U.S. consulate, others seek more empowerment for start-ups

For Nigeria’s economy to thrive, United States Consulate Deputy Political and Economic Chief, Kenise Hill, has called for adequate empowerment for start-ups across the country.

Hill also identified small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) as the most available lifeblood the government can leverage to grow the economy.

Speaking at the Ayoba SME Accelerator, Nigeria 2023, in Lagos, the US envoy noted that startups are the lifeblood of every thriving economy and called for adequate empowerment of the sector.

Represented by Kelechukwu Onyeke, Hill submitted: “They are the ones who go to places we are all afraid to go. They can adapt and chart a new course.”

Describing SMEs as job-creating machines that may be small but have great growth potential, he said: “They are the solutions that change life and have a lasting impact. They are creating a culture of resilience. They show us that we don’t have to wait for change, but rather we have to be the change. Hill declared.”

In his address, the Regional Head of West Africa, Adanian Labs, Killian Mayua, said 42 entrepreneurs successfully graduated from the programme having undergone six-month training at Adanian Labs.

According to Mayua, the training was in line with the Labs’ effort to empower SMEs with the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI).

Mayua said that a comprehensive training program was meticulously crafted, leveraging a blend of interactive workshops, hands-on tutorials and personalised coaching sessions.

Speaking further, he explained that the SMEs were immersed in a dynamic learning environment tailored to their unique business needs.

“Through practical demonstrations and real-world case studies, participants gained invaluable insights into the diverse applications of AI tools across various operational domains. From streamlining inventory management to enhancing customer engagement strategies, the training equipped SME owners and employees with the knowledge and skills necessary to harness AI technologies effectively.

“By fostering a culture of innovation and adaptability, this initiative not only empowered SMEs to thrive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape but also fostered a community of forward-thinking entrepreneurs poised to capitalize on the limitless opportunities afforded by AI,” he said.

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