by Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh
A three-day workshop for Business Development Service Providers (BDSP) has been concluded in Asaba with a call on the participants to use knowledge gained to boost the growth of businesses in the state.
The workshop was attended by participants drawn from the public and private sectors organized by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Small and Medium Enterprises Development (SMEs) and facilitated by Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos.
Participants were taken through lectures as, “Purpose and Vision; Influencing and Networking; Facilitation Skills; Functional Aspects of a Business; Diagnostic Tools; Numerical Tools, and Planning and Implementation.”
The Executive Secretary, Technical and Vocational Board, Engr. Smart Ikem, who was a participant explained that the workshop was organized to train participants on how to coach and mentor the large number of entrepreneurs in the state.
He said it would help to broaden the scope of the Directorate of Youth Monitoring and Mentoring, adding that the report from the workshop would be sent to the Governor and incorporated into the State Government’s job creation programmes so as to strengthen the growth of SMEs in the state.
According to him, “With thousands of persons trained and established by the Delta State Government, we are being equipped with more tools to help sustain the growth of SMEs in the state.”
He pointed out that successful participants would be certified by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) so that they could proffer professional solution to lingering challenges experienced by business owners to ensure their successes.
On his part, the Co-ordinator of the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) in the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau, Mr. Onyeisi Nkenchor, described the workshop as a privileged opportunity for staff of the bureau.
“It is a privileged opportunity for us in the job creation bureau. About nine persons were nominated, core officers who interface with the job creation trainees and beneficiaries. This will help us to coach and mentor them in the process of building their businesses,” he stated.
He added that the workshop would help to increase the capacity of the participants to become business development service providers privately, outside the job creation set-up.
Also speaking, the Administrator of Multipurpose Youth Training Center, Egbokodo-Itsekiri in Warri South Local Government Area, Mrs. Peace Oreva Okonye, said the entrepreneurship development training is a capacity building workshop for potential BDSPs, to put them on a proper ground to mentor established enterprises in the state on how to run their businesses.
“This is a plus to Delta State. It will help to promote the SMART agenda and the Stronger Delta vision of the Governor towards the industrialization of the state. BDSPs are needed to coach and mentor SMEs in the state,” she remarked.
Earlier, one of the facilitators, Mrs. Nneka Okekearu, said the workshop was born out of the State Government’s quest to create job and wealth for Delta youths, stressing that it has gone a step further to groom small business consultants, better known as BDSPs to work with the entrepreneurs to help them clarify their processes, positions, make profit and to be sustainable.
In her words, “For every ecosystem where you have entrepreneurs, you must have a strong set of BDSPs to manage them, help them in process improvement, sales strategy, marketing strategy, to have a good tax system and to give them good advice.
“What the Delta State Government is doing is grooming BDSPs who will work with these entrepreneurs that are being created on a daily basis. It is a three-day training. We thank the Delta State Government for what it is doing. It is pioneering and revolutionary. I know it will help all the citizens in Delta.”