Kwara Govt Hosts Youth Fair To Promote Young Entrepreneurs

By Emmanuel Kehinde, Ilorin

Kwara State Government has organized a Youth Fair tagged – Kwara Youth Fair to expose young entrepreneurs in the state to the 21st century methods of running businesses and increasing sales capacity of their various products and services.

The 2-day event, which its opening session took place at the State Banquet Hall Ilorin on Friday was also intended to provide a mega platform for youth exhibitors to sell their products, showcase indigenous products of the state to the World; attract potential investors to small businesses and harvest budding businesses, and provide a platform for collective business growth.

Organized by the office of the Senior Special Assistant to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Youth Engagement Kaosarah Adeyi, it was the second of its kind, with this year’s edition focusing on pitching young talented entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses.

The pitch contest saw Haleemah Ishola, the Chief Executive Officer, Leemash Products, a producer of liquid wash clinching the first position among the pitchers.

Saliu Mujibat of Hamaz Design, who produces mother and baby accessories came second, while a footwear producer, AbdulRahman Funsho Elelu came third in the opening ceremony of the pitching exercise.

Speaking at the occasion, Mrs. Kaosarah Adeyi said the programme was in furtherance to the state government’s efforts and commitment to promoting entrepreneurship and hunting the talented youth.

He thanked Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for creating an enabling environment for the young people to prosper.

She said the programme was a tri-facet event comprising a business development summit as part of the effort to drill successful youth exhibitors on the principles and methods of running businesses.

According to her, the participants would be drilled on investors and customer relationships; branding; fundraising for business development and digital marketing amongst other strategies.

“We have for the past two weeks, laid a solid foundation for today through extensive group engagement and online classes on arrays of topics that hope to benefit all participants,” Adeyi said.

He expressed hope that the life-changing summit will further boost the businesses and operational capacities of the beneficiaries.

She added that the winners at the pitch contest will be supported by the government with grants to expand their businesses.

For his part, the Chairman of Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Kwara State chapter, Sakirudeen Oladotun described the programme as a laudable initiative.

He added that the presentations by young entrepreneurs show that Kwara youth are tapping opportunities in the entrepreneurship World.

“If we are going to have development, entrepreneurship is one of the ways to go,” he said.

The Manager of Bank of Industry Ilorin branch, Harrison Osa-Uwagbeo said there are several facilities available at the bank for entrepreneurship to thrive, lauding the sincere efforts of the present administration to assist the business community through several ways

Winners at the pitch contest and other participants appreciated the state government for encouraging and strengthening their capacity to succeed.

They promised to maximize the given opportunity so that they could be employers of labour rather than job seekers.

Edited by Felix Ajide