By Dipo Olowookere
As part of its unfailing efforts in building the next generation of sustainable Nigerian businesses, top lender in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank Plc, recently organised a graduate entrepreneurship training programme for 200 youths in Cross River State.
The programme was done in strategic partnership with Empretec Nigerian Foundation as part of the bank’s next phase of entrepreneurship support interventions for state governments and Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Organised under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the week-long training programme was designed strategically to provide vivid insights into the theoretical and foundational knowledge required to manage sustainable businesses.
Fidelity Bank Managed SME Division through its Youth Entrepreneurship team has put in place a programme for identifying and building young and budding entrepreneurs who will become tomorrows’ big SME customers.
Managing Director of the lender, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, while speaking at the opening ceremony of the graduate entrepreneurship programme held in Calabar, stated that the programme was aimed strategically at helping young entrepreneurs build capacity needed to own and manage successful businesses.
“The idea is to inculcate in youths the entrepreneurship spirit that will enable them establish on their own and eventually become employers of labour instead of roaming about the streets looking for white collar jobs that do not exist,” the bank’s chief, represented by the Bank’s Group Head, Specialised SMEs, Mr Ndubuisi Onuoha, disclosed.
He advised participants to remain focused and take advantage of the knowledge and skills provided by the workshop to live out their dream of becoming successful entrepreneurs.
On her part, founder of Empretec and wife of former Governor of Cross River State, Mrs Onari Duke, enjoined the beneficiaries to put to good use the knowledge and skills acquired to internalize and maximize the opportunities being offered by the federal and state governments.
Mrs Duke applauded the relentless effort of Fidelity Bank particularly with regards to empowering entrepreneurs in the country.
She also urged other Private sector organisations and corporate bodies to borrow a leaf from us, adding that they should support government’s effort to grow the Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) landscape particularly in the area of funding.
As a flagship capacity-building programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Empretec is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with a view to facilitating sustainable development and inclusive growth.
Present at the opening ceremony of the Empretec training workshop were Peter-Egba-Commissioner for Trade and commerce, Ignatius Atsu; Director General Microfinance and Enterprise Development Agency (MEDA); and Catherine Ogim, Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Microfinance and Enterprise Projects.
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