Entrepreneurship: Fidelity Bank, Empretec Collaborate To Train Youths
By Nsikan Ikpe
Consistent with its commitment to build the next generation of sustainable Nigerian businesses, Fidelity Bank Plc, in partnership with Empretec Nigeria Foundation has just concluded a graduate entrepreneurship training programme for 200 youths in Cross River State.
This initiative is part of the next phase of the Bank’s entrepreneurship support intervention for state governments and Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Before now, the Bank’s Managed SME Division through its Youth Entrepreneurship team had put in place a programme for identifying and building young and budding entrepreneurs who will become tomorrows’ big SME customers.
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.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the graduate entrepreneurship programme held in Calabar, Cross River State, the Bank’s CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo said that the programme is aimed strategically at helping young entrepreneurs build capacity needed to own and manage successful businesses.
Okonkwo who was represented by the Bank’s Group Head, Specialised SMEs, Mr. Ndubuisi Onuoha said, “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.”
Onuoha 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.
Speaking in the same vein, the 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.
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.
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.
Fidelity MD, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo