Good Morning distinguished ladies and Gentlemen. All protocols duly observed please.
We welcome you all to this Business Training Workshop jointly organised by Ekimiks and IITA. For us in Ekimiks, it is a great honour to be associated with the IITA Young Agripreneurs (IYA) initiative.
We are aware of the frightening statistics on youth unemployment in Nigeria and Africa at large, the IYA initiative is one of many solutions that would help to reduce this menace. The IYA is collaborating with other initiatives including the recently launched Youth Employment in Agriculture Program (YEAP) to ensure that the youth are given the necessary opportunities to exit the unemployment queues and excel as Business Owners.
The newly coined term “Agripreneur” we all know, is a combination of 2 words – Agriculture and Entrepreneur. It implies that those fit this description have the required competencies in both Production and Entrepreneurship.
We trust that IITA with its vast array of Agricultural Scientists and Experts has been able to train the IYA members in the best Agricultural Practices. However to be a true Agripreneur, each one must have the essential Business Management skills that would enable them not only to survive but to thrive and excel as Entrepreneurs. We know that all business is tough – business survival ratio is less than 50%, but Agriculture is even tougher than others. Therefore, it is vital that our Youth Agripreneurs are adequately prepared so they would excel – not only in the Technical aspects but in the Business aspects too; hence the need for a Business Training forum.
As a company founded by a young entrepreneur many years ago, Ekimiks chose to sponsor the Business Management training aspect of the development of the young Agripreneurs. It is our own little contribution to the efforts of IITA and the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina in ensuring that young Nigerians and Africans are effectively equipped for 21st century living.
The objective of this workshop is to bring high grade Business Management education like those obtained in the best Business Schools to our young Agripreneurs. The curriculum has been carefully designed and it covers all major areas that an Entrepreneur needs to develop the necessary proficiencies.
I therefore, urge all the participants to take full advantage of the workshop; pay attention, learn, write notes, ask questions, participate in discussions. Opportunities like this are not commonplace – please use it well.
We thank our invited guests for honouring our invitation. Many of them are accomplished Agripreneurs – Role Models that the young ones would do well to learn from and follow their examples.
We thank IITA for the opportunity to partner with them in this very laudabke project.
We thank the Training Consultants – LA Consult for their role in designing and facilitating this program. We trust that they would deliver the quality education that they are reputed for.
Thank you all and do have a great program.