From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Society for the Empowerment of Young Persons (SEYP) in collaboration with GOPA Worldwide Consultants, Deutsche Geselischaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Edo State Government, has warned 323 graduate entrepreneurs in the state to shun any act of unwarranted borrowing and adopt a unique marketing and networking strategies, which are recipe for climbing business ladder.
The three batches of graduands, comprised 138 male and 185 females, including 30 migrant returnees.
Addressing the graduands at Edo Production Centre in Benin City, Mrs Jennifer Ero, Executive Director of SEYP, said for them to have a breakthrough and stand themselves out in this competitive world of business, skills are needed rather than mere engagement in business.
‘Entrepreneurial skill is the way to go. Knowledge is power. It is not enough to have money to start a business. But you need entrepreneurial skills to navigate in business and access the market.
‘The role of Edo State Government is providing an enabling environment for us to work.
‘The essence of this training is not just to go about borrowing to start up a business. You have to start up first and have a moderate movement of the business. You may require a loan to expand.
‘But if you have started with little, your partner could see that you are serious. So, money is not the first thing. You need to make a small input by yourself, then partners will come in,’ she said.
In a remark, the team lead GIZ SEDIN GOPA, one of the supporting agencies, Mr Peik Bruchus said almost 5,000 entrepreneurs have been trained in Edo and Lagos States since the organisation embarked on the outreach years ago.
Peik, charged the graduands to prove their mettle in their venture and create a reputable network in order to justify the confidence reposed in them, adding that additional 5000 potential entrepreneurs would be added to the pool to hit a target of 10,000 before the end of 2022.
In their separate goodwill messages, Edo State Coordinator of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Mr Edobor Solomon and Mr Moses Ogbebor, an official of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), commended SEYP for the milestone and pledged their partnership with the Organisation.
They also discouraged irregular migration and tasked the trainees to leverage the skills and knowledge that they acquired during the six months training programme to improve on themselves and society.
In a presentation, the Coordinator of the Project, Mr Adams Omoba, who gave an overview of the revolving project, said the graduands were taken through four Modules during the six months programme, which also includes helping to identify young people with business ideas and helping them to realise their goals in addition to training on businesses management.
Two of the beneficiaries, Miss Veronica Solomon who is a graduate of Ambrose Alli University (AAU) and the Chairperson of Persons Living with Disabilities in Edo State, Ann Ojugo, who spoke on behalf of seven Persons Living with Disabilities who participated in the training, commended the NGO and other partners for giving them the opportunity to excel in their chosen professions.