Leveraging Entrepreneurship as a Solution to Unemployment in Nigeria [2024 Guide]

by Mariam Sulaimon
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Solution to unemployment: Entrepreneur working on a computer

Are you a Nigerian youth struggling to find a solution to unemployment? Relax! You can make things better by leveraging entrepreneurship.

Unemployment in Nigeria has become an epidemic. It is a hard pill that drains many Nigerian youth’s hopes, pockets, and self-worth. The stress of constant bills, rejection emails, and pressures from everywhere you turn slowly kills morale.

However, there is a solution to every problem; in this case, entrepreneurship is a sufficient solution.

In this article, you’ll discover how your unique talents and aspirations can change your life and transform your financial challenges into opportunities for self-empowerment and independence. By embracing entrepreneurship, you’re not giving up on job searches; instead, you’re opening doors to new possibilities, creating your income streams, and breaking free from the chains of unemployment.  

Unemployment in Nigeria: Definition and Prevalence

First things first, what is unemployment? It refers to the state of people who have no job. In other words, it is a situation of individuals who are capable and willing to work but cannot find jobs.

It can be devastating and may cause financial strain for individuals and families or increase home poverty levels. Unemployment causes potential discontent: people get upset, lose their spirits, and even feel no good as they cannot reach their goals.

Sadly, unemployment has become more prevalent in Nigeria over the years. According to the National Bureau of Statistics Nigeria Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate was 4.2% in Q2 2023, which is still slightly higher than the 4.1% recorded in Q1 of the same year.

A recent report, ‘KPMG Global Economy Outlook report,’ in 2023, even forecasted that the unemployment rate would skyrocket to 40.6%, climbing to 37.7% in 2022. This continuous rise in unemployment in Nigeria is due to the influx of job seekers into the Nigerian employment industry. The current economic report indicates Nigeria’s economic development has not been as swift as anticipated.

Hence, the economy needs help properly integrating many new entrants into the job market.

Read Also: The Rise of Social Entrepreneurship in Nigeria: Making a Difference and Profit

Why Consider Entrepreneurship as a Solution to Unemployment? 

Some of the advantages of entrepreneurship to job creation and the reduction of unemployment include: 

1. Self-employment

Entrepreneurs need not necessarily enter the job market to make a living. They can start a business, organize themselves, and operate without securing employment. Considering the scarce job opportunities, this reduces the ever-rising number of job seekers in the market. 

2. Innovation and economic diversification

Entrepreneurs introduce new products, services, and even models into the industry that resonate with their customers. Using their innovation, they can help revolutionize the industry while creating jobs. 

3. Unlimited income potential

While employment offers set salaries or wages, entrepreneurship is not subject to such a limitation. Your income opportunities are virtually limitless and based on the scale and scope of your business success. That is, you can reap the benefits of your labor and creativity to the maximum level.

Take a look at some of the inspiring success stories from Nigeria: Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, with a net worth exceeding $14 billion; Mike Adenuga, Founder and Chairman of Globacom, worth over $3 billion; Femi Otedola, Founder of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, with a net worth of over $1.8 billion. These are just a few examples of how entrepreneurship can generate wealth and success.

One common trait among these African leaders is that they are all entrepreneurs and their income capacities continue to increase daily.

4. Flexibility and work-life balance

Entrepreneurs can choose what and when to do their work. Thus, they can engage in other businesses during their spare time, which creates new opportunities for others.

5. Solve problems that resonate with you

As an entrepreneur, you can choose to solve issues that impact you personally or target your community or demographic. This feeling of fulfillment and making a real difference may be gratifying.

How Does Entrepreneurship Reduce Unemployment?

How can entrepreneurship be a solution to unemployment? Is it really possible?

Unemployment is a great challenge, but entrepreneurship is one primary solution that has helped contain its growth. Below are seven ways in which entrepreneurship mitigates unemployment.

1. Job creation

Entrepreneurship is crucial in creating highly relevant jobs in Nigeria, significantly reducing unemployment. When individuals like you start new businesses, they create opportunities for themselves and others, initiating a job creation cycle.

Businesses do not just “create jobs” for the business owner but also provide many other individuals with employment opportunities, lowering the unemployment rate. Top African leaders like Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga, and others you read about earlier have successfully built companies that provide thousands of jobs.

