The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in collaboration with Palm3 Strategy and Zenera Consulting is set to hold the 1st edition of the Youth Entrepreneurship Summit and Expo (YES) Nigeria on the 12th of July 2016. This event, which is scheduled to take place at the Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos is expected to convene heads of government MDAs, leaders of financial institutions, entrepreneurs and the Nigerian youth to discuss the key issues facing Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria.

The theme of this year’s event is Towards a diversified economy: harnessing the power of Africa’s largest consumer market, agro-allied resources and technology for innovation through entrepreneurship.

“We are confident that this summit will not be a mere talk-fest, but a truly national initiative that accounts directly for a revolution in sustainable wealth creation across the bottom half of the socio-economic value chain,” said Meka Olowola, the Chairman of Youth Entrepreneurship Summit.

The summit is a social investment to empower entrepreneurs, create sustainable jobs and boost economic opportunities by providing access to finance, skills, knowledge and other critical resources. According to the organisers, the speakers will analyse the current economic climate and the opportunities which exist for entrepreneurs, how to get past challenges in accessing finance and investment, and also disseminate in-depth knowledge via Master Classes from entrepreneurs who have made it and succeeded in Nigeria despite the challenges.

This summit comes at a time when the number of unemployed in the country is on the rise. According to the National Bureau of Statistics unemployment report for March 2016, the number of unemployed in the country increased by 518,000 bringing the total value to over 1.45 million people.

The country is still expected to see this number increase further as several organisations are laying off staff due to the country’s economic situation. In view of this, several young people have decided to become entrepreneurs in order avoid unemployment. Some have also decided not to work for anyone because of the thought of being used for little monthly pay.

Now, although they have decided to become entrepreneurs, some of them still do not have the necessary resources required to run a start up, including the technical know-how, finance and understanding of a business. This has really hindered the growth of several of these businesses and the economy at large as it works towards diversifying the economy.

Apart from Professor Yemi Osibanjo, the Vice- President of Nigeria, Akinwunmi Ambode, the Governor of Lagos State and Mr. Waheed Olagunju, Acting Managing Director, Bank of Industry, other speakers at the event will include:

Mr. Kyari Bukar – Chairman, Nigeria Economic Summit Group.

Dr. Abdu Mukhtar – Chief Strategy Officer of the Dangote Group.

Engr. Olawunmi Gasper – the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical Vocational Education Board.

Mrs. Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola – CEO, Wecyclers.

Mr. Bunmi Otegbade – CEO, Generation Enterprise.

Unlike other events, this is endorsed by several Ministries, Department and Agencies including the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria and the Government of Lagos State.

There will also be a business matchmaking session where delegates will be able to network and receive one-on-one advice from business leaders and the speakers on the day. Budding startups can obtain free legal and financial advice and business consulting services on that day.