The Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), has reaffirmed its commitment in boosting entrepreneur skills that will impact on the economy and boost job creation.
The Centre started this at its thanksgiving Mass service to celebrate 20 years of EDC existence.
Director, EDC-PAU, Nneka Okekearu said that “it is the 20th anniversary Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan-Atlantic University and over the years, we have been committed to building a network of entrepreneurial leaders through continuous learning, process improvement, and business integrity.”
She noted that EDC in the last 20 years has impacted on more than a million Nigerians lifes. EDC starts with a flagship programme called Certificate in Enterprenurship Management, the course is a programme that takes entrepreneurs through all the areas they need to know so they can run better businesses that end up being sustainable.
She explained that the programme, which started in 2003 has 56 set in Lagos and on 30th set in Abuja, saying of all these people that have been on this programme, a lot of entrepreneurs have become industry leaders and are doing things affecting the ecosystem.
She cited example of the founder of Lagos leather fair, Coffee Week, Cocktail Week among others are ADC Alumni, saying that “our Alumni has gone out, building businesses that are employing so many Nigerians and deepen the ecosystem. They are building businesses that have integrity and comply with the regulatory perspective.”
She stated that “the centre is having entrepreneurs that want to deepen the ecosystem, forming different platforms whereby they can now groom other Nigerians to set up businesses in boosting the economy.
She highlighted that “we have entrepreneurs who have come here and grown their businesses from a annual turnover of N1 million, N2 million and within two to three years they are doing double digits annual turnover and more.
“As they grow their revenue, they employ more people as this helped in reducing unemployment and for every recruitment, it has a ripple effect on the economy.”
On the coming in of new government, Okekearu called for a better enabling environment for businesses to thrive on, saying that “what entrepreneurs require is enabling environment. So once that enabling environment is there, there will not be multiplicity of taxes.”
She added that “our hope is that the incoming government will take that into consideration because once there is an enabling environment, businesses will thrive and this will lead to increase in employment, produce more goods and services and pay taxes.”
She also added that “infrastructure should be invested in, like having manufacturing clusters in each sector, as entrepreneurs do not have to spend so much of their capital to buy machineries, all they have to do is go there and just pay for time and manufacture.”
Listing the problem of businesses, she said “most entrepreneurs do not have the right structures and systems in place. The second problem they have is access to market and what we do is to provide them platform so that they can have access to markets to sell.
“So I would say that we approach entrepreneurship from a holistic perspective. We teach and there is provision of support services that will help them, even to banks.”
She reiterated the management commitment in building a network of entrepreneurial leaders through commitment to continuous learning, process improvement and business integrity.
Also, the Regional Vicar of Opus Dei/ Chancellor Pan Atlantic University, the Rev Fr Anthony Odoh said that EDC is the last 20 years has help to boost the economy of Nigeria as this call for gratitude to God.
He stated that people have realised that going into business is not all about capitalbut to be trained. He stated that there is an increase in productivity for people in business who have passed through EDC programme, and this led to more people coming for training in the Centre.
Since it was established in 2003, the focus of the EDC has been professionalizing and equipping managers of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) with the skills needed to achieve and sustain success in their entrepreneurial endeavours. Its flag-ship programme is the Certificate programme in Entrepreneurial Management (CEM) through which it trains and supports over 150 new business owners every year.