Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Eggheads in the business of economic development of the world converged in Istanbul recently for the 2020 World Business Angel Investment Forum (WBAF).

No fewer than 1,658 angel investors, venture capital firms, start-ups, SMEs, financial institutions, policy makers, governments, multi-national corporations, foundations, non-profit organisations, entrepreneurs’ support organisations, international bilateral and multilateral institutions from 92 countries attended the conference.

Executive Director, Grand Africa Initiative Nigeria, Chinwe Okoli, was among the experts that made presentations at the congress and participated in several panel discussions.

In her submission, Ms Okoli stressed the need for public and private individuals to join forces in building communities where entrepreneursip can thrive. She pointed out the huge role of the government in creating such enabling environment for businesses with increased attention to start-ups businesses.

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She said: “Building an entrepreneurship-friendly community requires the support and cooperation of all stakeholders’. The role of the government is multi-faceted. They provide basic infrastructure such as transportation network and telecommunication broadband, enacting business-friendly regulations and legislations, creating cross border policies, friendly tax policies, fiscal incentives that can also encourage corporations to support young businesses, local content policy to promote new businesses and setting up entrepreneurship support fund to support seed stage businesses.”

She suggested to the corporations to create markets start-ups, as well as universities that demonstrate value for practical entrepreneurship, research and opportunities for impact of right skills on students.

Ms Okoli, thus highlighted the importance of building communities that would develop the capacity of young people and encourage entrepreneurship even in the rural areas.

She emphasised that all stakeholders must synergise to create the support system that will encourage entrepreneurship and also nuture entrepreneurs to increase their success rates.

“When more young people succeed in business, entrepreneurship will become more attractive to the youth, investors will want to invest more for better returns on their investment, tax revenue will rise, a thriving economy creates a safer society” she concluded.