The STEP beneficiaries who are of the 2019/2020 Cycle are categorized into groups of 20 persons and scheduled to participate in the EBMT on different days either in the morning or afternoon sessions to ensure total compliance to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines in the prevention of the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The 109 beneficiaries included those whose training duration was for three months under Green STEP and Brown STEP beneficiaries in Fashion and Textile Design who were trained for four months.
Briefing them on the importance of the EBMT, the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, reminded them that the Entrepreneurship and Business Management Training underscores the business and management elements in the job creation programme, stating that it was the last part of the training before they would be certified for establishment with starter packs.
The Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer represented by the Coordinator, STEP, Mr Onyeisi Nkenchor, said there was the need for them to learn how to manage their businesses and to compete favourably well with those who have been in business before them.
He also disclosed that the EBMT was structured to be in two sessions each day, adding that while selected 20 STEPreneurs who reside in Warri and environs were for the morning sessions, another 20 beneficiaries who live in Asaba or Agbor and environs would attend the afternoon sessions.
According to him, they would be equipped with tips on business management, customer care, funding, business plan, feasibility study, record keeping among others.
“I congratulate you on the successful completion of your vocational training. 109 of you are taking part in this EBMT, which is the last part of the job creation programme before you will be established with starter packs.
Among you are 17 STEPreneurs in Audio-Visual & Photography, 51 beneficiaries in Hairdressing, Makeover & Braiding, 4 in Catering & Confectionery, 35 in Fashion & Textile Design and 2 in Cosmetology,” he remarked.
Speaking differently on behalf of other beneficiaries, Akpibere Fejiro (Patani LGA) expressed her joy over the opportunity given to her by the state government to be trained in Hairdressing, Makeover & Braiding. She pledged that the knowledge acquired and starter pack would be used to improve her cosmetic business and to generate more income for her family.
On his part, Okonye Chinwe (Ika North East) in Audio-Visual & Photography was emotional about his plight and the life changing opportunity offered to him on a platter of gold.
He said his case was that of hopelessness considering his poor background, expressing delight that the training has changed his story.
He said the training exposed him to modern techniques in photography and film editing. “I never knew what it meant to tell a story through photography. I have learnt a lot. I am hopeful that with my starter packs, I will be established to make my life more meaningful and to attain my potentials in life,” he added.
The high points of the EBMT were the lectures, “Principles and Practices for Starting Business,” “How to Write and Use a Business Plan” and ”Mentorship for Start-Ups” delivered by Pastor Afolabi Adun, Mr Salvation Alibor and the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Youth Monitoring and Mentoring, Mr Eddy Mekwuye respectively.