Their companies even provide mentorship programs, training, and funding opportunities further to impact the continent’s job creation and economic growth. The good news is that you can do the same by leveraging entrepreneurship. 

2. More revenue streams

As an Entrepreneur with an established business, you can enjoy multiple income streams, unlike typical Nigerian salary earners or government workers.

For instance, Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman whose net worth exceeds $1 billion. The foundation of her wealth lies in her fashion business, and she built more capacity by venturing into the oil business. Entrepreneurship will help you gain financial stability and opportunities to create more wealth.

3. Skill development

Pursuing entrepreneurship is essential for honing and enhancing your talents. It allows you to cultivate valuable abilities, strengthen your chances of being employed employability, and reduce unemployment. Risk-taking entrepreneurs also learn perseverance in the face of challenges, which helps them throughout their careers.

4. Reduction of reliance on the government

Entrepreneurship helps reduce dependence on government work. In most economies, especially when the unemployment rate is high, the government is regarded as the primary source of jobs. The reliance can lead to challenges such as overburdened public sectors and limited personal and economic growth opportunities.

5. Scalability and growth potential

While government jobs may only have pre-defined salary scales and growth potential, entrepreneurial ventures continue to grow. Business ventures continue to open new branches or enter new markets, increasing their returns and creating wealth for the entrepreneurs and other stakeholders.

How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

Rich and successful entrepreneurs have shared valuable tips and insights to help you grow your business and take it to the next level.  You should be like them if your goal is to provide a solution to unemployment in Nigeria and not just get daily bread. Let’s explore some of these tips:

1. Have a clear business vision

A clear business vision is the primary foundation of any successful business endeavor. Successful entrepreneurs have a well-articulated business idea of what they must achieve, the problems they want to solve, and the value they plan to add to their target audience. A clear business vision will aid you in adhering to it, making informed decisions, and dealing with challenges that come your way. 

2. Develop your skills

Entrepreneurship involves finding a need and filling in the gap—the reason it is a reliable solution to employment. You must always offer something to the market, whether selling a product or providing a service. Hence, you need the necessary skills to succeed in your chosen field or industry.

Learn the skills your business requires. This will help you stand out and scale quickly. Due to technological advancements, you may also need a blend of digital and traditional skills.

Digital skills for employability have more advantages than making you an employee. They can help you start a business or agency. These skills include digital marketing, social media management, content writing, content creation, data analytics, etc.

Honing traditional skills like effective communication, problem-solving, financial management, etc., will also help your growth and sustainability.

3. Establish a strong network

Networking is a critical entrepreneurial aspect that makes successful entrepreneurs. Your network includes mentors, investors, advisers, clients, and employees. Building your network isn’t assembling connections but maintaining and nurturing valuable relationships over time.

A strong network can provide you with a platform for guidance and support, resources, and growth opportunities; it is a valuable asset for any entrepreneur who wants to make a lot of money.

Join our community to access ressources for skill development and network with fellow entrepreneurs

4. Learn to delegate

Delegation is crucial for entrepreneurs who seek a solution to unemployment. They know that doing everything themselves is ineffective and hinders growth. 

It is essential to delegate tasks to a capable team so that they have time to focus on critical areas of the business. More importantly, investing your energy and resources in the right people and giving them the authority to make decisions is vital. It helps instill a sense of ownership and responsibility, improves efficiency, and facilitates innovation. 

5. Embrace failure

Every entrepreneur has undergone failure, and the best learn from it positively. Successful entrepreneurs perceive failure as an opportunity to learn and move to the next level. Overcoming failure is not the end but the beginning of success. Hence, instead of being discouraged by setbacks, you should adapt and learn from each mistake. Notably, failure is not the opposite of success but a part of it. Therefore, to succeed, one must fail and learn from it.

6. Understand wealth

The most vital lesson one can learn from successful entrepreneurs is their understanding of wealth. You can only acquire wealth by understanding how wealth creation and management work. Acquiring knowledge is essential to increase your net worth rather than depending on income. Mastering the art of wealth creation through a business will help to sustain your entrepreneurial goals. It will also aid financial stability and the ultimate success in wealth creation.

