The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) last week completed the 2019 edition of its mentoring programme for entrepreneurs while it also launched the mentoring alumni association presided over by selected people among the graduates.
Babatunde Paul Ruwase, president of the LCCI, during the event last Thursday, expressed delight at the determination and innovation of the graduates while congratulating them on the completion of the programme, saying they were focused and resilient.
He said the programme, which commenced in 2013, has groomed a total of 293 entrepreneurs in its seven years, adding that the introduction of the alumni association will support the parent organisation’s goals and strengthen the ties between alumni, the community, and the parent organization.
Ruwase, who was represented by Toki Mabogunje, deputy president of the LCCI said, “Creating an engaged, supportive alumni network is crucial to an institution’s success and most especially the business community. It is important that the mentoring alumni form a formidable team that can lend support to one another and thus give that competitive edge in today’s tough business environment.”
Michael Olawale-Cole, chairman, board of Business Education Services and Training (BEST) unit of the LCCI, said the LCCI has continued to wax stronger in its Corporate Social Responsibility, especially in the development of youths and SMEs through its Mentoring Programme which started in 2013.
“To us at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, focusing on developmental initiative of the youth is a means of investing in their future, thereby guaranteeing better tomorrow for our country,” he said.
In an interview, Mabogunje said that the graduates have got solutions to growing their business and the alumni association will help
She advised them to take over the business environment as they have the necessary capacity and knowledge to grow their business and take advantage of the opportunities abundant in the Nigerian economy. She further said that the alumni association will provide a pipeline of young entrepreneurs which will drive the goals of the LCCI.
She stated that despite being equipped with capability, the entrepreneurs need easy access to finance and improved infrastructure to enable them perform excellently and also attract clients and investors.
Baruwa Adebukola, interim chairperson of the alumni association, said, while delivering her inaugural speech, that the association was created in order to promote the welfare of its members and also provide opportunities for the members of the association.
She said, “We have a baby in the LCCI organisation that will ensure the continuity of the vision and mission of the organization. This will create an engaging, supportive and protective network that is crucial to the success of our business as well as a positive impact to the LCCI.”
Oladehinbo Abosede, CEO, Boslabos Global Concept and a graduate, said that the programme positively impacted her business and provided opportunities for a larger clientele, partnership and business expansion.
The 2019 Graduate Mentees Programme, which commenced earlier in March, had a total of 50 mentees. However, only 43 people completed it.