By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh
Our testifier for the week is Mrs. Winifred Agiri, the CEO of Miles Stitches located in Warri. She hails from Isoko North Local Government Area and has a B.Sc. in Accounting and Finance from the Delta State University, Abraka. She is a seasoned and focused entrepreneur who left her job in the bank to become a fashion designer and a job creator.
She enrolled in the Delta State Government’s Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) in the 2019/2020 Cycle as a Brown STEP beneficiary. Within one year of establishment, Winifred has grown her business to qualify as a job creation trainer and an assessor for STEP trainees. She tells her success story.
“I was a banker and got tired of monthly salary. I wanted to become an employer to increase my streams of income. My desire motivated me to resign my appointment as a banker and to register as an apprentice to learn fashion and design for two years.
“Thereafter, I was fortunate to be enrolled as a Brown STEP trainee in the job creation programme. STEP connected me to my trainer who became my mentor; I am in touch with her always. Out of personal zeal, I got jobs as a trainee from neighbours, friends and church members.
“Immediately I was established, I got a shop. Within a year, I have bought three industrial sewing machines, expanded my business from a single shop to a bigger shop, equipped and furnished it to taste. I have two trainees and two staff. To crown it all, I am now a job creation trainer. I have successfully trained three persons in STEP. I am currently one of the accessors for STEP trainees in Fashion Design and Tailoring in Post Training Proficiency Test. STEP helped me to realize my dream of being an employer.
“Entrepreneurship is lucrative and very rewarding. I prefer it to a banking job. As a skilled person, I have the chance to become what I want to be in life. The opportunities are limitless. I have lots of clients and referrals and I also work so hard to meet their expectations in terms of timely delivery.”