AGF launches training, mentorship programmes for 80 young Nigerian entrepreneurs | The Guardian Nigeria News

The African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (AGF) has launched a training and mentorship programme for 80 youth-led start-ups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Nigeria.

The Group Communications and Public Relations Manager, AGF, Diana Aluga made this known in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

According to the statement, the programme was with the support of the African Development Bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund.

It added that the AGF was implementing the year-long training and mentorship series to provide capacity-building support and coaching to 80 youth entrepreneurs across the country.

Mr Constant N’zi, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer, AGF, said the Nigerian youths comprising over 50 per cent of the country’s population had a critical role to play in the development of the country.

He added that objective of the AGFs partnership with FRAGG Investment Management Ltd., the programme coordinating partner for Nigeria, was to build the capacity of youth entrepreneurs to access financing for sustainable growth.

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N’zi said that FRAGG would match programme’s participants with business coaches and mentors, as well as teach them the technical skills needed to submit bankable business proposals most likely to secure financing.

He added that the consulting firm also aims to link youth-led startup leaders to local financial institutions and private equity funds.

“According to the Nigeria’s Ministry of Trade and Investment, more than 37 million MSMEs account for more than 84 per cent of jobs in the country, about 48.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product and about 7.27 per cent of goods and services exported.

“The training and mentorship programme will boost MSMEs contribution to Nigeria’s overall economic growth and development.

“The Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund Youth-led Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, Training and Mentorship Programme is rolling out programmes in Ghana, Mali, Togo, and Zimbabwe in 2022,” he said.

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Mr Franklin Odoemenam, FRAGG Managing Director, pledged the organisation’s support in equipping Nigerian youth entrepreneurs with training that would position their businesses to be investor-ready, in order to access financing.

“Our team is committed to supporting the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation initiative and this programme is in tandem with the values of FRAGG, which is entrenched in the triple bottom approach of people, profit, and the planet,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that
AGF is a pan-African non-bank financial institution whose aim is to promote economic development, increase employment and reduce poverty in Africa by providing financial institutions with guarantee products and capacity to support SMEs in Africa.

FRAGG is an impact investment management and advisory company specialising in the mobilisation of funds targeting investments in the impact and climate domains.

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