Sterling Bank urges younger Nigerians to embrace entrepreneurship

SMEIn a bid to ensure sustainable development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, Sterling Bank Plc urged youths to embrace entrepreneurship rather than depending on government for jobs, adding that youths should discover ways of making themselves employable instead of waiting for white-collar jobs.

The bank said, our youths should start thinking outside government jobs, as there is no government either in Nigeria or anywhere in the world that can complete eradicates unemployment.

Speaking at a press conference with journalists in Lagos, the Executive Director, Finance and Strategy, Sterling Bank Plc, Abubakar Suleiman noted that empowering small & medium scale enterprises remains pivotal to the sustenance of growth and development in emerging economies across the world.

According to him, in other climes where things are functional and there is an enabling environment, the entrepreneurs is faced with only its core duty, but in Nigeria, where administrative processes is very complex, it becomes very difficult for MSME to succeed.

He said: it is important we look inwards in this period and look at ways of exploiting the entrepreneurial spirit and zeal of our people. The intense energy of our large youthful population is a strength that we need to exploit by re-orientating them towards positive engagement in entrepreneurship.

Suleiman expressed concerns over the low level of knowledge on MSMEs, said there would be a training that will expose them to modern and innovative skills that would help them realizes their objectives.

It is expected that entrepreneurs should undergo training that will build capacity for manpower that will drive sustainable development in order to achieve the millennium goals.
“The Sterling MSME Academy, which is an initiative of the bank, is targeted at reducing the hug level of youth unemployment in the country,” he stated.

“Our dream is to create an enabling environment where SME’s do not have to go through difficult process in starting up business. Our primary objective is to equip MSME’s by reducing the obstacles in their way, this we hope to achieve through the mechanism of the workshop of the academy, which will be an ongoing and repetitive process.” Suleiman said.

Also, Commenting on the Sterling MSME Academy, the Head, MSME Banking, Proposition and Product, Sterling Bank Plc, Mrs. Omolara Akinfolarin reiterated that we would continue to provide solutions to help smaller businesses build capacity and improve their knowledge of managing businesses.

Specifically, Akinfolarin said the bank was buoyed by the hug success it recorded last year and made a decision to extend its academy to five cities namely, Port Harcourt in April, Kaduna in May, Onitsha in July, Ibadan in September and Lagos in October.

Meanwhile, Programme Manager of Lead Africa, Mrs. Ndifreke Okwuegbunam, one of the partners of the MSME Academy, said academy would help the youth to create their own future, exploit the opportunities that emerge in the unpredictable complex world and contribute to better economic development and social wellbeing.

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