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Elumelu calls for enabling environment for startups, entrepreneurs

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Commercial banking wizkid and Chairman, United Bank for Africa Group, Mr. Tony Elumelu has revealed that the best way to grow entrepreneurship is to create ‎the enabling environment for the young generation to succeed in their chosen endevours.

He spoke at the 1st Distinguished Lecture of the ‎Lagos State University with the theme: “Entrepreneurship: The Challenges and Opportunities for Nigeria’s Future Leaders.”

The banker argued that “the biggest form of ‎freedom and independence for future leaders was to create an environment that enables ideas to thrive and succeed among youths”.

 “A lot of work needs to be done in Nigeria to stop over-dependence on developed countries and this could be done by encouraging self-reliance and entrepreneurship.

“For a country like Nigeria that produces oil and with lots of other natural endowments, the present fall in oil ‎price is not supposed to affect its economy.

“Even in a difficult environment as it is today, a difference can be made by successful entrepreneurs who tend to create employment opportunities for others.”

Elumelu said that efforts and support ‎by the government and other institutions such as the African Development Bank and philanthropists to young entrepreneurs would go a long way in developing Nigeria and Africa at large.

While noting that the borrowing policy and interest rates of banks also needed to be reviewed to benefit young entrepreneurs and business operators‎, he said “What value ‎is the money in a bank account if we cannot use it in a manner that creates maximum support for our people?”

The Chairman, however, advised aspiring entrepreneurs to continue to work hard, be disciplined; make sacrifices; dream to convert opportunities to action and be hungry for your ambition.

Elumelu further urged them to be resilient, humble, prudent and imbibe a savings culture, stressing that “Nosing for opportunity, foresight and taking position is also important for young entrepreneurs; so that when the opportunity crystallises, you can immediately harness it before others overtake you.”


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