The need to support entrepreneurs in the development of a nation’s economy cannot be over-emphasized. However, one must be circumspect in choosing the interventions needed to develop these entrepreneurs so as to achieve maximum impact. In today’s business world, focusing developmental initiatives such as entrepreneurship development programs including mentoring on the youth is a means of investing in the future business leaders of the country. Without doubt, the establishment of more viable and successful businesses is a way out of the high unemployment rates which quite a number of countries experience. These businesses will employ others, contribute to the reduction of poverty and improve the economy generally.
One sure way of investing in the future of the economy is MENTORING the youth to create and manage businesses. It is a way of sending them forth into the business world, much better equipped to ride the waves and challenges in their quest for success. In all meaningful economies around the World, developmental initiatives such as entrepreneurship development programs including mentoring are focused on the youth. This is a means of investing in the future business leaders thus creating a possible way out of the lingering unemployment challenges facing these countries.
1. MENTORING PROGRAM
|1.||LCCI Mentoring Program||2013||The need to further contribute to the development of the youth and entrepreneurs by providing them with the necessary expertise and tools they need to start and grow their businesses led to the establishment of the MENTORING program.
The duration of the LCCI Mentoring program is 6months – 4 months of intensive business development trainings and 2months of practical mentor-mentee relationship.
The LCCI monitors the graduates from the mentoring school for 2 years after their graduation. This is to ensure that whatever challenges they face are attended to in good time.
|22 well mentored youths that have started their own businesses in different sectors of the economy.||The businesses established by these mentees are now employing between 4 to 15 other youth per business.
The Federal Government of Nigeria, the State governments as well as some Organized Private Sector have realized the need for the mentoring program and that entrepreneurial spirit can be developed among our youth. They are now calling on the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry to set up similar program for their states.
Two of the 2013 mentees won national youth entrepreneurship awards.
|2.||LCCI Mentoring Program||2014||Same as in LCCI Mentoring program 2013.||25 well mentored youth that have started their own businesses in different sectors of the economy.||Same as in 2013 above.
Furthermore, The Bank of Industry, Nigeria is looking for how funding can be injected into the mentoring program. This will go a long way to solving a major challenge the youth are facing.
|3.||LCCI Mentoring Program||2015||Same as in LCCI Mentoring program 2013.||50 Youth entrepreneurs that are currently going through the 2months practical mentoring program. The mentoring program for 2015 is expected to end in October 2015.||Same as in 2014 above.
Other members of the Organised Private Sector such as ACCENTURE in Nigeria are now investing in the program so as to increase the number of youth enrolment into the program each year.
**Please find attached the schedule showing information about the mentees.
The Chamber has been mentoring youth since 1888. However, formal and documented mentoring commenced in the year 2008 with the mentoring of businessmen and women from the Abeokuta and Ibadan city Chambers of Commerce. The mentoring program enables individuals to brainstorm, innovate, create and develop breakthrough ideas on how to improve their business processes as well as solve problems facing their businesses. Focusing developmental initiatives on the youth is a means of investing in their future thereby guaranteeing a better ‘tomorrow’ for them. The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry is pleased to serve as a vehicle for the achievement of this objective.
2. ENSURING WORLD CLASS VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM
|1.||German Dual Vocational Training (Phase 1)||2014-2015||A collaboration with the German Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Giessen-Friedberg (via sequa, financed by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development) to champion mainstream deliverable technical skills to upscale production in our industries and the country in general. This is to ensure World Class vocational training for our youth thus creating an abundant pool of technical skills from which our industries may fetch to satisfy their thirst for vocational skills. The CCI Giessen-Friedberg is responsible for the steering, the organisational and the financial management, planning, monitoring and evaluating of the project and of providing German vocational training experts. It works in close cooperation with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Lagos (DGIC).||Accredited training programs and curricula have been developed in the approved professions.
Over 100 master trainers have also been trained and certified in the professions.
Youth have been enrolled, trained and certified in the approved professions.
i. Mechanical construction and Electronics/electrics
|Companies such as Dangote Group who have participated confirmed improved skills resulting from the DVT program.
The Lagos State Government, having seen the value addition from the DVT has intensified efforts to improve vocational training in Lagos State.
3. DEVELOPING THE CAPACITY OF YOUTH ENTREPRENEURS
|1.||Open Training programs – 2013||Every week of the year||A sustained effort at developing the capacities of our entrepreneurs and the MSMEs through trainings. Areas covered in these trainings include General Management, Marketing, Sales, Human Resource, Client service, Finance, Project management, Workplace productivity, Quality Assurance in Organisation, Business Recovery programs, Personal Management, Leadership and Corporate governance, ‘IT’ programs including Microsoft products and Cybercrime, Target setting, Communication, Research, Constraint Management and Business writing skills among others.||32 training sessions were held and 172 participants were trained||Capacity of our entrepreneurs considerably improved.Improved capacity in the Micro, small and medium scale businesses.|
|2.||Open Training programs – 2014||Every week of the year||Same as in 2013||42 training sessions were held and 432 participants were trained|
|3.||Open Training programs – 2015||Every week of the year||Same as in 2014.||47 training sessions have been held as at August, 2015 and 520 participants have been trained.|
5. BUILDING INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY AMONG MSMEs
To further improve institutional capacity among MSMEs the ‘BEST’ unit organises Free Training for MSMEs and entrepreneurs every quarter. The schedule below shows the last three free training sessions organized by the ‘BEST’ unit.
|1.||LEADERSHIP||December 2014||Participants were taken through training on self management for peak performance. Leadership techniques were thought and leadership in decision making were discussed||40 participants trained per session.||Participants testified to improved capacity to manage their businesses|
|2.||MANAGEMENT OF CONSTRAINTS FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE||March 2015||The program is designed to teach entrepreneurs the process of identifying constraints in the achievement of their goals. Participants are also taken through the process of managing the constrains for peak performance||40 participants trained per session.||Better understanding of constraints and how to manage them|
|3.||MARKETING RESEARCH||June 2015||A program directed at further exposing entrepreneurs to the process of marketing research and how it affects their businesses||40 participants trained per session||Better awareness of marketing research and its implication|