From Blessing Ibunge,Port Harcourt
As part of efforts to ensure women’s empowerment for economic self reliance is achieved, a Non Governmental Organisation based in Port Harcourt, Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, CEHRD, with support from the Embassy of Netherlands, Nigeria has organized an entrepreneurship training for rural community women of Rivers West Senatorial District of Rivers state.
The training, which was aimed at empowering the women with entrepreneurial skill was organized recently in Ahoada town, Ahoada East LGA of Rivers state. The training was facilitated by Dr Joseph Oshi, an entrepreneurship theorist.
In his opening remarks, Josiah Egbuilika, CEHRD’s Program officer disclosed that the training was part of efforts of the organization to empower rural community women to enable them stand up against all forms of gender based discriminations and marginalization in the society.
He noted that CEHRD has observed that over dependence on men by the women is part of the reasons for the high incidences of violence against women recorded during the COVID 19 lock downs as the lockdown put many families under immense economic tension. He added that if women are empowered, they can stand up against gender based violence.
“We believe that empowering women with basic entrepreneurship skills as well as mentoring them in business will not only help pull them out of over dependence on men, but will embolden them to stand firm against gender based violence and by so doing, help reduce gender based domestic violence that results from economic pressures”, said Josiah.
Facilitating the training, Joseph Oshi stated that critical thinking, harvesting of ideas and strategic planning on how to embark on ventures that solve societal problems are part of what make one an entrepreneur, adding that becoming a successful entrepreneur requires seriousness, commitment and adherence to some principles and skills.
Some of such skills identified during the presentations include hard working, planning, human relations, leadership and research skills among others.
He stated that small businesses can grow to become big if these tips are adhered to strictly, adding that many of today’s big businesses started as small enterprises.
The trainer advised the participants to study the environment where they intend to establish their business to enable them identify the type of business suitable for the area.
Participants were also enlightened on how to harvest business ideas, marketing strategies, record keeping, branding, health, safety and environment among others.
In his closing remark, Styvn Obodoekwe, Programme Director of CEHRD noted that the training was aimed at empowering women to begin to assert their socio-cultural and economic rights. He urged the participants, to endeavour to make good use of the knowledge acquired during the training.
The participants thanked CEHRD and the facilitators, saying that the training came at a right time. They promised to apply the skills acquired in their small businesses.