Combating Youth Unemployment And Violent Extremism In Nigeria Through Youth Entrepreneurship

Nigeria’s economic situation is in “its worst possible time”, according to Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun. Millions of youths are indeed in critical economic conditions as recession continue to bite harder and unemployment rate increasing on a daily basis.  The National Bureau of Statistics has reported that the country’s unemployment rate has risen from 12.1% in the first quarter of 2016 to 13.3% as at the end of the second quarter. In the report, the bureau said the number of people that were unemployed or underemployed increased from 24.4 million as at the end of the first quarter to 26.06 million persons in the second quarter of 2016.

With glaring economic hardship, young people have become very restive and extremely violent in conduct at the slightest provocation. Recent happenings in many parts of Nigeria – Niger Delta, North East, Lagos, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina are clear indicators of violent extremism by young people. As youth unemployment continue to rise, kidnapping, armed robbery, and terrorism are entrenching themselves in the lives of restless youths who become both perpetrators and victims.

Consequently, unemployment, economic hardship, poverty, drug-taking, and other crimes become the order of the day among these youths living in shanty slums. Bad friends and peer influence further lead to escalation of youth involvement in criminal activities such as kidnapping, drug trafficking, illegal fuel bunkering, cultism, political thuggery, 419, child-prostitution, gambling, and human-trafficking. We believe that with the current economic situation, a more rapid and result-oriented approach to poverty alleviation must be applied to empower youths living in slums in Nigeria.

CVL (Centre for Values in Leadership) initiated a youth entrepreneurship, agro-processing and vocational skills acquisition programme that offers sustainable livelihood support and employment opportunities for youths in Nigeria over a 12 months period under the CVL Young Entrepreneurship Training Programme (YETP) – a national youth intervention programme. To be part of this youth empowerment scheme, the applicant must be a resident of the selected community and must be within the age brackets (18-to-40 inclusive). An applicant with a minimum of School Certificate or ability to read and write may be considered.

Project Purpose:

The main goal of this project is to combat violent extremism and youth unemployment through youth entrepreneurship, agriculture, and Information, Communication and Technological engagement with the youths in Nigeria.

Specific Objectives:

  1. Within 12 months enhance entrepreneurship skills of young people through entrepreneurship training, mentoring, and business internship.
  2. Within 12 months empower young entrepreneurs with start-up capitals to enable them establish, run and manage sustainable enterprises.
  3. Increase access to financial support for young people, through linkages to investors, credit banks, and other micro-finance houses for start-up capital and business growth/expansion purpose.
  4. Within 12 months, reduce youth restiveness and unemployment by creating job opportunities for young people.

The innovative idea of the young entrepreneur must come from one of the following sectors:

  1. Agriculture-Agro-processing, Fish Farming, piggery, poultry, etc.
  2. Creative Economy (Fashion, Photography, Creative Arts, Music and Film Entertainment)
  3. Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
  4. Retail Trading (Buying and Selling, Agentship, broker, commission agent, etc.)

Strategic Approach:

  1. Self-Mastery/Leadership/Role Modelling
  2. Entrepreneurship Training
  3. Technical/Vocational Skills Acquisition
  4. Business Mentoring/Apprenticeship/Internship
  5. Technical Support (Business Plan Writing, Business Registration, etc.)
  6. Financial Support (Start-ups, Grants, Loans, & Growth Support)

Interested young people in the selected community must undergo the following


  1. Business and Entrepreneurship Training: The participants are enrolled for the 3month intensive training. The training will hold two or three times a week, totaling 16 or 24 days with a duration of 8hours each day. At the training, participants will be equipped with various business skills ranging from generating business ideas, feasibility study, writing business plans, to customer service, basic finance tools, personal development etc.
  2. Practical Internship with Business Mentors: After completing the 3-months entrepreneurship training, participants will be grouped/paired with business mentors in the same line of business for 3 months.
  3. Graduation/Allocation/Distribution of Start-up Capital: At the end of the 3months business mentorship, participants will be issued certificate of participation in entrepreneurship development. Each qualified participant will receive his/her start-up kits and/or cheque to start a new business or expand existing one.

Expected Results:

At the end of the project we expect the following result:

  1. Increased entrepreneurship skills for youths to enhance their ability to engage in sustainable self-employed businesses
  2. Increase access to financial partners through links to BOI, Heritage Bank, Sterling Bank, Fidelity Bank, etc. for single digit interest loan from the intervention funds.
  3. Youths are mentored and guided not only in business approach but also in leadership, community engagement and public conduct
  4. Reduced unemployment, violent and criminal activities youths are gainfully employed in enterprise development and now see themselves as role models worthy of emulation by other youths having now secured a sustainable means of livelihood.



Lagos State

Delta State

Adamawa State

Anambra State

Kano State

Kwara State



Project will be 100% delivered by CVL in partnership with other partners.


For further information on the project, please contact:  James E. Ebube on 0814 628 6645;; Modestus Nwaulu on: 08034746919,