• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

Delta empowers STEPrenuers with starter packs

More STEP beneficiaries get starter packs in Delta

The 80 graduates of the Delta State’s Skills Training Entrepreneurship Programme, STEPrenuers were all excited yesterday as they received from the state government, their starter packs to start running their Fashion Design and Tailoring enterprises.

The STEPrenuers, all youths, are among the 250 beneficiaries of the 2020/2021 cycle of STEP under the Job and Wealth Creation programme of the state.

The graduates were given the starter packs having successfully completed all phases in the programme such as the Orientation and Personal Effectiveness Training (OPET), vocational training in various training centers, Post-Proficiency Test (PTPT) and Entrepreneurship and Business Management Training (EBMT).

Onyeisi Nkenchor, programme coordinator of the STEP congratulated them for the successful completion of the programme and charged them to judiciously use their starter packs and the wealth of knowledge acquired through the programme to become great entrepreneurs.

He said the STEP programme is a Special Purpose Vehicle which Governor Okowa, instituted upon his assumption of office in 2015, to train unemployed youths to become entrepreneurs, managers and job creators,

“The job and wealth creation programme was created to curb youth unemployment by training YAGEP and STEP beneficiaries to become entrepreneurs, managers and business people who would drive the economic diversification vision of the Governor Okowa-led administration in the state.

Read also: STEP: Delta trains, equips 286 young entrepreneurs

“So far, the state government has trained over 6,000 people in its vocational skills and agricultural enterprises with over 4,500 of them in STEP and the beneficiaries are doing very well.”

He charged them to start up their businesses immediately after the festive period in order to put into practice all the knowledge acquired during the entrepreneurship and business management training (EBMT) and to send to the bureau their shop addressees so that they would be followed by the Directorate of Youth Monitoring and Mentoring (DYMM).

In an interview with BusinessDay, the STEPrenuers expressed excitement over the gesture done to them even as they pledged to be ambassadors of the state in fashion design and tailoring business.

Nicholas Agbale (Ukwuani LGA), an O’level holder, said for years had been hustling as a bricklayer and was not meeting up financially.

“I thank my friend who God used to inform me about this programme. He was among the STEPrenuers of the 2019/2020 cycle and he was the one that informed me that the STEP empowerment form 2020/2021 was out, and that I should go and fill it. I however doubted him because in the past, we’ve been attending empowerment programmes without getting anything.

“Today, after our seven-month training and now the starter packs, I’m saying that this programme is genuine ”, he said, just as he condemned those criticizing Governor Okowa over the programme.

“How can somebody describe this programme as a waste of funds when youths are being turned into business owners? This programme has reduced youth unemployment as youths are laid off the street.

Hilary Ezedi Junior, who hails from Ika North East LGA disclosed that he was jobless since 2011 when he graduated from the university.

He expressed gratitude to the state government for the opportunity given to him to be trained and established with a starter pack, adding that STEP has affected his life positively.

German Prayer (Okpe LGA) said that training in fashion design has been his passion since her university days. She expressed joy that Governor Okowa through STEP made it a reality.

“Now, I can confidently make clothes for myself, my husband, my children and my clients. I graduated from the university in 2014 and have been unemployed; with my starter pack, unemployment has ended,” she declared.