Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, has charged youths in Edo State to take advantage of funding opportunities, especially low-interest credit facilities, to grow their businesses and contribute to the development drive of the state government.
Awosika, who was a guest speaker at a two-day workshop for entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the state, said that the Bank of Industry (BOI) presents a good window of opportunity for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses to scale.
According to her, “Young entrepreneurs should take advantage of credit facilities offered by the BOI. The funding from BOI is at a price that no commercial bank can offer small businesses and start-ups.”
She said, “youths don’t have an excuse not to be able to start-up small businesses in a country of almost 200 million people. All that is required is a platform through which people can be aware of an entrepreneur’s product or service.”
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Edo State, Mrs. Magdalene Ohenhen, urged participants to take advantage of the opportunity created by Governor Godwin Obaseki to groom themselves and grow their businesses, adding, “As the state has continued to create opportunities for youths to make wealth, I urge them to remain focused and dream big as the governor is determined to assist youths achieve that dream.”
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Job Creation and Skills Development/Head EdoJobs, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare, said the workshop was organised for budding entrepreneurs, noting, “The collaboration between the state government through EdoJobs and First Bank of Nigeria is long term, which would facilitate the creation of job opportunities for youths in Edo State, in line with Governor Obaseki’s promise to create 200,000 jobs.”
Dare said the workshop would equip the young entrepreneurs with skills that would enable them focus on the future while contributing their quota to the development of the state, stressing, “There are lots of opportunities out there for entrepreneurs to expand their market. The training was also packaged to assist them grow their businesses through which they would also employ others.”
According to her, “There is arrangement in place for the participants to get access to funds which would serve as capital for their businesses. They would have access to the fund after completing the training.”
Dare urged youths in the state to register on the EdoJobs portal as registration on the portal still continues, noting, “Those who participated in the training had their data captured on the portal.”