I was at the presidential launch of 3rd edition of Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWIN! 3) on Monday, 25th November, 2013 at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja by President Goodluck Jonathan.
It was fun-filled day and awesome experience for me especially when I danced with Mama Okonjo Iweala, Finance Minister. It was it awesome experience in the sense that, being at the State House and seeing the president once again and other top dignitaries is a rare opportunity. I was so thrilled with the simplicity of Mama Okonjo Iweala.
All invited YouWIN! awardees were asked to assemble at Millennium Park, Maitama, Abuja by 6:00am for screening and accreditation before conveying us to the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja. We were given T-shirt of YouWIN! 2.
In the State House, you are not allowed to go into the hall with electronic gadgets, but phones were allowed and we were asked to switch off. Ipads, camara, laptops etc were seized but awardees still find a way to smuggle IPad and smartphones in. We were allowed to snap pictures in the State House before going into the hall and after the launching, we were allowed to snap pictures.
It is a serious security risk to use your phone while the president was in the state house or in the hall. Therefore, all the networks were switch off before the presidential arrival. Everyone was thoroughly screened before going into the hall.
Tuface and his team were there to give good music.
Immediately Mama Okonjo Iweala walk in, all the awardees gave her enthusiastic welcome and she was so happy. After that she went out to welcome Mr President and took around the exhibition stand for some YouWIN! awardees products exhibition.
The entrances of Mr President into the hall received enthusiastic welcome from the awardees who have been empowered by the president. The president was so delighted.
The welcome remark was done by Minister of Information, Mrs Okonjo Iweala who is the initiator of this unique idea. She said when the current government came into power, one of the transformational agendas was to create employment opportunities for the teaming unemployed Nigerians and they believe the best way to go about it is empower some innovative and creative youths with fund as well as entrepreneurship training who have been incapacitated by lack of fund to either kick start or expand their businesses.
She was so delighted to inform Nigerians that YouWIn! 1 awardees have created 22,000 job opportunities while YouWIN! 2 awardees have created 5,000 job opportunities.
After Mama’s speech, there was documentary showcasing YouWIN! success stories and after the documentary, two live testimonials from one YouWIN! 2 awardee and one non-awardee whom after did not make it as an awardee, was invited for further training on how to source for fund and she was able to kick start her interior decoration business courtesy of the training she received.
After the live testimonials, it was Tuface turn to do what he knows how to do best.
Overview of YouWIN! application process was done by Hon. Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson. She says 4 things YouWIN! is looking for in a good business plan are innovativeness, uniqueness, practicability and viability. I always laid emphasis on this uniqueness and innovativeness if you really want to WIN.
It was the turn of President Goodluck Jonathan to give his speech and also launch YouWIN! 3. President Jonathan says when he assumed office, the rate of unemployment among Nigerian youths was at alarming rate of about 35 per cent at the beginning of his administration and this was unacceptable by his government.
The YOU WIN programme is unique in the sense that it depends on the Nigerian youth to create jobs for the Nigerian youths,” he explained.
He reminded the gathering of his promise to make available a minimum of 80,000 jobs through the programme and announced that over 26,000 direct jobs have been created across 6 geo-political zones.
After president departure, Mama Okonjo Iweala came on stage and danced with us. It was really fun.
If you are interested in applying for YouWIN! 3 and you don’t know how to go about it, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.