Only 17 per cent of the previous YOUWIN winners were women.
President Goodluck Jonathan will on Monday, launch the second edition of the Youth Enterprise with Innovation (YOUWIN!).
YOUWIN is a Federal Ministry of Finance innovative business plan competition for talented youth entrepreneurs. It was initiated in 2011.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Finance, Paul Nwabuikwu, in a statement on Sunday, said that 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 experienced mentors.
“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,” Mr. Nwabuikwu said.
During the launch of the National Gender Policy Dialogue organised by the World Bank on May 21 in Abuja, the Minister of Finance, 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, Ms. 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