozi, fashion entrepreneur; Adebola Williams, Co-Founder of Red Media Africa; AfricanFarmer Mogaji, CEO of AfricanFarmer; and Omowale Ogunrinde, CEO of Field of Skills and Dreams.
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