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.
The Dean, Lagos Business School, Prof. Chris Ogbechie, made the pledge at the LBS-BOI Entrepreneurship Development Programme Graduation Ceremony- Cohort 1, tagged, “Transforming Nigeria through Impact Driven Entrepreneurship”, yesterday, in Lagos.
According to Ogbechie, making a substantial impact on management practice, which is essential to the success of every organization, large or little, is a key component of LBS’s goal.
As a result of the realization that today’s society needed more job creators than job searchers, he pointed out that enhancing entrepreneurial outcomes was a key component of the school’s strategic aims.
He revealed that the entrepreneurship program would educate businesspeople from each of the nation’s six geopolitical regions.
“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 graduates and hope they will go forth to promote our values of ethics, mutual respect and professionalism as they carry out the business,” he said.
Olukayode Pitan, the BoI’s managing director, observed that entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa confront a variety of difficulties and added that the main goal of establishing the Entrepreneurship Innovation Centre (EIC) was to address them.
He stated that it was crucial to provide the necessary financial and business advising support services in a sustainable way to enable the growing number of young and creative entrepreneurs to succeed.
By providing possibilities for information sharing, he said that the EIC will strengthen entrepreneurs’ capacities and promote the development of an environment that supports entrepreneurship.
“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 graduates, 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 contributing your quota to the economic prosperity of our dear nation,” he said.
Dr. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, Director of the EIC, asserted that business schools are essential to supporting and advancing the objectives of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
This realization, according to the speaker, made it crucial for business schools to create organizations like EIC that can offer opportunities to foster learning forums among African business executives and entrepreneurs.
She pointed out that it had become crucial to arrange intra-African business contacts, particularly among students from business schools across the continent, in order to fulfill the goals of the AfCFTA.
She claimed that doing this will help African businesspeople get to know one another better, making it easier to develop joint ventures to take advantage of opportunities in other nations.
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.