Building a Green Future: The Role of Youth in Climate Innovation

As part of our dedication to ensuring the meaningful involvement of young people through initiatives and policies that empower them to lead and thrive, NGYouthSDGs is excited to introduce our social media program, #GreenConvo.

What is the #GreenConvo?
The #GreenConvo is a bi-monthly program on X (formerly known as Twitter) aimed at addressing crucial issues related to climate innovation and entrepreneurship.

The June edition of the Green Convo coincided with World MSME Day, highlighting the significant role of MSMEs in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This edition provided a platform to discuss the Role of Youth in Climate Innovation.

This edition focused on “Building a Sustainable Future: The Role of Youth in Climate Innovation” and featured two esteemed speakers: Rita Idehai, Founder of Ecobarter and Fela Buyi Akinse, Founder of Salubata.
Both speakers shared their experiences in establishing climate-smart innovative enterprises and discussed the pivotal role of young people in climate innovation and economic development.

The Significance of Climate Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Nigeria

Climate innovation is crucial in Nigeria, especially with the rise in poverty and economic crises. It is evident that climate change exacerbates poverty, with a recent study indicating that it could lead to an increase of 32 million to 132 million people living in poverty by 2030. The climate change crises in Nigeria, including flooding, heat waves, and food insecurity, necessitate innovative solutions that address environmental issues and economic downturns.

For climate innovation to be sustainable, it must tackle multidimensional poverty in the agricultural, waste management, and energy sectors. Young, technologically driven minds are essential for developing these solutions, showcasing the underestimated power of innovation in addressing climate change.

The Vital Role of Entrepreneurship in Nigeria
The significance of entrepreneurship in Nigeria cannot be overstated. MSMEs are the backbone of any economy, creating job opportunities for individuals with low to middle-level skills and recent graduates. These businesses enable people to be self-sustainable and reduce their reliance on the government for job creation. The co-existence of MSMEs and climate innovations is crucial for building a sustainable future.

Impact of Policies on Youth-Driven MSMEs and Climate Innovations
While Nigeria has policies like the Nigeria Start-Up Act, greater implementation is needed to support youth-driven MSMEs. Effective implementation by the government and stakeholders is key to promoting small business owners.

The Potential for Youth-Driven Climate Innovation and Emerging Trends
Entrepreneurs should focus on innovative solutions not just for the present, but also for the future. Trends on X and in newspapers discuss future innovative solutions.
Prioritising software technologies over hardware can be beneficial due to their scalability and adaptability.
It is imperative for entrepreneurs to innovate at a rapid pace, evaluating different factors that can propel their business to the next level. For instance, acquiring tech skills that can drive MSMEs to explore A.I. and technological advancements is crucial. Assessing upcoming opportunities is vital for long-term sustainability.
Opportunities in cleantech energy and leveraging A.I. to develop software-based solutions are burgeoning. By maximising technological tools, entrepreneurs can enhance the efficiency and impact of their climate entrepreneurship endeavours.

Building an Innovative Climate Smart MSME
To build an innovative climate-smart MSME, it’s essential to leverage future technologies, standardize products from the beginning, focus on branding and marketing, and learn to delegate minor tasks. Developing digital solutions is advantageous as they are more scalable. Entrepreneurs should also invest in building capacity, structure, and systems while aiming to make a global impact.

By empowering young entrepreneurs and fostering innovative solutions, we can build a sustainable future together. Click here to listen to the live recording of the session and stay tuned for upcoming editions of #GreenConvo.