The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO
), has embarked on capacity strengthening of SMEs and entrepreneurship development and support institutions across Nigeria through its UNIDO HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (LIFE) project.
The UNIDO HP LIFE project ,a statement issued by the organisation on Friday said is designed for entrepreneurs and small business owners to develop their business and IT skills. The project aims to empower mainly young men and women with practical entrepreneurship, IT and business development skills.
Target beneficiaries include university graduates, undergraduates, students in technical and vocational institutions, aspiring and existing entrepreneurs
To achieve this objective, UNIDO has so far completed the first phase of a specialized training for 41 Trainers out of which 10 are certified as Master Trainers. The Trainers were drawn from fifteen entrepreneurship development institutions in both private and public sectors organisations, two universities and two banks from sixteen States plus FCT.
Speaking during the training workshop in Calabar, the UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Office Hub, Mr. Jean Bakole, said UNIDO was delighted to partner the selected institutions to support the Federal Government’s current economic diversification initiatives.
He said, “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 economy Nigerian. 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.”
The National Project Coordinator for UNIDO HP LIFE in Nigeria, Francis Ukoh, said the training aimed to strengthen entrepreneurship development institutions with the right skills to provide the needed support for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.
Ukoh 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.
All the selected institutions for the entrepreneurship development programme are UNIDO’s partners and they have direct access to the target group, provide the training facilities and trainers and engage in the regular reporting and monitoring of the project.
“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).
The goal of the training was to provide the future “LIFE Trainers” with the technical and facilitation skills and knowledge necessary to introduce the LIFE curriculum and to offer LIFE trainings as part of their on-going training services to entrepreneurs.”