|INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Today, InnoPower Indy Inc USA (InnoPower) entered into a partnership with the Ugwumba Center for Leadership Development in Africa to build a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nigeria. The partnership will empower young entrepreneurs in Africa to create jobs and economic opportunities by providing greater access to education, capital, and business support services.|
Youth unemployment has become the most significant developmental challenge in almost every country globally in the 21st century, including Nigeria. By 2035, the International Monetary Fund estimates that the number of Africans joining the working-age population will exceed the rest of the world combined. With the anticipated workforce needs, 18 million new jobs will have to be created each year for the next 20 years across the sub-Saharan African region.
“These development initiatives will empower Nigerian youths to become job creators, become employers, and take charge of their futures, instead of letting the future happen to them,” said Emil Ekiyor, Founder of InnoPower and Former NFL player
According to a report from the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), an estimated 30 million small businesses operate in the country. SMEs in Nigeria contribute over 76% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“At the Ugwumba Leadership Center, we are committed to reducing the unemployment crisis among the youth population. That was why we launched the Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge, a business pitch competition for young people in Africa who have ideas and skills that can lead to business ventures and social enterprises. We see this project as our contribution to the Government of Nigeria and other African nations’ job creation and economic development policies. In 2019, we supported the birth of over 1,000 innovations and SMEs in Nigeria. This year, with the collaboration of international organizations like InnoPower, we are going to reach even more people in Nigeria during the grant competition,” said Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, President of the Ugwumba Leadership Center.
InnoPower will begin implementing programming with the Ugwumba Leadership Center in December 2020 through the Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge, job creation, and impact investment program designed to empower young people in Africa to turn their ideas and skills passions into scalable business ventures.
Located in West Africa, Nigeria has 36 states, with over 500 different ethnic groups. The country’s current population is 200.9 million and will grow to 392 million by 2050, making it the world’s third most populated country. The Nigerian citizen’s median age is 18.4, making it one of the world’s youngest countries.
About InnoPower Indy Inc.
InnoPower is a community advocate, collaborator, and development organization that works with diverse communities and stakeholders to create capacity-building opportunities for underrepresented businesses and professionals in education, workforce development, and entrepreneurship.
InnoPower works creatively with community stakeholders across the public, private, and social sectors to drive communal change. For more information, visit www.innopowerindy.com.
About Ugwumba Leadership Center
The Ugwumba Center for Leadership Development in Africa is a non-political, non-discriminatory, non-profit impact investment and leadership center established in Nigeria to raise young leaders and entrepreneurs for Africa.
The mission of the Center is to equip young people and women from Africa with the leadership and enterprise development skills they need to compete favorably with their peers at the global stage. The Center envisions an African society whose democracies and economies are driven by young people and women, building peaceful democratic systems and successful business empires.
More information about the Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge is available at https://ugwumbaleaders.org/programs/ugwumba-enterprise-challenge/