By Chidi Nkwopara, Owerri

The United States Government says it remains “committed to supporting Nigerian entrepreneurs because it represents the nation’s best hope to create new products and services that will be attractive to markets around the world”.
The Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate General, Lagos, Mr. Russell Brooks
The Public Affairs Officer, PAO, Consulate General, Lagos, Mr. Russell Brooks, made his government’s position known yesterday while flagging off the Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs in Owerri.
“The Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs is important to the United States Consulate because we have learned that it is an extremely successful means to promote one of our principal aims in Nigeria, which is to encourage economic growth, trade, and investment”, Mr. Brooks said.
While saying that the emergence of new entrepreneurs will not only produce the growth, jobs, and incomes that will be crucial to bringing about the future Nigeria that these young people want and deserve, the PAO also commended the Chief Executive Officer of Field of Skills and Dreams, FSD, Mrs. Omowale Ogurinde, for organizing the two-day conference.
“This particular conference has brought together 150 young, talented and ambitious entrepreneurs from across the South East of Nigeria. These 150 were selected during a competitive process from over 2,000 applicants”, Brooks said.
He recalled that the Bureau of Statistics reported in 2017 that Nigerian micro, small and medium enterprises created 59.6 million jobs across the country, stressing that “with a population of nearly 200 million, the importance of these jobs and the financial support that they provide for families throughout this nation cannot be overemphasized”.
He then cautioned that “for Nigeria to succeed, the men and women who are creating these businesses, or hope to create new businesses, must succeed”.
In his own speech, Imo State Commissioner for Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Mr. Johnbosco Okeahialam, said that the state has the largest reservoir of talents. “Imo has the largest reservoir of talents in Nigeria. The present administration is taking the rehabilitation of technical colleges as a front line charge because this is where the future entrepreneurs in the state, will be nurtured”, Okeahialam said.
Welcoming earlier, Mrs. Ogurinde explained that FSD provides vocational, technical and entrepreneurial skills training that produces real, measurable and verifiable success stories.
“Of course, testimonies of how the lives of our trainees have been transformed, make the news regularly. Jobs are created, new businesses are started and struggling businesses are given the boost required to grow. Most importantly, we help to sustain the growth of the new businesses”, Mrs. Ogurinde said.


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