As part of its objectives to empower the next generation of small and micro entrepreneurs with business intelligence and start-up grants, a United Kingdom-based company, AACLE International, has partnered the alumni association of the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun State to organize a first-of-its-kind entrepreneurship seminar, for students of the institution and potential entrepreneurial-inclined alumni.
The seminar holds Wednesday, August 16, 2017; with the theme “Promoting entrepreneurial mindset and enhancing career choice and development.” According to the national president of the alumni association, Shittu Olaleye, “Our focus for this seminar is to prepare final year students for the labour market, equip them with basic skills they would require to survive in an economy that is stricken by scarce job opportunities; inculcate leadership qualities and administrative exposure in the youths and give those with entrepreneurial inclination a platform to harness their skills.” Shittu further said that though the alumni association had always organized such seminars because of their belief that prospective and substantive members should be developed as they simultaneously develop their school, partnering with AACLE would help to reach out to more students.
Founded by Nigerian professionals in the UK, AACLE is equally creating a nationwide business opportunities in food distribution for five unemployed people per state. Already, the Kwara State government has bought into this. Also, the organization, which motto is ‘Let’s Fly Together’, has registered many young Nigerians in the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Entrepreneurship Development Centre. Though registration fee for the CBN-EDC is N5, 000, AACLE offered to pay for 600 Nigerians who register on their platform and possess a minimum of OND qualification and a BVN among other requirements. Every person that enrolls for the program enjoys world-class facilitation and business development services which also include writing of their business plans and post-training field visits, access to funding from the CBN MSME intervention fund and other funding opportunities, linkage with established organizations for internship, as well as 12 months of post-training mentoring from the center.
According to its Director of Social Enterprise, Tosin Adebusuyi, AACLE’s core targets are young school leavers and young adults with viable business ideas and SMEs who would be given business grants ranging from N20, 000 to N1million. The aim of AACLE is to help bridge the gaps as a social enterprise that provides a veritable and robust space for interaction among entrepreneurs on one hand; and interaction with solution providers on the other hand. These solution providers are both private and institutional and they bring to the table the seed capital, start-up fund, growth capital and expansion fund to existing and start-up SMEs. Further, she said, AACLE also hopes to provide existing and struggling small ventures with growth financing with no or relaxed collateral security, support pensioners and the unemployed with small grants for business ventures and provide free on-line counsel to the unemployed in CV writing, job hunting and interview preparation.