MTN, Microsoft And Meta Partner To Train 3000 Young Entrepreneurs

By Blossom Deji-Folutile
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In collaboration with Microsoft and Meta, MTN Foundation has begun the sixth phase of its ICT and Business Skills training for 3,000 young Nigerian entrepreneurs. The five-week virtual training, which will be a mix of instructor-led and self-paced learning, commenced on September 4 and will end on October 12, 2023.

The training aims to equip the 3,000 entrepreneurs with business and technological skills needed to build sustainable businesses in Nigeria. Upon completion of the training, the top 300 participants will each receive part of the N90,000,000 equipment grant.

Speaking on the importance of the training, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya said, “In Nigeria today, there are a lot of businesses run by young people who require skills to sustain and upscale these businesses. The training we are delivering aims to equip our entrepreneurial youth with technological skills that they can in turn use to grow their businesses. As a technology company, we are committed to empowering young entrepreneurs in Nigeria and we’re constantly seeking ways to bridge the gap between our youths and the skills they require to thrive in a digital world. We will continue to partner with other organisations in this quest.”

Commenting on the partnership, Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Ola Williams said, “Entrepreneurs play a pivotal role in Nigeria’s economy. According to PwC Nigeria, SMEs account for 96 percent of businesses and 84 percent of employment in the country. This adds up to a contribution of 48 percent to Nigeria’s GDP – no small amount. It’s these industrious and resourceful business owners we want to see succeed, but digital skills can be a major stumbling block for growth. By enabling SMEs with the right skills, we are creating opportunities not only for growth, but employment for many people in Nigeria and the rest of the continent.”

“At Meta, we strongly believe that small businesses play a critical role in driving economic growth and development, and as such, we are committed to supporting them. We are proud to have invested in programs that are specifically designed to provide small businesses with the resources they need to grow and succeed, and by partnering with organizations such as MTN Foundation, we are able to have a direct and positive impact on the local economy. We invite small business owners to tap into these programs and resources to transform their businesses and thrive in the digital economy" says Adaora Ikenze, Director of Public Policy, Anglophone West Africa, at Meta.

The 3,000 participants will be trained in modules including digital skills, artificial intelligence, and digital advertising.

The five phases completed were in collaboration with Oracle, KPMG, IBM, Digital Bridge Institute, CISCO, Google, Meta, and Microsoft. This phase is aimed at young business owners in Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Kebbi, Niger and Yobe State. Since the inception of the initiative, MTN Foundation has trained over 4,000 youths across 16 states in Nigeria including Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Borno, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Oyo and Rivers States.