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Entrepreneurship workshop reveals the future of agriculture in Nigeria

The first Do It Afraid Entrepreneurial Workshop tagged ‘Agribusiness, The Next Frontier' held on Sunday, 6th of March 2016.

Commenting on the event, Omilola said: “The Nigerian Agricultural sector, was in past decades, the biggest sector in the economy. Now, it contributes only approximately 23% to the GDP. This workshop was organized,with the aim of inspiring business minded individuals who out of fear, lack the will and conviction to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. I believe that with the country facing increasing economic uncertainties, developing the SME segment is vital to reducing the country’s rampant unemployment, thereby enhancing diversification from petro dollars and driving economic growth. The conference aims to push the young and unemployed population from being job seekers to being job providers, with the ultimate goal being to reduce youth unemployment which was estimated at 80% as at 2014.”

Speaking further, she said: “The conference aims to push the young and unemployed population from being job seekers to being job providers, with the ultimate goal being to reduce youth unemployment which was estimated at 80% as at 2014. The agribusiness workshop was designed to increase technical capacity and provide support for both potential and current business entrepreneurs in Agribusiness.”

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The event had a panel session involving successful agro entrepreneurs who shared their business lessons.  Panelists included Olusola Sowemimo (Founder of Ope Farms), Seun Abolaji (Founder of Wilson’s Juice Company), Amaka Onyejianya, (Co-founder of Uwa Earth Foods),Adeniji Kolawole (GMD of Niji Group) and Angel Adelaja (Founder of Fresh Direct Produce and Agro-Allied services).

Kola Masha, MD of Doreos Partners and Obaro Osah, Regional Head, Bank of Industry answered questions about funding agribusinesses. According to Obaro Osah, agribusiness entrepreneurs can access up to 50 million depending on the scale of operations. He added that BOI has launched a 10 billion fund specifically geared towards agriculture. The bank is also committed to offering free financial advisory services for current and potential entrepreneurs in the Agriculture business. “The funding is available and the requirements are being simplified to take advantage of the opportunity to fund businesses at a single interest rate” - Obaro Osah.

Speakers at the event included Olayiwola Olatunji of The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) who talked about Navigating Trends and Patterns, Temitope Jebutu,General Manager of AACE Foods who talked about Agriculture as the Next Frontier, and Ada Osakwe, CEO Agrolay Ventures who talked about opportunities in Creative Agribusiness Ventures.

There was also an Enterprise Development Clinic by Adeniyi Aromolaran (Chief Resource Officer), Nehemiah Resources Limited.

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