The Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate in Lagos, Mr Russell Brooks, says entrepreneurship will be a key component in expanding and diversifying Africa’s economic development.
Brooks stated this in Ibadan on Wednesday at the Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs, organised by an outfit, Field of Skills and Dream, in collaboration with the US Consulate Lagos Office.
“We are consumed with promoting economic development of the continent.
“In Nigeria, we know that traditionally the country has been dependent on oil economy to improve economic fortunes and provide jobs for the young population.
“However, it is important to diversify and encourage entrepreneurs.
“This conference is one example of our support, ” Brooks said.
He said many Nigerians had benefited from the US focus on entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, who declared the conference open, charged the participants to dare to succeed and to make a difference.
“Developed economies are those who are driven and sustained by innovation and courage.
“Let us dare to create jobs and not be job seekers, let us create employment and not be employees.
“Be visionary, realistic and disciplined, as there would be distractions and discouragement on your path to success.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing; don’t wait until things are perfect to take the step to start your business,” Ajimobi said.
Mrs Omowale Ogunrinde, the Director of Field of Skills and Dreams, said the conference, which is in its fourth edition, is a success story.
“The conference has birthed new businesses and helped to stabilised others,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 100 emerging entrepreneurs participated in the conference.
Some of the panelists at the event include a rice farmer, Mr Rotimi Williams; Bellanaija founder, Mrs Uche Pedro; and Chief Executive Officer of Arts and Craft, Mrs Femi Olayebi.(NAN)