Students Entrepreneurship Programme Launched
With Support from the Dutch Ministry of Trade and International Corporation, the Migration and Development Consultancy headed by a Sierra Leonean in The Netherlands in partnership with the Network University in The Netherlands, Institute of Advanced Management and Technology (IAMTECH) and Master Peace Sierra Leone on Saturday 16th January launched the second phase of the online Students Entrepreneurship Programme (SEP) for entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone. (Photo: The initiator of SEP, Abubakarr Bangura, making a statement at the launch ceremony)
The launch ceremony, which took place in the IAMTECH Hall at Kissy Dockyard in east end Freetown, attracted several people including students, young aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs like Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden and many other key stakeholders.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, the CEO of Migration and Development Consultancy, Abubakarr Bangura, who is the initiator of the online Entrepreneurship Programme, disclosed that they started the programme five years ago but because of funding, they had to stop at some point.
He explained: “Actually, we have completed the second phase of the programme and now moving to the third phase. We have trained over 80 prospective entrepreneurs and phase three will start this week and ends in August 2016.”
Abubakarr Bangura emphasized that the E-Learning Entrepreneurship Programme is a unique blend of distant online coaching and classroom lesson training.
He added that the ambitious programme is to bring in new energy into SEP through ensuring that the online entrepreneurship programme is fully integrated and expanded to rural communities that have access to the internet.
The new strategic plan, he said, was presented during the launch of SEP.
In her presentation titled “Developing Young Entrepreneurs as a means of Nation Prosperity and Empowerment,” Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, who is a successful entrepreneur, defined an entrepreneur as a person who has a vision to start a successful business.
Dr. Sylvia O. Blyden, who is a publisher of one of the leading local newspapers and owner of an internet café, mentioned names of successful entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone like the late Vincent Kanu.
According to the publisher, the late man executed his vision through entrepreneurship that contributed greatly to the transformation of the Northern Region city of Makeni.
She explained: “As young aspiring entrepreneurs, you should ensure to uphold the good virtues of integrity in engaging in entrepreneurship, that includes timely payment of tax. And also, you should try hard to contribute to community development especially when you became successful entrepreneurs.”
Dr. Sylvia Blyden promised to link the E- Learning Entrepreneurship programme with other stakeholders including the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Bank of Sierra Leone.
Head of Master Peace Sierra Leone, Charles Boyle, revealed that they are going to award 20 scholarships to prospective candidates for the student e-learning entrepreneurship programme.
He added that they will institute a strategy to give the scholarships to deserving candidates, while he advised students to treat the programme with the seriousness it deserves.
“To get a job in Sierra Leone is very difficult but with entrepreneurship, you are self-employed,” Charles Boyle said.
One of the beneficiaries of the first phase of the entrepreneurship programme, Mustapha Sanusi, disclosed that he has done a business plan on waste Management.
According to him, the initiator of the entrepreneurship programme, Abubakarr Bangura, has linked him with investors in The Netherlands and other countries in Europe.
Mustapha Sanusi however called on people with interest in entrepreneurship to register for the e-learning entrepreneurship programme.
Another beneficiary, Ibrahim Kamara, has this to say: ‘’the programme has transformed me. Initially, I was very timid of educated people but now I’m very proud and bold to have an email address and can communicate with friends online.”
It could be recalled that the Students Entrepreneurship Programme hereafter known as SEP was established in 2009 at the Institute of Advanced Management and Technology (IAMTECH) in Sierra Leone.
SEP objectives include the following: to address the problem of youths unemployment, to instill in young people the culture of entrepreneurship through training , counseling and business clinics, to create links and partnerships for young startups and potential investors, locally , nationally and internationally, and also to create a forum for business competition and other socio-economic activities.
According to the coordinators, registration can be done by completing the online registration form and application forms are available online: http. //ent.netuni.nl or contact the Project Coordinator, Mohamed S. Conteh at IAMTECH or on cell number 077596228.
By Alfred Fornah
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