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STEP: Delta trains, equips 286 young entrepreneurs

Delta State government its Job and Wealth Creation Bureau, has trained and equipped 286 to become entrepreneurs in different business fields.

The youths were trained under the first batch of the 2020/2021 cycle of Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) powered by the Entrepreneurship and Business Management Training (EBMT) initiative of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration.

They were trained in tilling and interlocking, catering, audio-visual, hairdressing, and Plaster of Paris (POP) for between four and eight months depending on the skills they chose.

Speaking at a workshop held at the Government House, Asaba, Wednesday, Eric Eboh, the chief job creation officer of the state, said that the training was aimed at fully equipping and preparing them for a successful outing as entrepreneurs and business experts.

He said graduands participated in the orientation and personal effectiveness training (OPET) workshop where they were imparted life skills, personal effectiveness tips and interpersonal ethos like self-leadership and self-management, delayed (deferred) gratifications, people relations and teamwork, problem-solving skills, purposefulness, managing successes, failures and clues on society intelligence.

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“Adding EBMT to “know-how skills” and OPET makes you fully equipped and prepared for successful entrepreneurship and business life,” he told the beneficiaries.

He explained that the EBMT is the last phase of STEP cycle and follows the successful completion of occupational skills (know-how) training on the various training centres.

“EBMT is designed to impart on the beneficiaries basic and vital entrepreneurship and business skills including how to start a business enterprise, how to write a business plan, how to brand and market the business enterprise, how to relate well with business customers and partners, how to cope with business challenges, how to manage business money, how to keep business records, how to grow the business enterprise and others, he explained.

Following the EBMT, beneficiaries will be provided with startup support including equipment, materials and shop rent subsidy, he added.

He noted that the current cycle of STEP is the 6th in the unbroken series since 2015 when the job and wealth creation programme began.

Eboh said that the sustenance of the job creation programme is the fulfilment of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s promise to implement the programme every year of his tenure.

Shimite Bello, executive assistant to the governor on Export Initiative and Coordinator, Delta-UNIDO Centre (DUCEI), lectured to them on how to market and grow their business enterprises from start-up.

Afolabi Adun, a resource person also took them on how to grow their business enterprises well and how to prepare and use a business plan. The directorate of youth mentorship and monitoring (DYMM) was also represented at the occasion.

In an interview with BusinessDay, Jonathan Charity, one of the beneficiaries, who was trained on hairdressing, appreciated the state government for the empowerment which she said helps to tackle unemployment in the state as socio-economic status is improved.

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