Support is underway for no fewer than 100 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Ondo state following a SME Networking and Information Session organized by the Ondo State Office of Innovation and Partnerships, in collaboration with the Nigerian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration.
The programme which brought together about 100 SMEs, is first in the series of lined up events and initiatives to profile and identify the needs of small business owners in Ondo State, build their capacity, provide the right economic environment, and ultimately create jobs for the teeming unemployed in the State.
Welcoming participants to the event, Mr Joel Ogunsola, the Senior Special Assistant to the Ondo State Governor on Innovation and Partnerships, acquainted the young SMEs CEOs with the mandate of his Office which is to promote entrepreneurship, enterprise development and economic growth through innovation.
He emphasized that the networking session is one of sustainable partnership programmes the Oluwarotimi Akeredolu administration will facilitate to empower the Ondo State populace, particularly youths on skills, jobs, business finance, and vocational exposure.
“Talents are evenly distributed but opportunities are not, which is why the Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Government is committed to facilitating sustainable partnerships that will support the innovative potentials in our people, create opportunities for them to explore their talents and potentials.
“We are convinced that accessing these opportunities also require some critical skills which our people also have to be empowered with to profoundly make Ondo state the Hub of thriving SMEs in Nigeria for a start.” Ogunsola explained.
The National Coordinator of the Nigerian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration, Mrs Elizabeth Adekunle told the participants that the collaboration the between German government, the Federal Government and Ondo State government has identified a wide skill gap among SMEs, limiting business growth and chances of job creation, sometimes leading to frustrations and inappropriate migration.
“The NGC is a one stop that provides a number services which include Individual counselling on migration issues, job placement trainings, mediation into training programmes, job search, business startup support, migration advice and reintegration support.
“The collaboration with SMEs in Ondo State will also include business finance advising and financial management skills that can gain the trust of funding agencies and partners. We are indeed happy to partner the Akeredolu government of this initiative” Mrs Adekunle said.
Participants at the event were excited with the offer of the NGC to support SMEs with paid Internship candidates, which they emphasized will take away a lot of labour cost as they will have trained hands that can add value to their businesses, along with other opportunities that come up with the partnership with the German government.