Read Also: 6 ways Entrepreneurs Can Reduce Business Expenses in Nigeria

Successful Nigerian Entrepreneurs as Role Models

Nigeria is a nation of incredible stories, with numerous individuals leveraging their talents and interests to create great fortunes. Some of the most outstanding Nigerian prodigies who have achieved tremendous success through their entrepreneurial endeavors include:

1. Olabanke Meshida Lawal

Olabanke Meshida Lawal, known as Banke, demonstrates how a hobby can evolve into a million-dollar industry. Banke’s passion for makeup started when she was in school. She occasionally applied makeup to brighten her friends’ appearances before awards and social events.

This desire led her to establish BMPro Makeup Group, one of the world’s most prestigious cosmetic and cosmetology businesses. She has received numerous international awards, including Brand of the Year at the Eloy Awards in 2009, Best Makeup Artist at the Nigerian Event Awards in 2012, and Makeup Artist of the Year at the FAB AWARDS in 2010. 

2. Abdul Samad Isyaku Rabiu

Abdul Samad Isyaku Rabiu, who established BUA Group, a conglomerate that spans sugar refining, cement production, real estate, logistics, and port operations, is another phenomenal entrepreneur in the Nigerian entrepreneurial landscape.

As a family of entrepreneurs, Rabiu received part of his father’s vast holdings, which he used to start his venture in 1988. BUA Group became a market leader after importing rice, sugar, edible oils, iron, and steel rods. That same year, Forbes estimated his net worth at $1.1 billion. 

3. Folorunso Alakija

Folorunso Alakija’s growth is an example of resilience and determination. After a lengthy fashion career, Alakija formed an oil exploration and production company, Famfa Oil Limited, in Nigeria in just a few weeks. Alakija’s story stands out to future Nigerian entrepreneurs of any age, emphasizing that they can realize their ambition through entrepreneurship no matter how old they are.

While she is one of Nigeria’s most successful entrepreneurs, Alakija’s philanthropic activities have also reached out to numerous Nigerians and people worldwide.

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4. Tara Fela-Durotoye

Tara Fela-Durotoye’s journey as an entrepreneur is nothing short of inspiring. The founder of the renowned cosmetics brand, House of Tara, Fela-Durotoye’s story is a testament to the power of passion, creativity, and innovation. Starting with just ₦15,000, she has grown her business into a thriving cosmetics company, defying all odds.

Fela-Durotoye’s success has transcended the realms of entrepreneurship, making her a role model for aspiring female entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Her journey has helped break down barriers and pave the way for women to thrive in business.

5. Ohimai Atafo

Ohimai Atafo, professionally known as Mai Atafo, has carved a niche in the fashion industry with his bespoke tailoring. Born in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Atafo’s path to success took a lot of work.

After obtaining a Master’s in Information Systems and Technology from City University, London, he pursued a different career path. However, his passion for fashion and design ultimately led him to establish his clothing line, Mai Atafo Inspired (MAI), in 2007.

Atafo’s designs are a harmonious blend of timeless classicism and contemporary flair, featuring versatile, clean-cut, and urban aesthetics. His talent and creativity quickly earned him recognition in the fashion world, with his brand gracing prestigious platforms such as Arise Magazine Fashion Week, Lagos Fashion and Design Week, Glitz African Fashion Week Ghana, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa, and the J Spring Fashion Show Paris.

These Nigerian prodigies have built an empire and become inspiring figures to future businesspeople globally. Through their businesses, they have all contributed to providing a solution to unemployment. You can revisit their stories to inspire and re-energize you whenever you feel discouraged. They will remind you that you can achieve your aspirations through passion, risk-taking, and determination, regardless of your condition or environment. 


That will be all about how entrepreneurship can be a solution to unemployment. While Nigeria has a continual unemployment trend, leveraging the entrepreneurial spirit will provide hope for Nigerian youth.

Unemployment leads to detrimental effects on individuals and society, which go beyond the loss of income and manifest in many ways, creating hazards. You can be part of the solution providers by taking your future into your own hands, creating job opportunities, and spurring economic growth nationwide.

Remember, this journey will enable you to create an unlimited source of income and become financially independent while also serving as a significant stimulus for job creation in your country.

Edited by T. D. Akinola

About Author

Mariam Sulaimon
Mariam Sulaimon
Mariam Sulaimon is a versatile content writer, critical thinker, and researcher with a passion for public relations. She crafts compelling content across diverse niches, including technical content, jobs, travel, and scholarship articles. Writing is not just a profession for Mariam but a hobby and a tool for self-expression.

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