LCCI urges centre to partner academia on research

LCCI urges centre to partner academia on research

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) to partner with the academia on relevant research projects to solve contemporary business development problems.


The President of LCCI, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, made the appeal at EDC Special Day at the ongoing 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair on Saturday in Lagos.


The theme for the annual fair is “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value”.


Mabogunje said that the partnership would also help to drive innovation, as the Lagos Chamber was favourably disposed to working with reputable institutions like EDC.


According to her, this will help in mentoring young start-ups toward building enduring legacy enterprises.


“We must also teach entrepreneurship today with a great mix of technology, new business models, collaboration, and competitiveness,” she said.


The LCCI president noted that the real and enduring solution to rising unemployment was entrepreneurship, adding that the World Bank identified lack of skills as a critical factor responsible for joblessness.


“There is a rising need for entrepreneurial capacity development, mentorship and business continuity, as businesses recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


“The EDC, since its inception, has trained and mentored thousands of entrepreneurs, assisted some to start their businesses and also helped in the expansion of several enterprises.


“And so, private enterprises are better positioned to create the needed jobs than the government,” she said.


Mabogunje urged the EDC management to target the youth for start-ups, women for Small and Medium Enterprises and the agriculture sector to generate jobs.


Responding, Mrs Nneka Okekearu, Deputy Director, EDC, said that in the next five years, the centre would annually help 40,000 youths across the country to start and grow business.


Okekearu said that when these businesses grow, the young entrepreneurs would be able to employ people that would help them, thus creating jobs.


She noted that this programme was not executed across all sectors but in the agro allied, creative and digital sectors, specifically in maize, cassava, fish, poultry and fashion production.


“The Enterprise Development Centre, a special centre of the Pan-Atlantic University, in the past 19 years, has the privilege of impacting on young Nigerians, specifically to the tune of 1.5 million youths.


“What we are doing is solely geared toward entrepreneurs. We need a wheel of entrepreneurship and our desire is that in anything that we do, we will deliberately create a network of entrepreneurial leaders.


“No matter what is done for entrepreneurs, they need capacity building; they need to improve their process because if they learn and are not able to sell their products and services, they have not started,” she said.


Okekearu said that the centre had created an online market access, which 58 entrepreneurs had keyed into, adding that this would enable them to be among the larger corporate value chain.


She added that the centre had also created an online learning for youths with MasterCard Foundation, to enable them to access capacity building free of charge.

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