The Chike Okoli Foundation has completed its purpose-built and multi-million naira Chike Okoli Center of Entrepreneurial Studies at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
The center is a world class facility that will offer immense benefits in the areas of entrepreneurial research, training and education. The statement also said the foundation will celebrate its 5th anniversary on June 3 with a gale at the Shell Hall of MUSON Centre, Lagos.
The centre, which operates from its temporary office, has trained and equipped over 500 young people in the science and spirit of entrepreneurship, with 200 others currently undergoing practical, skill-based training in fields as varied as ICT, auto mechanics, and home management, fashion, designing, bakery, bead making, soap making, salon and cloth dyeing.
Owing to the impressive work already done by the Chike Okoli Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies; entrepreneurial study is now a university wide course ratified by the Nigerian University Commission, NUC, and the Federal Government. NUC has also mandated all federal and state universities to run degree programs in entrepreneurship, with effect from the 2011/2012 academic year.
The journey to this multi-million complex dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurs began six years ago when Chike Okoli, a bright young man died without warning just five days after his 25th birthday. His devastating death was attributed to an undetected cardiovascular heart condition; a disease that kills 300 Nigerians on a daily basis.
To keep his memory alive, his mother, Chief Stella Okoli, set up the Chike Okoli Foundation (COF) with the express aims of fighting disease and poverty by ensuring every Nigerian is made fully aware of the dangers of cardiovascular diseases and available treatment/prevention options, while equipping young Nigerians with entrepreneurial skills to support the building of a healthy and prosperous nation.