By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh.
The Delta State Government has commenced Entrepreneurship and Business Management Training (EBMT) for first batch of STEP graduands in the 2019/2020 Cycle.
The graduands numbering 286 comprise beneficiaries who have completed training and graduated from the State Government’s Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) in Catering and Confectionery; PoP, Screed-Making and Painting; Hairdressing and Braiding; Audio-Visual, and Tiling and Interlocking.
These first batch of STEP graduands recently completed their trainings at different training centres and have successfully passed the Post Training Proficiency Test to qualify them to partake in the EBMT.
Addressing the beneficiaries, the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, congratulated them for completing their trainings and for their success at the Post Training Proficiency Test.
He said the EBMT is the last part of the STEP training programme which comes after the trainees have undergone four other activities namely the Screening/Selection Process, Orientation and Personal Effectiveness Training, Vocational Skills Training and Completion Proficiency Test.
He affirmed that the 286 beneficiaries were qualified to participate in the EBMT, explaining that topics as, “How to Start a Business,” “How to Brand and Market a Business Enterprise,” among others would be taken by seasoned resource persons to adequately prepare them to face the world of business and entrepreneurship. He disclosed that the EBMT would be followed with the handing out of starter packs to the graduands as establishment support package.
“EBMT is the next and last phase of the STEP training cycle, and it follows the successful completion of occupational skills [know-how] training in the various training centres. EBMT is designed to impart on the beneficiaries basic and vital entrepreneurship and business skills including how to start a business enterprise, how to write a business plan, how to brand and market the business enterprise, how to relate well with business customers and partners, how to cope with business challenges, how to manage business money, how to keep business records, how to grow the business enterprise and others.
“Following the EBMT, beneficiaries will be provided with startup support including equipment, materials and shop rent subsidy. The ongoing cycle of STEP is the 6th in the unbroken series since 2015. The sustenance of the job creation programme is the fulfilment of His Excellency, the Governor’s promise to implement the programme every year of his tenure,” he stated.
On his part, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Youth Monitoring and Mentoring, Mr Edward Mekwunye, in his lecture, “Mentorship for Start-Ups,” said the State Government deemed it wise to establish the Directorate of Youth Monitoring and Mentoring (DYMM) to ensure that beneficiaries become successful and are able to sustain their businesses.
While assuring them of continued monitoring after establishment with starter packs, he informed them that DYMM would organize a mentorship programme to guide them while in business.
He charged them to display the right attitude of good character at all times and to make good use of the opportunity provided for them by the Okowa-led administration to improve their livelihood.
In separate remarks, the Senior Special Assistants to the Governor on Job and Wealth Creation, Barr Edewor Omonemo, Hon Patrick Okei, Prince Charles Abutoh, Hon Leonard Esegbue, Mr Frank Ebikefe and Mr Emmanuel Osazuwa, charged the graduands to take the training seriously so as to become successful entrepreneurs in line with the vision of the state Governor.
The lectures, “Instruction on Principles and Guides to Start a Business,” “Mentorship of Start-Ups,” and “How to Market and Grow Your Business” were delivered by Pastor Afolabi Adun, My Edward Mekwunye and Chief (Mrs) Shimite Bello respectively.
Responding on behalf of others, Favour Beneyogor (Tiling and Interlocking), Paul Onukwu (Catering and Confectionery) and Temitope Nikatsekpe (Hairdressing and Braiding) expressed their gratitude to the State Government for the opportunity given to them to acquire skills for self-employment, describing it as a practical step to moving Delta State out of a civil service state to an entrepreneurship state.