The Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie, has said that entrepreneurs at the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises level need exposure finance, market and digital tools in order to be sustainable.

He added that participants at the bank’s 2017 edition of the Building Entrepreneurs Today would be mentored and provided with these skills during a six-month training programme in Lagos.

Dozie said this on Thursday during a briefing to announce the commencement of application for the seventh edition of the BET.

The BET, an initiative of the bank, is an annual training programme for 50 budding entrepreneurs who are trained at the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University. At the end of the training, 15 of the participants are paired with mentors, while five of them will be provided with a grant of N3m each to invest in their businesses.

Speaking at the event, Dozie said, “Beyond financing, SMEs need access to advisors and the market. This programme will equip them with skills in partnership, saving cost, streamlining processes and more.  Participants will be mentored by established business owners who operate the same line of business and are able to provide real life solutions to the business challenges of the mentee.”

“Diamond Bank believes that empowering entrepreneurs will contribute to the economy and boost production and employment. By helping them to build capacity and providing them with seed capital, it is obvious that their chances of survival will be higher and they will be better positioned to continue to contribute to the GDP.”

In his address, the Director, EDC, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, Mr. Peter Bamkole, said while previous cycles of the programme welcomed entries from entrepreneurs in the fashion, ICT, education, health and agriculture sectors, all sectors of the economy were encouraged to apply for the 2017 edition.


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