By Grace Udofia
The institute of Empowerment and Strategy, IES, has announced plans to empower over three million entrepreneurs with the resources to grow their businesses and positioning them to contribute meaningfully to job creation and economic development.
Speaking at its inaugural meeting in Abuja, Director General of the IES, Dr Boniface Afifia-Oru , said the institute is on a rescue mission to complement the efforts of the Federal Government in changing the tide of impoverishment , unemployment and other social malaise.
He stated that the IES, in collaboration with its parent body, the Institute of Empowerment and Strategy International, will provide funding for entrepreneurs with viable projects that are capable of contributing positively to the economic advancement of Nigeria.
He said, lWhat the parent body does is to seek for financial synergy from different works of life for projects in under developed nations like Africa. By the time they get the fund and supporters from all works of life then we the Nigerian IES present our projects that entrepreneurs have presented to us.
“We inform them that we have certain entrepreneurs with certain viable projects, explaining to them that we believe that these projects, if supported, will give advancement to the development of the country.
“They will look at what we have accessed, and if it has met with the required standard they can liaise with our local banks.”
He said the institute was designed to cater fully for the economic needs of the African continent, with Nigeria having a guarantee status, especially as most of its projects and programmes are also in partnership with government agencies.
Afifia-Oru further stated that the institute is partnering with government at all levels in developing several new estates in different parts of the country, adding that it also planned to enter into a strategic partnership with universities.
Continuing, he said, “We are not banks or financial institutions, we don’t keep money, and we work with papers. When projects are presented, it is then our duty to access the eligibility of the business, the technical know-how. When we see all these things in place we can now recommend the businesses to our parent body in the US for a loan.
“We have commenced the administrative process but people don’t know us yet, that is why we want to create awareness. From then, we will proceed to the point of exchange which is the empowerment. As soon as everything is put in place IES will commence empowerment fully.
“This is to say that it is in the hands of the entrepreneurs to get a viable business so they will be able to pay their workforce.”
This means if the cash flow is viable, if money is given to entrepreneurs to put in their business at the end of the day, their business would grow. This means at the end of the day the business can create jobs for us and make one a boss that is the main focus.
“However, in other for a business to qualify we would want to see their entry and exit plan, board of directors, staff strength and their general projections in carrying out their business.
Afifia-Oru also explained that the IES intends to transform joblessness to wealth creation, unequal status to strategic position, while he listed its six points objective s to include: education, economic empowerment, skills acquisition, development and intervention at community, regional and national levels, conduct research to enhance industrial technology and to sponsor seminars and issue certificates.