Entrepreneurship remains a critical economic growth and development driver, with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) accounting for a significant share of employment and output.
As the largest labour employers in Nigeria, stakeholders are constantly looking for ways to stimulate and assist entrepreneurs to support growth.
In light of this, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has received a grant worth N10 million from Providus Bank Limited to boost the chamber’s entrepreneurship training.
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Receiving the cheque in Lagos, LCCI’s Director-General, Chinyere Almona, commended the bank for the support, stating that the sponsorship will involve upgrading, equipping and branding the learning centre while providing soft loans and grants to deserving students of the entrepreneurship programme on graduation.
Almona said it would also provide support services for the young entrepreneurs in the programme in the form of advisory services in areas such as business development series and revamping sessions, financial literacy, planning and guidance, and business transformation, among others.
According to her, the partnership with the bank, which is expected to continue in the next three years in the first instance, is aimed at growing and improving the SME space through entrepreneurship training.
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She said the partnership starts with the LCCI Entrepreneurship Mentoring Programme and the LCCI-LASU Diploma in Entrepreneurship programme.
She said the benefits of the diploma programme include direct entry to degree programmes at the Lagos State University (LASU), access to grants and loans worth millions of Naira by Providus Bank, practical entrepreneurial skills acquisition, and access to the vast network and resources of the Chamber.
Almona added that students would also participate in business counselling, mentoring, tours and hangouts, and hybrid classroom learning, as the programme is expected to kick off next month.
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On his part, Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer Adeoye Ojuroye said the funds are part of the bank’s commitment to supporting small businesses to grow as they contribute largely to economic growth. He said the bank has a track record of enhancing entrepreneurial and managerial competencies by providing access to the business suite portal and other financing activities.
Ojuroye assured of the bank’s continued partnership and support to SMEs through the LCCI to help the economy thrive.