UNIDO Pledges Support for SMEs in Nigeria

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The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is supporting Nigeria’s entrepreneurship development drive with a commitment of capacity strengthening for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

The UN agency is using its UNIDO HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (LIFE) project to provide support to support institutions across Nigeria, targeting entrepreneurs and small business owners to help them develop their business and IT skills. Specific beneficiaries of this project are young women and men, comprising of university graduates, undergraduates, students in technical and vocational institutions, aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, who will be provided with practical entrepreneurship, IT and business development skills.

“Entrepreneurship and industrialization are key ingredients for tackling poverty and stimulating inclusive and sustainable economic growth and employment. On behalf of our Director General, LI Yong, I want to reaffirm UNIDO’s commitment towards supporting on-going efforts of the Government of Nigeria in diversifying its economy through partnership with the public and private sector institutions in order to strengthen the SMEs and industrial sectors of the Nigerian economy.

“UNIDO is ready to support the Federal Government Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in facilitating job creation by implementing entrepreneurship training programme to strengthen the SME sector in Nigeria,” UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Office Hub, Jean Bakole, said.

The project beneficiaries will be taught by specialised resource people who are trained by UNIDO specifically for the project. Already, UNIDO has trained 41 trainers drawn from fifteen entrepreneurship development institutions in private and public sectors organisations, two universities and two banks from sixteen States plus FCT, completing the first phase of the trainer’s training programme.

Francis Ukoh, National Project Coordinator for UNIDO HP LIFE in Nigeria, speaking on the aim of the project, said: “Entrepreneurship constitutes a vital engine for economic, social, practical and all round development of any country therefore, a combination of ICT and Business skills using the LIFE curriculum is to introduce entrepreneurs into innovative approach to enterprise creation.

“In order to enable their professionals to become certified HP LIFE Master Trainers and Trainers, the training institutions nominated candidates to take part in the LIFE Master Training (MToT) and Training of Trainers (ToT).”

It will be recalled that UNIDO, since 2008, has been partnering with one of the world’s largest technology companies, Hewlett Packard (HP) to implement a global programme for entrepreneurship and IT education. Together, the two organisations have helped aspiring and existing entrepreneurs in developing countries with hands-on business and IT skills to start, run and grow their enterprises, UNIDO said on their website.


Culled from: Tribune

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