By Princewill Ekwujuru
Diamond Bank-sponsored Building Entrepreneurs Today, BET programme, has presented N15 million to five entrepreneurs who distinguished themselves in the entrepreneurial development programme of the bank.
The entrepreneurs were presented with a seed-money of N3million each, which heralded the end of the third season of the entrepreneurial development programme in Lagos.
Mr. Uzoma Dozie, Executive Director, Retail Banking, Diamond Bank Plc, said that the programme is informed by current realities of importance of entrepreneurs as the drivers of the economy and hence Diamond Bank’s decision to support them.
According to Dozie, “Diamond Bank is empowering entrepreneurs with the tools to succeed and build sustainable businesses. Many good business ideas fail because the managers are not well equipped. We realise that by helping businesses build capacity, their chances of survival are higher and they will be better positioned to continue to provide employment for future generations. At Diamond Bank, we believe that training entrepreneurs is an economic value addition to the society.”
Mrs. Nneka Okekearu, Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University, described the programme as a seed fertilisation process.
She said, “The beneficiaries are impassioned people that want exponential growth for their businesses. Fifty candidates were trained for five months in functional areas such as taxation, human resources, leadership, customer services, sales and marketing, and ethics. After the training, the top 15 were selected for another five months of consulting where their strategy, business and marketing plans were fine-tuned. It is a year long journey and the 50 selected, out of thousands of applicants, showed they had valid ideas.”
One of the beneficiaries, Tessy Uyah, noted that the BET training is, “an eexperience unmatched by all my previous training. It was also an opportunity to network and meet with similar minded people from across Nigeria. It really changed my mindset and approach to business strategy.
“I am glad to be one of the selected winners. It means that my business is viable and I am challenged to give it my best. I aim to play on the global stage.”
Another winner, Oba Ilobaa, a laundromat owner in the University of Lagos, said, “I plan to replicate my laundromat in other universities across West Africa. I completed NYSC in 2012 and had no formal work experience before I started the business. I used to feel self-defeated but the BET has opened my mind and I am now confident that I will succeed. I am deeply grateful to Diamond Bank Plc for its commitment to building entrepreneurs in Nigeria.”