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‘Entrepreneurship, panacea to economic woes’

By Adedotun Ajayi

Ondo State Governor, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa has said there is no better time when entrepreneurship should be taken seriously than now due to the current state of the nation’s  economy.

He said his administration is not only making entrepreneurship development a major priority but has also recognized the significance of innovative entrepreneurship in shaping the state’s economic future.

He spoke on Saturday at the Entrepreneurs’ 3rd Summit 2024 held at the International Centre for Culture and Events (The DOME), Akure, Ondo State capital.

The summit organised by the Ondo State Entrepreneurship Development Agency (ONDEA) with the theme “Innovative Entrepreneurship For Sustainable Economy,” attracted  diverse and enthusiastic audience.

At the well attended event, Governor Aiyedatiwa presented farming equipment to farmers across the state to aid food production and food security.

Aiyedatiwa particularly congratulated all the entrepreneurs for being part of the landmark event, emphasizing the significant role of young people in shaping Africa’s future.

The Governor lauded the efforts of the State Entrepreneurship Agency (ONDEA), which has impacted numerous lives and businesses through strategic funding, digitization initiatives, and skills acquisition programmes.

“Through strategic funding, digitization efforts and skills acquisition programmes, ONDEA since inception from 2020 till date, has equipped over 25,251 beneficiaries with the tools and knowledge needed to thrive in today’s dynamic business landscape.

“From providing startup grants to nurturing innovative ideas, we have witnessed the birth of new businesses, the creation of jobs, a significant reduction in youth unemployment and more businesses in our tax net for increased Internally Generated Revenue”

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“During the first quarter of this year, ONDEA trained and empowered 618 individuals from the grassroots, some of whom will be awarded their certificates today. “The ONDEA my IDEA initiatives 2024 Edition”, has also kicked off, where the 20 most innovative entrepreneurs in Ondo State will be awarded one million Naira cash grant each, and business support packages worth two million Naira each.”

He reiterated his administration’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurship to thrive, citing the pivotal role of collaboration with the private sector and the empowerment of youths.

“As a State, we have implemented a range of policies and initiatives aimed at supporting entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey. We have also initiated programmes to cushion the effect of the current state of the economy. Two hundred million Naira was recently approved for our artisans as grants” he added

He also disclosed that Ondo State will host the Global Entrepreneurship Festival in November 2024, demonstrating the state’s dedication to promoting innovation worldwide.

He said “This is big news for Ondo State, and I thank the global community for trusting us to host this remarkable event. This is like hosting the World Cup, and I can assure you that Ondo State is ready. We will also be sponsoring our finest entrepreneurs to attend the festival to showcase the brilliance of Ondo State innovations”

Earlier, Special Adviser to the Governor on Entrepreneurship Development and CEO ONDEA, Dr. Summy Smart Francis, commended Governor Aiyedatiwa for his steadfast dedication to nurturing young entrepreneurs in the state and for fostering a conducive environment for businesses to flourish.

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He also urged the young entrepreneurs to maintain focus and determination, highlighting the numerous business opportunities created by Governor Aiyedatiwa through ONDEA

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‘Entrepreneurship, panacea to economic woes’

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