Lagos, Oct. 31, 2022 (ABC) The Bank of Industry (BoI) and the Lagos Business School (LBS) have reiterated the commitment of both institutions to developing the capacities of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the country.
Prof. Chris Ogbechie, Dean, Lagos Business School, made the pledge at the LBS-BOI Entrepreneurship Development Programme Graduation Ceremony- Cohort 1, on Monday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event had as its theme: “Transforming Nigeria through Impact Driven Entrepreneurship.”
Ogbechie said an integral part of the mission at the LBS was to make significant impact on the practice of management, which was core to the success of every organisation, big or small.
He noted that the school’s strategic goals placed emphasis on increasing entrepreneurial outcomes, based on the knowledge that today’s society needed more job creators than job seekers.
He disclosed that the entrepreneurship programme would train entrepreneurs from all six geopolitical zones of the country.
“We will thereby contribute to helping the flood ravaged entrepreneurs in Kogi State, rebuild their community by generating the solutions they need to recover, while creating employment opportunities.
“I commend the graduants and do hope they would go forth to promote our values of ethics, mutual respect and professionalism as they carry out the business,” he said.
Mr Olukayode Pitan, the Managing Director, BoI, noting that entrepreneurs in Sub-saharan Africa faced various challenges, said the overarching objective of setting up the Entrepreneurship Innovation Centre (EIC) was to address them.
Pitan said that with the increasing population of young and dynamic entrepreneurs, it was imperative that the required financial and business advisory support services were provided in a sustainable manner to enable them thrive.
He said that the EIC would build the capacity of the entrepreneurs and foster the creation of an ecosystem that nurtures entrepreneurship, by enabling knowledge sharing opportunities.
“At the BoI, we believe that there can be no inclusive growth and sustainable development in Nigeria if we do not deliberately and proactively ensure that existing challenges that hold back a majority of our entrepreneurs from reaching their full potential are addressed.
“Therefore, we are always excited in developing strategic partnerships with like-minded institutions, such as Lagos Business School.
“As Nigeria’s foremost Development Finance Institution, we pride ourselves in providing loans with affordable/sub-market interest rates, medium to long-tenured loans, and moratorium opportunities.
“To the graduants, it is time to put the acquired entrepreneurial skills to the test and apply what you have learnt to practical and positive use in your various business ventures and communities contribute your quota to the economic prosperity of our dear nation,” he said.
Dr Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, Director, EIC, said that business schools had a pivotal role in facilitating and accelerating the goals of the (AfCFTA).
This realisation, she said, made it imperative for business schools to have centres such as the EIC to provide opportunities to foster learning forums among African entrepreneurs and business executives.
She noted that to achieve the objectives of the AfCFTA, it had consequently become imperative to organise intra African business meetings, especially among participants of business schools across the continent.
This, she said, would enable African entrepreneurs become more familiar with one another, thus facilitating the formation of joint ventures to exploit the opportunities in different countries.
She revealed that the BOI-LBS programme would be organising intra-African business meetings across the continent to expose them to networks and opportunities beyond the Nigerian market.
“In our first cohort, we admitted 70 entrepreneurs from the southwest zone with the intention of moving gradually to all six geopolitical zones.
“Over the past three months, we have engaged them with practical insights on running and scaling their businesses in an ethical and sustainable manner.
“The feedback we have gotten so far has reinforced our belief that training is indeed the most important ingredient for successful entrepreneurship.
“We are also inspired and are encouraged to work towards training, equipping and empowering entrepreneurs that would transform Nigeria, Africa and ultimately, the world at large” she said.
A graduant, Mr Valentine Eze, said the training provided this business the scalability, opportunity and capacity it needed to provide tremendous impact to its customers and the country at large.
Another graduant, Mr Timothy Adeyemi, said his confidence in dealing with investors and consumers increased after the training.
“I am a player in the renewable energy sector and this training has expanded my vision for manufacturing energy to be used in this country.
“Business development skills, financial management, supply chain management, profitability, understanding of good corporate governance principles this ecosystem provided cannot be quantified,” he said.