The Business Innovation Accelerator (BIA) in its goal to help young entrepreneurs sharpen their managerial, and leadership skills, among others has begun a training programme geared towards creating entrepreneurial know-how for profitable and sustainable business management.
The Lagos Business School (LBS) in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BOI) established the Business Innovation Accelerator with the aim of providing high-quality entrepreneurship training and empowerment to young Nigerians across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, director of BIA at LBS said the programme aims to teach African entrepreneurs the skills to grow their businesses, by making money through creating values.
She revealed that BIA provides high-quality and in-depth entrepreneurship training to accelerate the growth of impact-driven entrepreneurs for national transformation.
“It is aimed at training and supporting Nigerian entrepreneurs toward developing an impact-driven mindset as a necessary ingredient for profitable and sustainable businesses.
Successfully scale businesses to deliver world-class solutions, and conduct quality training in managerial, financial, and leadership skills of entrepreneurs to make their businesses bankable, de-risked and more resilient,” she said.
In addition, she said; “BIA is set to provide apprenticeship opportunities to strengthen the knowledge base and skills of the entrepreneurs toward enabling them to scale their businesses and create more jobs, successfully and sustainably.
Facilitate the export of high-quality goods and position Nigerian businesses to take advantage of opportunities presented by the AfCFTA and other export opportunities toward improving the national economy.
Conduct research to inform policy guidelines toward improving the business environment in Nigeria and Africa.”
She maintained that creating an enabling entrepreneurship ecosystem for young entrepreneurs is ideal for growing their businesses more than just giving money to them.
Onwuegbuzie explained that in navigating the contemporary business environment successfully, an entrepreneur’s training is more essential than funding; though both are needed for effective running a business.
“Training is more important than just giving funds. We are focused on giving people training and the principles of running their businesses,” she noted.
The associate professor of entrepreneurship reiterated that entrepreneurs can make money by doing the right things right, hence, BIA is a programme tailored to giving young Nigerians a paradigm shift from being job seekers to becoming jobs creators.
She pointed out that unemployment is a big clog to the country’s economic growth, especially with the advent of technology which has drastically reduced the number of employees a firm could take per time.
According to Onwuegbuzie, “It takes training to see opportunities. We train young entrepreneurs to see opportunities. Every problem is a potential job opportunity. That Nigeria has a lot of problems, simply means the country has a lot of opportunities for potential businesses.”
She applauded the government for creating the needed awareness on easing the burden of doing business in Nigeria but insisted that it is not enough.
She frowned at the fact that the government is more concerned with giving money to the people instead of training.
“Training should come first before money. At BIA, we are trying to it make up with training –the- trainers in the ecosystem.
We have trained over 60 entrepreneurs across the six geographical zones. This helps them to apply the acquired skills to solve business problems per time,” she noted.
She pointed out that the BIA training is available to both LBS participants and other entrepreneurs across the six geo-political zones of the country.
The university don reiterated that the overall goal of BIA is to build successful and sustainable businesses for Nigeria’s socio-economic growth and development through job creation and the commercialisation of participants’ entrepreneurial solutions globally.
The organisers are calling all agro-entrepreneurs in the north-central region to seize the opportunity of the next cohort of the BIA programme coming on Saturday, July 22, 2023, extended to them.
The target audience includes for-profit entrepreneurs whose businesses are solving problems or transforming society positively. They may include NYSC members, university/polytechnic graduates, and prospective BOI customers (minimum qualification: SSCE)
Eligibility and selection criteria for participants will be evaluated on:
Participants should have some entrepreneurial experience. Most importantly, the business should be solving a problem or meeting a need and should be scalable.
He or she must be a citizen or legal resident of Nigeria, and be available to commit to the training schedule.
Special focus shall be given to youth and women. And intending participants must have at least two letters of recommendation.