By Providence Emmanuel
SME 100 Nigeria is set to empower 25 innovative entrepreneurs who are under the age of 25 years with the aim of reducing the high mortality rate among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
SME 100 Nigeria is engaged in youth-driven entrepreneurship training and specializes in finding, preparing and connecting young entrepreneurs with the resources, training and support they need to run successful entrepreneurial businesses.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, Founder and Executive Director of the organisation, Mr. Charles Odii, said members of the public were invited about six months ago to nominate under 25 entrepreneurs who were making quality impact on the economy.
He explained that more than 3,500 entrepreneurs were nominated and subsequently reduced to 100, adding that the number will be further slashed to 25 after voting and the winners will be awarded on August 26. He added that to qualify, businesses must be based in Nigeria, duly registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and in fields such as cyber security and technology; fashion; arts, crafts and culture; food; health & skincare; education, as well as energy & sustainability. Others are media & ICT, photography; music; software & design and event and planning.
Odii said: “SME 100 Nigeria is meant to encourage the entrepreneurs to make much more impact. “The difference between this award and others is that these people are founders, innovators and CEOs of their businesses. The short-listing is based on the impact the entrepreneurs make.”
In his comment, Director of Programmes, SME 100 Nigeria, Mr Brian Oji, stated: “We identify young people doing phenomenal work across the country, shine the spotlight on them so that all others can see them and aspire to set up businesses as well. On the other hand, we are actively tackling the menace of widespread youth unemployment in Nigeria.”