United States Consulate in Nigeria has said that for Nigeria to succeed, young entrepreneurs creating new businesses, generating new ideas and innovating new ways of improving services must be assisted to succeed.
Delivering his opening remarks yesterday at the Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs hosted by the U.S. Consulate in collaboration with Field of Skills and Dreams (FSD) in Owerri, the Imo state capital, the Public Affairs Officer of the Consulate, Russell Brooks noted that small businesses largely produce the jobs and provide the incomes that keep an economy growing.
He noted that the Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs in Imo State has brought together 150 young, talented, and ambitious entrepreneurs from across the South East of Nigeria.
The 150 participants, he said, were selected through a competitive process from over 2000 applicants.
Citing relevant statistics Brooks said: “The National Bureau of Statistics reported in 2017 that Nigerian Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises created 59.6 million jobs across the country, and with a population of nearly 200 million, the importance of these jobs and the financial support that they provide for families throughout this nation cannot be overemphasized.”
He stated further that: “For Nigeria to succeed, the men and women who are creating these businesses, or hope to create new businesses must succeed. Their ideas for new products or improved services will produce the growth, the jobs, and the incomes that will lead to a more prosperous, stable, and secure Nigeria.”
On why the U.S. Mission in Nigeria is involved with the conference, Brooks explained: “The Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs is important to the United States Consulate because we have learned that it is an extremely successful means to promote one of our principal aims in Nigeria which is to encourage economic growth, trade, and investment.
“We are committed to supporting entrepreneurs in Nigeria, because we believe that they, their ideas and their energy, represent Nigeria’s best hope to create new products and services that will be attractive to markets around the world, and thereby produce the growth, jobs, and incomes that will be crucial to bringing about the future Nigeria that these young people want and deserve.”
Russell Brooks further urged the participants to embrace the virtue of perseverance stressing through illustrations of successful entrepreneurs, that the resolve to try, patience and perseverance are the only ingredients that differentiate the successful entrepreneur from the non-successful.