From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Women of Rivers East Senatorial District, Rivers state have been advised to embrace entrepreneurship as a way to boost their economic status as well as political powers.
The call was made recently during an entrepreneurship training organized at Ulakwor Etche, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers state for zero to low income women of the Senatorial District.
Facilitating the training which was organized by Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, CEHRD, with support from the Embassy of the Netherlands in Nigeria, Dr Joseph Etang, an entrepreneurship expert noted that in addition to making wealth, entrepreneurship takes care of key issues like self reliance, self-promotion, and improving community standards among others.
He added that through entrepreneurship, women can be lifted out of poverty and economic enslavement. He told the participants, who were mostly artisans, local farmers, petty traders, house wives, that they do not need any educational qualification to become an entrepreneur.
“What you need is business ideas, discipline, determination and good characters to succeed as an entrepreneur”, he said, adding that through entrepreneurship trainings, a successful entrepreneur could be acquired.
He advised the participants to study the environment where they intend to establish their business or where they are operating to ensure they identify and operate the type of business suitable for the area.
According to Dr Etang, a good business idea must be business or profit oriented, realistic or achievable, innovative, capable of fulfilling identified needs, honest or non fraudulent and timely.
Also a co-facilitator of the training, Nelson Franklin noted that cleanliness and safety consciousness also help businesses to succeed. He said it will be difficult to get serious customers to continually patronize a business if their safety could not be guaranteed and if the business environment is dirty.
He introduced the participants to some basic health and safety needs that are important for the over all health of the business.
Declaring the training open, Queen Agba, Programme Officer at CEHRD disclosed that the training was part of a human rights project of the organization aimed at empowering women to assert their socio-cultural and economic rights.
She recalled that some women had earlier been trained on women participation in politics. In the course of the training, women in governance Network was formed to encourage women to participate in governance at all levels.
She stated that the entrepreneurship training was incorporated in the project to empower women economically to enable them have the economic strength required to pursue political power.
Queen Agba urged the participants, mainly drawn from the Women in Governance Network, WIGN, to take the training, serious, stressing that there may be opportunities to link the participants who may want to invest in business to some funding sources.
However, participants thanked CEHRD and the facilitators for the training. They promised to step down the training to other women in their areas who were not opportuned to attend the training.