Author(s): Chris Onyeose
August 13, 2013
In a statement made available to Nigerian Telegraph on Tuesday, the Foundation described Mara Mentor as “an online and mobile platform targeting young people, who want to start a business.”
The foundation further professed that the mentorship programme would serve as a “provider of non-formal education aimed at bridging the gap between school and life after school, enhancing young people’s potential for success by making them approach life as entrepreneurs.”
The statement read further that, “Aside from mentoring the youth on the path to entrepreneurial empowerment, the program further aims to provide comprehensive support services for the youth through funding assistance for novel business ideas, incubation centers and workspace, as well as continual business training. Furthermore, the program exudes special consideration and focus on the empowerment of female youth in our society.”
Commenting on the partnership, Ashish J. Thakkar, founder of Mara Group and Mara Foundation, explained that the project would “encourage young entrepreneurs to embrace innovative ideas, envision the impossible, and ultimately transform Nigeria,” adding that the foundation sees mentorship as “the key in addressing the gaps currently preventing these entrepreneurs from successfully starting, scaling and sustaining businesses.”
Ambassador Obinna Adim, Special Adviser to the President on Youth Empowerment representing President Goodluck Jonathan at the launching, said the Mara Mentorship would be an important part of the Integrated Youth Economic Empowerment Program (IYEEP).
“The Platform also matches young entrepreneurs with seasoned business owners and corporate leaders one on one. Our vision is to provide the needed platform and mechanism to transform our youth into (IYEEP) CHANGE MAKERS, who can make their communities a better place, not only for themselves but also for their fellow Nigerians by spurring wealth creation and raising household incomes across the country.”
The mentorship platform is currently accessible online, but will shortly be launched as a mobile application for smart phones with the objective to create a truly active and connected entrepreneurial community for youth across Nigeria.