Tony John, Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that his administration has provided entrepreneurial motivations for business to thrive in the state.
Governor Wike stated this at the 2018 Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs (CEE 2018) organized by the United States of America Consulate, Lagos, at the Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS), University of Port Harcourt.
The governor, who spoke through his Deputy, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, said through its Microfinance Agency and the Ministry of Women Affairs, Rivers State Government had provided soft loans to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
He said the state government has also provided interest-free government-backed bank loans to 25 private medical institutions, stressing that the government is also harmonizing taxes in the State to provide an enabling environment for growth and stability of enterprises.
According to him the State Government has approved a Rivjobs Project, aimed at tackling the prevalent challenges organizations face in finding quality talents to recruit, while job seekers find it difficult to get notification on job openings within the state.
The platform Governor Wike said, would also provide online training that exposes youths to entrepreneurial skills, adding that government has also approved the development and launch of Rivers Creek Tech, to serve as a habitat to support technological entrepreneurship and innovation.
Meanwhile, the US Consulate, in collaboration with Field of Skills and Dreams VTE Academy, on Wednesday, concluded the second edition of the Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs held in Port Harcourt, with 121 budding Nigerian entrepreneurs participating.
The up-and-coming entrepreneurs, selected from across Nigeria, learned how to transform their ideas into practical business plans, manage business risks, navigate difficult moments, seek capital, and develop partnerships to help their businesses grow.
In his remarks, the Consul General, John Bray, explained that one of US Mission Nigeria’s primary goals was to support Nigeria’s economic development.
According to him, the US Department of State supports entrepreneurs all over the world through training and mentoring, while also working with governments to create enabling environments and entrepreneurial cultures.
“There is growing evidence that entrepreneurs the world over, are the drivers of job growth. The United States government is firmly convinced that, in addition to creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities, entrepreneurship contributes to political stability and a vibrant civil society”, Consul General Bray added.
Leading business leaders including Sahara Group Co-Founder Tonye Cole, Emzor Pharmaceutical CEO Stella Okoli, Andela Co-founder, Iyin Aboyeji, award-winning designer, Zizi Cardow, and senior executives of prominent commercial banks, mentored and trained the participating young entrepreneurs.
The Conference was organised with a view to equipping the entrepreneurs with the requisite skills and entrepreneurial know-how, to enhance their success in the business world.
According to the organizers, the first edition of the conference was held in Lagos, in March, 2017.