The United Nations sustainable development report states that the proportion of the global population living below the extreme poverty line dropped by half between 2002 and 2012, from 26 to 13 per cent. This translated to one in eight people worldwide living in extreme poverty in 2012. Poverty remains widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 40 per cent of people lived on less than 1.90 US dollars a day in 2012.
The Fitch International evaluation report on economic performance in 2016 put the productivity index of Nigeria at an all-time high of 72% from 60% in 2015. The report also states that more than 55% of the youths are either unemployed or underemployed.
Entrepreneurship is therefore one of the solutions to reducing poverty as it is a medium to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities and also sustain a healthy economy and environment.
Vocational Education can play a vital role in tackling the rate of unemployment in Nigeria as this could prepare graduates to gain employment in the SMEs Sector. As a nation, Nigeria has placed great value on paper qualification and this has affected the rate of unemployment as there is a lack of employable manpower. Vocational training will aid build the capacity by creating skilled workforce that could operate independently in the labor market.
Financial Inclusion and Literacy is crucial to achieving inclusive growth particularly among poor people and women.
Statistics show that women make up about 40% of the world’s workforce and most of the sectors that are critical for economic growth in some of the poorest countries rely heavily on women. Yet women owned businesses have unmet financial needs which is their biggest barrier to growth and development.
The Global Findex report shows that women are less likely than men to have formal bank accounts. Also 20% of women in developing economies are less likely than men to have an account at a formal financial institution and 17% less likely to have borrowed formally in the past year. This is due to a number of factors particularly a lack of financial education which has limited women from gaining access to and benefitting from financial services. The World Bank’s Gender at Work report (2014) affirms that on almost every global measure, women are more economically excluded than men.
To promote entrepreneurship among not just the urban youth but also among the rural youth, ACT foundation will focus its entrepreneurship intervention on vocational education and financial inclusion.
Our goal is to produce skilled or semi skilled individuals who will apply the knowledge learnt so as to improve their livelihoods and reduce unemployment/poverty ratio through job creation in the region.