The Lagos State government is harnessing the creativity of the fashion industry to provide youths with skills and employment, a reason the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment organises a yearly fashion exhibition to expose youths to opportunities in the cultural and creative industries, DANIELESSIET reports.
One sector the Lagos State is eyeing opportunities for youth engagement is fashion. This follows demands for garments.
For analysts, this is an industry to watch with its potential to drive industrial transformation and create jobs.
Buoyed by this, the state government is investing in building youth capacities to accelerate fashion production as well as developing an industry that will allow full industrialisation.
Addressing a fashion exhibition themed” Keep moving” organised by the state Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, in collaboration with Mac 89 Xperience, its Commissioner Mrs Yetunde Arobieke said the government has set its eyes on boosting growth through fashion.
To achieve this, attention has been given to strengthening the fashion value chain, by fostering an environment that creates quality employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, with increased access to finance, startup incubation and acceleration, particularly for youths.
As a job creation strategy, she added that the state government is empowering young Nigerians to make success in fashion in partnership with Mac89experience, a fashion startup.
The goal is to help fashion entrepreneurs who can lead thriving startups to break through barriers, and scale their businesses to their full potential.
Her words: “The state government has continued to invest on the unemployed youth by engaging them in programmes and ensuring they are continually connected to the rapidly changing dynamics in the professional atmosphere.”
The ministry, in collaboration with Mac89 Xperience, she announced, has launched a mobile application called Design Next Door (DND) to connect designers to the global market.
As the government continues to address the impacts caused by COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges, the commissioner reiterated efforts toward a strong re-covery that will create new jobs and opportunities for workers and businesses.
The state House Committee Chairman on Wealth Creation and Employment, Hon Jude Chukwuemeka Idimogu, argued that entrepreneurship aides a country’s development; as such, the government is creating a friendly environment in which startups can truly flourish.
He observed that the culture of entrepreneurship is changing, adding that young people graduating from universities were encouraged not just to think of getting white collar jobs but also to think about opening their own business.
He expects the industry to be a bigger wealth creator having the capability to cater for more entrants.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Kafayat Adetokunbo Ajenifuja, said Lagos is poised to transform with the government determined to establish fashion hubs.
The idea, she explained, was to create new opportunities for youths to explore offerings in the industry. She reiterated that the hubs would bring together startups which are passionate about contributing to a more sustainable industry.
According to her, there are efforts to advance innovation and capacity-building across the state by addressing essential components that entrepreneurs need to take their ideas to market: programmatic support and access to capital.
The diversity in programmes, she noted, proves that innovation and entrepreneurship are igniting all corners of the state and is a recognised tool for growth and resilience.
The Director, Employment Department, Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs Iyabo Seriki-Bello, maintained that the ecvent was aimed at helping enterprises scale and create products that would positively impact the state economy.
Mrs Seriki-Bello expressed her excitement about the exhibition, which would enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem and promote innovation that the industry of the future will require.
According to her, unlocking the potential of new fashion entrepreneurs not only generate a multiplier effect for economic development but also drives empowerment.
She added that the project takes a facilitative approach to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem, which will include skill-building and networking opportunities and promotion of renewed perspectives enterprise management.
The Modelling Director, Mac89 Xperience Exhibition, Mike Ogujegu, said the event would help take ventures and entrepreneurs to the next level.
The event served as an important platform to share ideas and know-hows and access a broad network of fashion start-ups, experts and stakeholders.
Fashion designers were exposed to coaching, business strategies and market access.