By Jeremy Godson
A strong pillar in entrepreneurship and women businesses, Mercy Bello Abu, former chairperson of NNEW in Port Harcourt, has described entrepreneurship striving as the determination to succeed despite all the odds lined up to make someone fail.
Abu, now founder and president of Entrepreneurs Platform Initiative (EPI) said this in a welcome remark at at an EPi training scheme for youths in Port Harcourt. She said, at EPI, they make it happen, despite all odds.”
She went on; “We are passionate about women, to see them take their place in the nation. The labour market is saturated; therefore, we must look inwards. This programme is a sensitization one is to eradicate poverty, reduce drug abuse. Unfortunately, most people involved are youths. We won’t claim to do it over night but we will ultimately get there.
We want the average youth to have clarity. That is why we are gathered here. Today, we will talk about technology; how we can positively engage technology. Secondly, we want to harp on agriculture, which is a way out at this moment. Agriculture is the new oil.”
In her remark, Mrs Chibuzo obichukwu, chairperson of Youth Enterprise Development (YED), a project of EPI, said the youths are the trustees of the posterity of a nation. “YED is why you should be an entrepreneur, we believe at the end you will be an entrepreneur. You must be smart to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs never sleep, that’s why every mother is an entrepreneur. Never rely on one source of income. Great entrepreneurs start from the mind.”
Engineer Emeka Unachukwu, founder of ‘Develope U’, and ex-president of Rivers Chambers of Commerce (PHCCIMA), quoting Bill Gates, said, “I you are born poor, it’s not your mistake; bt if you die poor, it is your mistake. T find your result, you must use all your excuses. In business cash is king. Why do we need money? Money is king. It drives everyday operation, it is the purchasing power and expansion.”
He went on: “Plan for the rainy day. Keep cash because business has peaks and valleys. Small business should employ bootstrapping. Bootstrapping means starting a business from scratch and building it with minimum capital. Use few labourers.”
He thrilled the youths further, thus; “Financial planning involves funding the right kind of financial resources at the right time in the right amount.” Giving five rules of credit, he named Character, Capital, Capacity, Collateral, and Condition.
On opportunities for Sourcing capital in Nigeria, he said several loan schemes from several banks have been created especially for agricultural businesses such from the Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry, Central Bank, GTB, etc.
In his intervention, Jeremy Nwachukwu, a resource person from the Port Harcourt Entrepreneurship and Leadership Academy (manager, creativity and strategy, a branch of Silver News & Media Agency Limited), thrilled the youth by showing them what leadership truly is about.
He said: “Leadership means to take responsibility for situations. The youths should know that they have the responsibility to change any situation that is unacceptable to them. Leadership also involves exploiting the potential and positioning of others in achieving a set goal. We must learn to collaborate and exploit each other’s strengths. Leadership is not for one person but for everyone.”