The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), commenced the Entrepreneurship Development Programme in 2008 as a unique response mechanism to the twin-challenge of youth unemployment and poverty. Borne out of the conviction that the best way to eradicate poverty is not to alleviate it or make it bearable, the EDC project is being nationally implemented from three strategic geo-political zones of Southwest, Southeast and North-Western parts of Nigeria. The CBN reckoned that by creating wealth, poverty is put on the back foot and forced to beat a hasty retreat. Backed by a track record and achievements in youth development programmes, over the years, the Africa Leadership Forum (ALF), is charged with the responsibility of helping the CBN to help achieve this task in the South-West region of Nigeria. As an implementing agency, the Africa Leadership Forum has a mandate to mold twenty-five thousand young entrepreneurs with a corresponding twenty-five thousand new businesses within a five-year period (2008-2013). At least three former trainees of the Entrepreneurship Development Centre have made the provisional shortlist of the Federal Government initiative, Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWiN).
Highlights of activities attest to modest achievements and successes, charting of new frontiers and of course challenges. Between 2008 and 2013 it trained 18,167 young men and women, created 222 new enterprises, expanded 869 existing business enterprise, created 3, 356 jobs and facilitated N205.470 million as business loans for the EDC trainees through its various schemes that include:.
- The Regular Graduate Scheme.
- The Regular Non-Graduate Scheme.
- Managerial Enhancement Training Scheme for Master Artisans.
- University Entrepreneurship Development.
- Executive Entrepreneurship Programme.
- Pre-Retirement Development Programme
- Graduate Entrepreneurship Training through Information Technology (GET-IT)
Furthermore, the centre trained thousands of clients of the Lagos State and Ekiti State governments between 2009 and 2012.
Highlight of Achievements from 2008 to 2013
The following feat was recorded between 2008 and 2013 when the Centre was hosted by the Lagos State Government:
- Trained 18,167 graduates and non-graduates in entrepreneurship, some of them going ahead to:
- Create 222 new enterprises,
- Expand 869 existing ones, &
- Create almost 3500 jobs.
- Facilitated access of small businesses to finance
- Customised selected entrepreneurship trainings for senior executives, retirees/pensioners, tertiary institutions, and
- Partnered with HP to run a specialised Graduate Entrepreneurship Training through Information Technology (GET-IT).
The Centre re-located to Ibadan, Oyo State capital, with effect from March 2015.
CBN-Entrepreneurship Development Centre, South West 1st Quarter (Jan-March 2015)
Highlight of Achievements during the 1st quarter are as follows:
- A training flag off and dialogue ceremony was organised by the centre on March 4th, 2015. This event was attended by the Commissioner of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, the special adviser to the governor on budget and economic planning and the head of development finance office of the Central Bank of Nigeria branch, Ibadan.
- The South West EDC through the Director made a number of appearances on the radio and the jingle prepared for awareness creation was released during the quarter as a way means of creating awareness on the centre and its programmes.
- A total of 256 clients, comprising 141 males and 115 females, and 232 graduates and 24 non-graduates, were trained at the Centre. All the participants were individual clients who heard about the EDC programme either on the radio or through referral. They were all trained in the key thematic areas of micro enterprise development such as leadership, basic business management, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
- 256 clients were counseled in a ratio of 142 males to 114 females indicating the Centre's commitment to business support services and increased acceptance of the Centre's soft assistance tools by clients faced with business challenges.
- The Africa Leadership Forum initiated plans to convene its first collaborative meeting between the Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and the SW EDC. This meeting has been scheduled to take place on Thursday 16th April 2015, at the Ventura Mall, Samonda, Ibadan. The major issue of discussion is how the MFBs will assist the EDC beneficiaries in the disbursement and monitoring of loans drawn from the MSME Development Fund recently launched by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
- The SW EDC has fully conceptualised two off-site programmes called the Mobile Outreach Training Initiative (MOTI) and Mobile Business Advisory Services (MOBAS). These are aimed at moving the training and counseling to the market place, interfacing with market men and women right in their shops and factories.
- SW EDC is currently concluding plans to Sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Odu’a Conglomerates on a range of programmes, prime among which is the opening of internship opportunities to the Centre’s trainees across the Southwest.
- The Oyo State Chamber of Commerce and Industries and other Business Management Organizations (BMOs) are also being engaged to assist the internship programme.\
CBN-Entrepreneurship Development Centre, South West 2nd Quarter (April - June 2015)
Highlight of Achievements during the 2nd quarter are as follows:
- A total of 403 clients; 270 males and 133 females, further disaggregated into 17 non-graduates and 386 graduates were trained by the SW-EDC, Ibadan. They were all trained in the key thematic areas of micro enterprise development such as leadership, basic business management, and information and communication technology (ICT). Overall, this brings the total number of clients trained from January 2015 till date to 659.
- Similarly, 403 clients were counselled in a ratio of 270 males to 133 females indicating the Centre’s commitment to business support services and increased acceptance of the Centre’s soft assistance tools by clients faced with business challenges.
- The SW-EDC facilitated internship programmes for 4 clients; 2 males and 2 females with well-established business organizations with the aim of exposing the trainees to practical on-the job experience of the business sector thereby accelerating their business start-up.
- A total of 94 bankable business plans were facilitated by the (BDS) unit during the quarter.
- The CBN-Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC), Southwest Zone organized a collaborative meeting with the Microfinance Banks in South West Geo-Political Zone. The meeting was held in Ventura Cinemas, Samonda, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria on April 16, 2015 had in attendance a cross section of stakeholders from across the Nation. The discussion and deliberations at the meeting were on developing strategic relationships with interested stakeholders in line with emerging development in capacity development for budding entrepreneurs and the needed support for growth of existing entrepreneurs especially as it concerns the disbursement and monitoring of loans drawn from the MSME Development Fund recently launched by the Central Bank of Nigeria to EDC trainees.
- The SW-EDC hosted the 22nd CBN-EDC Governing Council Meeting on May 22nd, 2015 at the Samonda, Ibadan centre. The modalities for accessing the MSME Development Fund and the updated framework for reporting the activities of the EDC by the implementing agency were part of the issues discussed.
- SW-EDC continues to consolidate on efforts to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Odu’a Conglomerates on a range of programmes, prime among which is the opening of internship opportunities to the Centre’s trainees across the Southwest. The Oyo State Chamber of Commerce and Industries and other Business Management Organizations (BMOs) are also being engaged to assist the internship programme.
- The South West EDC through the Director continued to make appearances on the radio to talk about the SW-EDC project as a way of creating awareness on the centre and its programmes.
- The SW-EDC organized an Information Session for members of Rhema Chapel, Bodija, New Covenant Church, Apata and the Ife Business Club, OAU, Ife. This activity was aimed at sensitizing members of these organizations on the programmes of the SW-EDC. All participants showed keen interest in participating in the entrepreneurship program as they found it imperative to the successful start-up and growth of their prospective businesses. This effort complements the centre’s awareness drive which will ensure increased enrolment.
- The three operational vehicles of the SW-EDC were released to the centre in the 2nd quarter and this has greatly increased the productivity of the centre.
These archievements will be updated periodically.