Nigeria’s youth unemployment problem cannot be solved by making every youth an employer. Economies where many are employers are inefficient – poor utilization of factors of production. Poverty has not gone in your village even though most are self-employers in farming. Nigeria needs entrepreneurs with scalable visions to create many jobs, not small business owners.
If you read carefully, I made sure I said Entrepreneur, not a small business owner. A freelancer is a SMALL BUSINESS OWNER. I used the word an entrepreneur in the piece. I did not say you need experience to start a small business. I said you need experience to become an Entrepreneur, in NIGERIA.
I have always noted that entrepreneurs are not the same as small business owners. In Oshodi market, even though World Bank would call the market women entrepreneurs [yes, we empowered 10,000 Women Entrepreneurs Last Year in Africa!], I do not – I call them small business owners. The main difference is the scalable advantage which entrepreneurs have unlike small business owners who may run a shop for 30 years with no growth.
Do not fall into the peril of making every Nigerian youth an employer as many advocate here. When many are EMPLOYERS, economies of scale stall, diminishing industrial productivity, with massive negative equilibrium shifts on human welfare. Despite the rants, the best economies with best welfare happen when many are EMPLOYEES with balanced number of employers! Our solution cannot come by making unemployed youth all employers.