The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Professor Kolawole Salako has commended the Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS) and the Deutshe Geselishaft Fur-Internationale (GIZ) for their entrepreneurial drive with the Business training and coaching held by the Centre.
Delivering his Opening Remark, the Vice-Chancellor, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Morenike Dipeolu, welcomed everyone to the event and appreciated the coaches for their tenacity in ensuring that the students are well taught in both theoretical and practical aspects of their chosen skills.
The Vice-Chancellor described FUNAAB as a pro-active Institution, stating that the University was the first tertiary institution in the South-Western part of Nigeria to collaborate with GIZ for financial literacy and Start-Up-Loop programme.
She further described the Start-Up-Loop as a programme designed to provide guidance and training for entrepreneurs, in order to develop entrepreneurial and managerial skills, and also understand the business environment and planning for start ups.
In his Keynote Address, the Director, CENTS, Professor Babatunde Adewumi appreciated the University for its unending support. Stressing that entrepreneurship programme in FUNAAB had been in existence since 2010 before the government policy came into being in 2011.
The Director emphasized that Start-Up-Loop programme is a joint programme between CENTS (FUNAAB) and GIZ, informing the gathering that FUNAAB partnered with GIZ because of its impacts in Germany and across the world in its bid to reduce unemployment.
In the same vein, a Mentor and Consultant with GIZ said GIZ, Mrs. Bamidele Salako runs for a period of four to six months with the aim of helping start ups gain the soft skills needed to have a business intelligence, in order to sustain their businesses.
According to her, “Most start ups fail within the first two years of their businesses as a result of lack of necessary business intelligence skills to make them bankable and sustainable”.
She added that GIZ is focused on creating financial links with agencies like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other private organizations, in order to create funding and support for their Loopers.
She advised Loopers to endeavour to pitch their businesses to the satisfaction of the investors, in order to have access to the available opportunities.
One of the Loopers and a pig farmer, Dorcas Ayandipe described the programme as an eye opener saying that -it was engaging and very impactful despite the rigorous practical classes.
Also speaking on the impact of the startup loop, Principal Extension Officer, from the Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC) of the University Mr. Olukayode Adesanya described the programme as enlightening, because it has been able to widen his business intelligence skills.
He further said that the programme has strengthened him on how to deliver his job effectively, while helping him to be able to teach people better on how to practice Agriculture effectively.
The event had various dignitaries, investors and exhibitors in attendance.