SMEDAN empowers 160 Anambra, Kebbi young entrepreneurs

Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Radda

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has commenced the empowerment of 160 young business owners in Anambra and Kebbi States to encourage growth of their enterprises.

The Director General of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Radda, who flagged off the exercise in Awka, Anambra State recently, disclosed that the empowerment programme has two components – enterprise management training and payment for work – spaces for one year.

Radda explained that while 80 beneficiaries selected from each of the states for the pilot project had started enterprise management training organized by the Agency, arrangement has also been concluded for the disbursement of fund to pay for workspaces.

“The training would sharpen the business management skills of the beneficiaries and increase their performance, the payment for workspaces would reduce their financial burden and free some funds for daily operations.

“The two components of the programme were part of the solutions designed by the Agency to mitigate business failures recorded by young business owners in Nigeria”, the Director General said.While urging the beneficiaries to make the best use of the window of opportunity opened by SMEDAN, he added that the exercise is expected to cover all the States of the Federation in the next few years.

Radda who was represented by the Southeast Zonal Coordinator of the Agency, Mr. Levi Anyikwa, stressed that sustenance of the Young Business Owners in Nigeria (YBON) initiative was imperative for addressing the unemployment situation in Nigeria, which has reached a crisis level.

He said the targeted beneficiaries are young people between the ages of 20 to 45 years, adding that the goal is to create new opportunities for enterprise growth for start-ups and for employment.

According to him, selection criteria for beneficiaries include: technical capacities of the promoters, available raw materials, markets, available skills, access to appropriate technologies, among others.

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Dikko RaddaSMEDAN
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