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BoI, LBS join forces to support entrepreneurs

Female founders push for more women in finance to boost funding opportunities

The Bank of Industry (BoI) and the Lagos Business School (LBS) have reiterated their commitment to the development of the capacities of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the country.

Chris Ogbechie, dean of Lagos Business School, said an integral part of the mission at LBS is to make a significant impact on the practice of management, which he described as core to the success of every organisation.

He spoke at the LBS-BoI Entrepreneurship Development Programme Graduation Ceremony- Cohort 1, themed ‘Transforming Nigeria through Impact Driven Entrepreneurship’ in Lagos, according to a statement on Monday.

He said 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.

Ogbechie said: “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.”

Olukayode Pitan, managing director of BoI, said entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa face various challenges, adding that the overarching objective of setting up the Entrepreneurship Innovation Centre (EIC) was to address them.

He said 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.

Pitan said: “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.

Read also: FG, German govt partner to promote entrepreneurial education in schools

“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.”

Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, director of EIC, said business schools have a pivotal role in facilitating and accelerating the goals of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA).

This realisation, she said, made it imperative for business schools to have centres like 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 to become more familiar with one another, thus facilitating the formation of joint ventures to exploit the opportunities in different countries.

She said 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