FG Introduce Enterprise Development & Promotion to Support SMEs

The mandates of the Enterprise Development & Promotion Department (EDP), amongst others, includes job creation, and Youth empowerment through capacity building in various Vocational, Agricultural Value Chain and Entrepreneurship to provide opportunities for young people to develop their full potentials in order to contribute positively and maximally, not only to the development of their immediate communities but, the nation in general.

The Department is headed by a substantive Director on GL. 17 of the Youth Development Officers’ Cadre. The Department comprises of the following Divisions:

i. Enterprise Development Division
ii. Vocational Skills & Training Division
iii. Youth-in-Agriculture Division

The responsibilities of the Department are as follows:-

i. planning, implementing and evaluating Youth Empowerment Programmes at the national level;
ii. coordinating the activities of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) involved in Youth Empowerment;
iii. liaising with Development Partners, Corporate Organizations in delivering youth empowerment programmes and projects; and
iv. advising on the formulation, implementation and reviews of policies, projects and programmes on youth empowerment matters.

Core Programmes/Projects

i. Skills Acquisition Training (Diversified Vocational and Ago-allied skills).
The Department conducts skills training and acquisition in vocational and Agriculture especially in the area of value addition to generate business opportunities, employment, reduce youth restiveness and other vices.

ii. Apprenticeship Support/Business mentoring.
The programme was conceived to build the skills of the youth through attachment to master craft men and women over a period of three-six months. Through the scheme the participants must have been taken through all the basic rudiments of the business with a view of starting similar business to generate employment opportunities.

iii. Provision of Business Support Services for Youth SMEs.
This is a support window developed to link the beneficiaries of Ministry empowerment and skills acquisition programme to Business Support Services providers in order reduce drastically some of the challenges face by youth led business in the area of funding, materials, labour and other services that are germane to the success of business.

iv. Linkages with Government and Non-government Support Institutions for Youth MSMEs.
The Ministry provides linkages between the youth and support services provided by both government and non-government established institutions created with the mandate to develop Medium and Small-Scale Enterprises in the country.

v. Micro Credit Support.
The Department conceived the idea of connecting youth to financial institutions with the aim of securing micro credit facilities (loan) to either start or expand their businesses.

vi. Financial Literacy Training.
The Ministry, in collaboration with the CBN, NYSC and other stakeholders developed the programme to sensitize the populace on the need to patronize financial institutions for their products and services especially in the area of savings.

vii. Youth Cooperative Development.
The youth, through this programme, are encouraged to form cooperative society in order to pool resources together as a way to reduce the funding challenges and avoid the sapping interest rate of financial institutions.

viii. Entrepreneurship Development Training.
The beneficiaries of the Ministry’s empowerment and skills acquisition programmes are further trained in entrepreneurship development with the support of UNIDO to strengthen their business capabilities.

ix. Profiling and Support for Youth MSMEs.
One of the challenges of the Ministry in the area of job and business creation is availability of credible data. This programme was developed to generate accurate data on youth MSMEs for proper planning by the government.

x. Coordination on Youth Employment Initiatives.
The Department works with other youth led NGOs with a view to coordinating and building synergy among all stakeholders engaged in activities that are related to employment generation for the youth.