The Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) programme is an ambitious programme by the Bank of Industry (BOI) aimed at addressing youth unemployment in Nigeria which is currently over 50%.
According to a 2013 survey by the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), most of the capacity building programmes aimed at addressing youth unemployment, have concentrated more on training without any tie-in to the provision of small business loans, which is a critical success factor to the establishment of small businesses. In addition, they hardly take care of the entire training value chain in terms of Entrepreneurship, Business Management and Technical Skills.
The YES Programme
BOI’s approach to tackling the youth capacity building challenge is to focus on young aspiring entrepreneurs within the age bracket of 18 – 35 years that have viable business ideas by developing a Product Program – Youth Enterprise Support Programme (YES Programme), for empowering them. This crop of Nigerians forms a significant proportion of unemployed youth in the country.
Components of the YES Programme
The YES Programme comprises the following:
- Eight (8) weeks intensive online Entrepreneurship and Business Management training which has the ability to test participants’ understanding and track their progress.
- Five (5) days in-class Entrepreneurship and Business Management training
- Technical skills training in partnership with the various technical training and vocational institutes in the country.
- Financing the businesses by BOI under its SME Cluster initiative in consonance with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Commodity-based Industrialisation Strategy.
The YES Programme has the following broad objectives:
- To create an interactive learning platform to train young aspiring entrepreneurs in entrepreneurship and business management that will ultimately translate into improved efficiency and productivity.
- To kindle the entrepreneurial spirit of the youths.
- To act as an incubation center where business ideas are nurtured to their full potential as well as entrenching global best practices by inculcating a culture of innovation-driven entrepreneurship and ethics in the programme participants.
- Promotion of self-employment among graduates of institutions of higher learning, thereby changing their job-seeking mindset.
- To deepen financial inclusion by de-risking the young aspiring entrepreneurs and making them eligible for small business loans to be provided by BOI.