In its continued effort to create and preserve wealth and curb unemployment among youths, Heritage Bank Plc in partnership with the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) has graduated 100 young entrepreneurs in the CVL Young Entrepreneurship Training Programme (YETP) in Ajegunle, Lagos.
The CVL is aimed at identifying young people, especially youths in densely populated communities and putting them through a full year of training in small business management. These young entrepreneurs who have been trained in various skills such as catering, bead making, event management, fashion design, arts, hair dressing, shoe cobbling among others have also imbibed comprehensive business management and entrepreneurship skills that would equip them to be successful business owners.
Speaking at the event, The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, expressed appreciation to the founder of CVL, Professor Pat Utomi, for the initiative and implored the graduands to reciprocate by making the best of the opportunity. In his words, “we are attracted to CVL because we seek how we can harness entrepreneurial skills of people, reduce unemployment and foster development of communities, like the Ajegunle community. We are delighted with the mechanics of this program and we recognize the strategic importance and impact of successful businesses could have on young entrepreneurs and the society, which is why we provide funds for start-ups.”
As a way of showing Heritage Bank’s commitment to the initiative, the Managing Director, who was represented by the Divisional Head, Corporate Banking, Heritage Bank, Apapa Region Mr. Kehinde Olugbemi announced that two physical agent banking kiosks will be opened and commissioned before the end of the year so as to make financial services more accessible to the graduands as well as the city of Ajegunle.
His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by Mrs Olabisi Boko, a Director in the State Ministry of Employment tasked them to use the acquired skills immensely to add value to their wellbeing. In the Governor’s words: “the Lagos State Government is committed to fighting unemployment by collaborating with private sector initiatives such as the CVL’s in achieving this goal.” The Governor called on the private sector and stakeholders of the economy to emulate as well as support the CVL initiative.
Otun Ahmed Temitayo, an Arts graduate of Ekiti State University, who is also one of the beneficiaries, expressed his satisfaction with the program. “I have learnt how to boost my career in a more business oriented way and I intend taking my game to the next level.” Temitayo, who already owns an arts studio plans to showcase his works in arts exhibition to promote his business as the YETP programme has broadened his business horizon.
A catering graduate of the program, Oyedele Oluwakemi, says she sees the YETP Programme as a platform for business networking. “It is very impactful in terms of learning and how to negotiate business deals and also meet new professionals in your chosen field.” Oluwakemi intends to start a mini catering school where she can also groom other caterers while nurturing her business.
Also, a fashion designer, Nneka Izuhgba, simply expressed her satisfaction with the programme and highlighted how the programme has taught her the essence of good customer relations in business management. “I have learnt how to communicate effectively with potential customers and also attract new ones.”
Present at the event were religious and traditional rulers of the Ajegunle Community, who expressed gratitude to Heritage Bank for coming to their community with such a vital development programme.