SENSITIZING WOMEN TO SEIZE THE YOUWIN OPPORTUNITY
By Sagir Ado Abubakar
The centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) as part of its promotion of entrepreneurship on Saturday 22nd September organized the first of series of sensitization lectures on Youth Enterprise with Innovation program (You Win). The YouWin Program is an innovative business plan competition aimed at job creation by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth in Nigeria to develop and execute business ideas. The lecture held at CITAD with participants numbering over 200 from 40 different women groups in the State.
The aim of the sensitization lecture was to sensitize the women in Kano between the ages of 18-45 on youwin program in order to get them to apply and benefit, noting that this year the program targeted only women.
Four presentations were made during the lecture. After the opening prayer, Malam Kabir S Dakata of CITAD w welcomed the participants to the lecture and briefed them on some of the activities of the organization. The first presentation was made by Malam Isyaku Garba on the importance of ICT in entrepreneurship especially in modern business. Malam Isyaku said that the word ICT is an acronym for Information and Communication Technologies. ICT has many dimensions such as Internet, radio, Television, Satellite-based broadcasting, publishing Technologies, wireless technologies (GSM), Offline multimedia etc. Malam isyaku added that is good as an entrepreneur to know more about ICT as modern business rely on ICT. Even the Youwin is ICT based prospective applicants have to fill the application form online.
The second presentation was made by Sagiru Ado Abubakar on youwin. Sagir Abubakar explained that YouWiN! Stands for Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria. It is an innovative business plan competition aimed at job creation by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth in Nigeria to develop and execute business ideas. It is three-year circle project aimed at reducing unemployment in the country. It was started last year, but last year youwin program targeted both men and women, ages between 18-45.
Sagir Abubakar also explained that the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWiN!) Programme is a collaboration of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Communication Technology (CT), the Ministry of Youth Development and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development that has launched an annual Business Plan Competition (BPC) for aspiring young entrepreneurs in Nigeria, in line with the Federal Government’s drive to create more jobs for Nigerians. The programme is implemented in partnership with Nigeria’s private sector,.
The programme provides aspiring youth with a platform to show case their business acumen, skills and aspirations to business leaders, investors and mentors in Nigeria.
The competition timeline was also explained to the participants, telling them that this year’s program was launched on Mon. Sep 3, 2012. On that day submission of the business concept started and Sun, Oct 14, 2012 first stage business concept submission closes.
The third presentation was made by Ibrahim Muhd Aboki. Malam Aboki was a beneficiary of last year’s youwin. Malam Aboki started by welcoming the participants and said that he was happy this year’s youwin has accommodated the application of our mothers-women only. Let me tell you one thing, the idea of this program came to me last year from a colleague in office (CITAD), Mallam Abdullahi Barau who also heard about the idea in one of the workshop he attended. Although he didn’t articulate the message correctly to me as he himself, I guessed did not understand all about the program correctly. “I suddenly started thinking of visiting the website of you win what took me a day or two to have preliminary enquiries on the program. Thereafter, I registered my personal self and I took the responsibility of spreading the information to most of our youth in Azare”.
Malam Aboki added that upon telling the other people, he noticed that many of them did not take it serious; with some of them thinking that he had gone insane, saying that how could government in Nigeria give you money without you be somebody. Others had interest but lacked confidence on government, with countless of them computer illiterate expecting someone to apply for them.
Aboki mentioned that one thing that interested him about youwin was how frequent the site kept sending updates to applicant’s emails. For instance, during the notification of winners, both the winners and losers did receive emails about their status.
Finally, Malam Aboki urged them that to use this opportunity to venture into business And if I was asked to describe youwin in two words, I can sayis just a commitment and dedication. The secret is just for you to get away with laziness. Feel free and apply. You can win as I win. And if you win we all win. I am happy to tell you that right now I received my first trench of the grant. Thank you all and I wish you the best.
The last presentation was a tutorial and demonstration on filling the online youwin application form. The tutorial session was facilitated by Khadija Idris of CITAD. Malam Khadijah demonstrated the way an applicant should fill the form and what was required in the application form.