The Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) said it had trained 9,000 persons since the inception of its training programme on April 1, 2008. The Project Coordinator of the centre, Dr Olumide Ajayi, made this know in an interview with to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.
Ajayi said that the centre was one of the projects of the African Leadership Forum (ALF) and a flagship of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to him, the centreâ€s trainees have so far submitted 2,500 business plans while 66 new businesses have been started.
â€œAbout 450 businesses have been expanded and diversified while some 10,000 business persons have been counselled,â€ he said. Ajayi said that the training was put in place to build leadership capacity, train entrepreneurs and induce development in research and advocacy in the continent of Africa.
According to the project coordinator, the centre is helping in the achievement of the goals of poverty alleviation, skills acquisition and wealth creation.Â He said that the CBN had also promised to float a N200 billion credit guarantee fund to assist the centreâ€s products. Explaining how the EDC functions, Ajayi said that there were three training centres across the country.
â€œThe centres are located in Onitsha in Anambra, Kano and Lagos and the training programme is opened to students, graduates, non-graduates, would be retirees and even employed persons. After the training, the trainees are monitored and mentored by the EDC for a period of 18 months,â€ he said.
According to him, the EDC also has other collaborators who the trainees could access funds after the training programme. The coordinator explained that apart from the programme, other activities engaged in by the centre included short-term courses and awards of MBA from the Netherlands.