Fidelity Bank Plc, in partnership with Gazelle Academy and Bayero University Kano, at the weekend, concluded an entrepreneurship training programme for over 200 students in Kano State.
Organised under the Fidelity Youth Empowerment Academy stream 5 (YEA 5), the week-long training programme seeks to equip undergraduates with requisite skills, know-how, and capabilities needed to take start businesses even whilst in school.
Participants received training in various skill areas including fashion designing, makeover, henna design, new media marketing, baby bag making, bead making, etc.
This empowerment programme, which is part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, is primarily targeted at creating a new breed of entrepreneurs amongst Nigeria’s boisterous youth population.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the bank’s Deputy Managing Director, Mohammed Balarabe, said that the skills acquisition programme seeks primarily to offer undergraduates of tertiary institutions with vocational skills and enterprise training needed to become thriving business owners.
Whilst stating that the programme teaches students vocational skills as an alternative to white-collar jobs, Balarabe explained that the initiative would guarantee financial independence among the youths and ultimately alleviate poverty.
“Since its inception, four editions have held successfully at institutions in Enugu, Birnin Kebbi, Anambra and Rivers states with over 2,000 participants. In essence, we have succeeded in making entrepreneurs out of students who will be financially responsible and independent,” he said.
Balarabe commended the students for their commitment and performance during the course of the training programme.
The DMD, while quoting John Maxwell, said: “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”
He challenged the students to go out there and fulfill their dreams.
The Director, Public Affairs of BUK, Malam Ahmed Shehu, who commended Fidelity Bank for the initiative, called on other corporate organisations to emulate the bank in giving back to the society through laudable youth empowerment programmes like YEA5.
Shehu also lauded the bank for consistently delivering unmatched financial services to the university community and the citizens of Kano State.
Speaking in the same vein, Muna Onuzo, Founder, Gazelle Academy, thanked the participants for their zeal and active participation as evidenced by the number of things ranging from bags, clothing apparels, beadworks, cocktails that were made by them and on display for visitors who thronged the school to witness the closing ceremony.
“We give our students the ability to stand and build their business. We start by teaching them the skills of the trade and then we empower their mind so that the inner disabilities won’t limit them from actualising their true potential. We also teach students how to run a business that is clean, sustainable and viable,” she explained.