My Experience As A Judge At The Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs Empowerment Nigeria (AYEEN) 2017 Lagos Screening Exercise
The Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (AYE) was founded on the premise of empowering young entrepreneurs across the African continent by creating platforms to facilitate trade and investments within its borders. This dream, which was embarked on seven years ago, in the year 2010, by Summy Smart Francis, hasn’t just successfully delivered on its mandate, but was also recently rated by the Global Entrepreneurship Institute as the largest entrepreneurship network in the world, with over 12 million members in 20+ countries and counting.
A part of this success are the Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs Empowerment Nigeria (AYEEN) and Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs Student Association (AYESA) programs, known to be structured to empower entrepreneurs both financially and intellectually across-board.
The AYEEN program for the year 2017 has so far been a massive success. With screenings having happened in various states across Nigeria, thousands of entrepreneurs pitching for grants and loans have been interviewed, with great prospects spotted amongst some who would eventually go on become one of the 1,000 empowered AYEEN applicants for the year 2017.
My Experience At The Lagos Screening
So I spent the 26th, 27th, & 28th of June 2017 alongside other judges at the Lagos AYEEN screening, interviewing entrepreneurs. Over 1,000 entrepreneurs graced the screening exercise with businesses and products spanning through various segments ranging from innovative generators that do not require fuel or batteries to run, to completely redesigned concepts for a fish and poultry farm to work together, to unbelievable small businesses earning over 1 million Naira monthly in net profits, amongst others.
The event was graced by people from all walks of life, and from the thousands that showed up, some diamonds in the rough whose businesses or products have great potentials to change the course of Nigeria’s history have certainly been identified.
The success of the screening exercise proved beyond doubt that the change the Nigerian people hope should come through the upper layers of government, have even far more potentials to come through entrepreneurship communities and organizations going all out on their way to ensure they can discover and empower businesses whose prospects are beyond measure but have only been hindered from growth because of their lack of exposure to potential investors, financial institutions, and action from the federal government.
In this measure, the Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (AYE) is leaving a remarkable impact that will go a long way in shaping the future of the African continent and Nigeria as a nation.
Below are a few pictures of the Lagos AYEEN screening, shedding just a little light into what was more than a successful exercise:
What are your thoughts on the recently concluded AYEEN screening exercise? Let me know by leaving a comment below.