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U.S. Consulate, FSD academy train 121 emerging entrepreneurs


Nyesom Wike

The United States Consulate General Lagos in collaboration with Field of Skills and Dreams VTE Academy has concluded the second edition of the Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs, which held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

121 budding Nigerian entrepreneurs participated in the two-day workshop. The up-and-coming entrepreneurs, selected from across Nigeria, learned how to transform their ideas into practical business plans, manage business risks, navigate difficult moments, seek capital, and develop partnerships to help their businesses grow.

United States Consul General F. John Bray declared the workshop open and was joined by Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Ndowa Lale.


In his welcoming remarks, Bray explained that one of U.S. Mission Nigeria’s primary goals is to support Nigeria’s economic development.According to him, the U.S. Department of State supports entrepreneurs all over the world through training and mentoring, while also working with governments to create enabling environments and entrepreneurial cultures.

“There is growing evidence that entrepreneurs the world over are the drivers of job growth. The United States government is firmly convinced that in addition to creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities, entrepreneurship contributes to political stability and a vibrant civil society,” Bray added.Leading business leaders including Sahara Group Co-Founder Tonye Cole, Emzor Pharmaceutical CEO Stella Okoli, Andela Co-Founder Iyin Aboyeji, award-winning designer Zizi Cardow and senior executives of prominent commercial banks mentored and trained the participating young entrepreneurs.

The Conference was organized with a view to equipping the entrepreneurs with the requisite skills and entrepreneurial know-how to enhance their success in the business world. The first edition was held in Lagos in March 2017.In his remarks, The State Governor, Nyesom Wike, described the initiative as very laudable and timely, expressing delight for the choice of Port Harcourt for the training.

Speaking through his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, Wike said, the platform would expose youths further on online training, adding that the state government has always made efforts to mobilize funds for such entrepreneurial training.Wike added: “The state government has always tried to provide entrepreneur motivations in the State in order to unleash the ability, potentials of youths in Niger Delta and nurture them to self actualization.”

The Governor noted that government is harmonising taxes in the state to provide enabling environment for business.He urged participants to make good use of the opportunity to improve themselves and better the society.On his part, the Vice Chancellor of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ndowa Lale said the conference was timely as it came when the university was in a process of becoming a world class entrepreneurial University charged with teaching, research, innovation and creativity. 

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