President Goodluck Jonathan will today, launch the second
edition of the Youth Enterprise With Innovation (YOUWIN!), A Federal Ministry
of Finance innovative business plan competition for talented youth‘entrepreneurs.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the
Minister of Finance, Mr Paul Nwabuikwu, said YOUWIN! 2 would be exclusively for
young female entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 45.
The statement noted that the first year of the competition,
which ended recently produced 1,200 winners from different parts of the country
“following a rigorous and exciting contest.”
It added that winners in the YOUWIN 1 competition were given
prizes and grants of up to N10 million, technical support including
state-of-the-art websites and strategic guidance by
“The objective is to create thousands of jobs by helping
winners to strengthen and expand existing businesses, as well as turn
innovative ideas into solid businesses.’’
Our correspondent recalls that during the launch of the
National Gender Policy Dialogue organised by the World Bank on May 21 in Abuja,
the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, hinted that the second phase
of the competition would be dedicated to women.
She attributed this to the fact that out of the total 1,200
winners in the last competition, only 17 per cent were women.
Citing the 2012 World Bank report on Gender Equality and
Development, Okonjo-Iweala said “if empowering women is smart economics,
empowering girls is smarter economies.’’
Findings from the World Bank report indicates that
empowering women and girls had increased many nation’s GDP growth, particularly
in developing countries.