The Kaduna State Government said on Friday that it had concluded plans to support the growth and development of 500 secondary school girls into successful entrepreneurs.
Assistant Director, Female Education in the state’s Ministry of Education, Mrs Esther Kayock, made this known at a capacity building programme organised for girls in public schools in Kaduna.
The programme tagged “The Girl Agenda: Setting the Pace” was organised by an NGO, Women Connect Initiative (WCI) to train, empower and nurture young girls interested in doing business.
Kayock explained that the entrepreneurs would be developed under Gov Nasir El-Rufai led-administration’s policy on female education, as part of efforts to make the state a hub of commerce and start-ups.
She said the state government would be holding capacity building programmes every year to identify secondary school girls managing personal businesses or those with innovative ideas that can be supported.
According to her, the policy hopes to identify, equip and empower young female entrepreneurs in the next 10 years and mentor them to become big business women.
“This is part of the administration’s policy of putting people first, particularly the girl child, because our country cannot move forward without investing on the girl child.
“Our girls need to be empowered and supported to initiate creative business ideas that can become the next ‘big thing’ in the long run.
“The state government would continue to invest in its citizens and explore all possible opportunities to attract investors to Kaduna State,” she said.
Earlier, WCI Director, Hajiya Murjanatu Suleiman-Shika, thanked the state government for committing to support start-ups for the school girls.
Suleiman-Shika called on them to take advantage of the initiative by identifying needs around them; and create innovative ways to address them profitably.
“500 women entrepreneurs in ten years is huge and I strongly believe that quite a number of the beneficiaries will grow to become successful.”
One of the resource persons, Dr Grace Ugwuanya, urged young girls to be creative and initiate business ideas that can be funded.
Ugwuanya advised the girls to look beyond being employees and aspire to become employers of labour.