Tackling unemployment through entrepreneurship By Daniel Osunkoya

Daniel Osunkoya

The hardest work in the world is being out of work. It was no joke when the late American comedian and actor, Slappy White, comically said, “The trouble with unemployment is that the minute you wake up in the morning you’re on the job.”

While it is true that unemployment is one of the greatest problems facing Nigeria today, it should however not be an excuse for one’s failure. We must realize as a nation, that employment by government agencies and multinationals alone cannot solve the problem of unemployment in this country because of our large population. Entrepreneurship is the main solution to tackling joblessness in Nigeria particularly because the current global economic and financial crisis has cause an immense decline in available jobs. 

According to Greg Watson, a professor and retired private serial entrepreneur, entrepreneurship is more than just starting a business. It is a process through which individuals identify opportunities, allocate resources, and create value. Greg Watson holds that this creation of value is often through the identification of unmet needs or through the identification of opportunities for change.

Entrepreneurs see problems as opportunities,  they identify the solutions to those problems and then sell to customers who will pay to have those problems solved. Entrepreneurial success is simply a function of the ability of an entrepreneur to see these opportunities in the marketplace, initiate change or take advantage of change and create value through solutions. Using one’s natural and acquired abilities in providing solutions to problems and getting monetary values in return could also put an end to unemployment.

Whatever good or service you see around today was created by an entrepreneur.  Nigerians, particularly the youths must embrace entrepreneurship in spite of the various challenges in our environment that poses as limitation to success. So many challenges we see today have been surmounted by many entrepreneurs. Challenges such as the lack of adequate electricity and security, high cost of communication and transportation, multiple taxes, high interest rate, and cultural barriers for female entrepreneurs, have once been conquered by some.

The government’s inability to provide a conducive business environment is a daunting challenge but should not deter people from initiating businesses. There are people that have succeeded despite the challenges they encounter.  More so, the major source of job creation all over the world small scale businesses.

Since the job market is shrinking and those seeking for employment are on the increase, a lot of graduates will not get jobs after graduation especially in the presence of increasing number of graduates. Majority of the graduates in Nigeria are searching for ready-made jobs in industries such as oil and gas, telecommunications, and banks while minimal people are willing to create jobs.

In a chart with some experts recently, I discovered that enormous opportunities await entrepreneurs who would like to venture into export trading in Nigeria. Many people look out of the way when export business is suggested to them as a business venture.  They believe export is a business for the rich, forgetting that business is about generation of ideas which are well packaged, delivered and experimented over a period of time.

Export business expenses are determined by the nature of the goods. Perishable goods are costly to export than non-perishable goods. Export is a business that can be started small and expanded over a period of time. Some of the local foods in Nigeria have a high demand in the international market. Goods such as fish, vegetable leaves, spices and other items found around us are in high demand outside the shores of the country. 

Just as there are opportunities in the export industry, there are also several business opportunities in real estate, sports, transportation, education, etc. To be a successful entrepreneur it only takes your passion coupled with well researched information on the business you want to do.

*Daniel Osunkoya is the Coordinator of D-dan Projects International, a human development training outfit. He has authored several motivational books and currently writes for Premium Times


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