“Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) businesses are determinants for the economy growth of any country”, These were the words of the Ag. Director General at the Opening ceremony of five-day techno-entrepreneur training to empower youths and women organized by the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) and Business Support Academy (BSA).
The Ag. Director General, FIIRO Dr (MRS) Asagbra while welcoming the participants, assured them that the training would be held in form of a meeting that would enable both the participants and trainee to rob minds, share experiences, learn and acquire new technologies. She added that most of the technologies to be acquired have existing beneficiaries, whose products are being exported.
She explained that the training was organized due to the realization that Small, Medium Entrepreneur (SMEs) group are undeniable important globally as they are of great important to every sector of the business and their roles are globally appraised as a determinate for economy growth of any country. In her words A country with SMEs will progress and one with little SMEs will struggle to thrive”.
Dr. Asagbra further explained that the potentials of SMEs in Nigeria are yet to be fully exploited in order to make positive contributions to Nigerian economy due to lack of constitutional and government support. She added that SMEs only thrive, where supports are efficiently offered as several fell out of business due to lack of Finance and Know-how.
The collaboration of FIIRO and BSA was to have impact on SMEs and elevate the business owners from the effect of the Post Covid 19. In her words, she promised them that "You will not leave this training without taking something for yourself and making sure, you are better off". Also apart from empowerment, the training aimed to provide support services through training on writing of business plan and finance support from financial organizations such as Bank of Industries and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Otunba Kolawole Olorundare, CEO of Business Support Academy appreciated FIIRO and other stakeholders for their maximum co-operation in ensuring that the best was brought out for youth and women. He applauded the determination of the Ag. DG, FIIRO in ensuring that the nation was industrialized through the activities of the institute.
While commending other stakeholders, Olohundare reiterated that as it is believed that, “training programs like these are meant for unemployed youth and Women, this program was far beyond addressing employment alone, as it is equally to empower, fortified and energized existing business that are serious in expansion and processes in engineering''
Mrs. Makanjuola Olajumoke, Assistant Director National Agency FOOD, Drugs and Administration Commission Lagos state introduced a new NAFDAC to the participants, which she said was created 2019 to specifically cater for SMEs in Lagos state. She informed them that NAFDAC has scaled down its requirements although with limitations, certificate can now be granted for some products produced in the kitchen, as time of production would be only given for inspection.
The second day of the five days entrepreneurship/technology transfer training saw invited facilitators giving more insights and enlightenment on entrepreneurship skills and how to start a business and how to have a proper business idea and plan. The first facilitator Mr. Olufemi Mosaku Johnson, a Registrar/CEO from Association of Corporate Governance Professionals of Nigeria, taught the participants on Concept of Entrepreneurship Development. He defined and related entrepreneurship to something that starts from zero to the top. According to him, "entrepreneurship is a mindset and practice of looking and acting upon opportunities for economic and or social benefits through innovation and risk taken". He complained that, incidentally we do not have a functionally government, and no one cares for anyone in order to start a business; and also affirmed that, "entrepreneurs don't beg but create".
The second trainer Mr. Okeagu Martin Okechukwu, a Researcher (RO) at Production Analytical and Laboratory Management department, FIIRO, trained the participants on Food Safety and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). To him, HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw materials production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. According to him, the success of a HACCP system depends on educating and training management and employees in the importance of their role in producing safe.
Subsequently, practical trainings on FIIRO's technologies were carried out with trainees properly trained and exposed to all that was needed to become full-fledged entrepreneurs.