The Pan Atlantic University has over the years been a citadel for managerial and enterprise excellence. Hardly is there any prominent executive sitting at the helm of affairs in any of the nation’s top businesses and organisations that have not resorted to the academic centre once or twice to retool. But as advancement in technology, in addition to renewed call for a safer ecosystem, dampens the hope of future revenue from oil, the Lagos-based school has erected a formidable structure to promote an enterprise-driven future for Nigeria.
The structure is the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC). The centre is a not-for-profit arm of the Pan Atlantic University devoted to building capacity among small and medium scale entrepreneurs. It recently held its 13th SME Conference, in partnership with the Lagos State Enterprise Trust Fund (LSETF), Sterling Bank, Birthedge Mercantile Ltd, Shenbee Travels, Checkers Africa Ltd., Revolution Plus, and Terawork.
Tagged, “Growing a Business in Challenging Times: Exploring New Trends in Entrepreneurship”, the conference was held at the Lagos Business School campus, KM 22, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lekki, last month. The massive attendance at the event is a pointer to the undeniable relevance of entrepreneurship-driven initiatives at this juncture of change nationally and globally.
Driven by the urgent need to raise human capital, developed countries have created internal value systems that help them champion and adapt to change consistently. More, that capacity provides the mechanics for reeingineering behaviours to match successive phases of global technological and Cultural Revolution. In other words, it puts the countries in a position to dominate the entire globe. This is why United States, Germany, France, The United Kingdom even Japan hardly joke with strategic planning at the national and regional level. These countries recognise that education must focus on building relevant skills.
Since the world is now knit by technology
and cross-border trade whatever happens in every country affects Nigeria. Hence the country cannot afford to leave too much gap between her and other nations. It must help its young generation build core entrepreneurship skills, technological knowledge and needed organisational know-how to market their ideas.
Although the Federal Government has been putting in place policies to stimulate entrepreneurship across the country, the inputs of non-governmental institutions are vital. The financing systems that mandate deposit money banks (DMB) to focus 65% of their lending on the real sector,the ‘traders moni’ and several agriculture revolution schemes tailored to different states of the countries, must be balanced up with enterprise knowledge to see entrepreneurs through stages of business development – conception, beta, launch, growth, decline and renewal. These put the Pan Atlantic University’s Enterprise Development Centre at the heart of any meaning policy-drive as the post oil-economy stares the country in the face.
Little wonder Dr. Peter Bamkole, the Director of the Centre, speaking during the announcement of the 13th SME Conference, advised government to develop a structured way of utilizing the abundant talents available to the nation in a more creative and engaging manner, as the era of Oil dependency is fast coming to an end globally.
He emphasised that empowering small business owners to grow will help reduce the burden on government and facilitate the creation of job opportunities for the unemployed.
That race to build smart entrepreneurs has been kickstarted by EDC. It should help entrepreneurs utilize accurate market data and enterprise knowledge in building and sustaining products and services. To make the best of the opportunities presented by the school visit https://edc.edu.ng/
According to Dr. Bamkole, “at the Enterprise Development Centre, we believe that the oil economy is long gone; therefore this is the time to firm up our policies and put in place strategic plans to help small businessess”.
“Our major focus is Business Sustainability; as well as the use of Data to drive entrepreneurial growth and the deployment of technology to change the narrative of business”, he added.
The point is Nigeria must be able to match growth in Asia, North America and parts of Europe to survive the post oil-economy.
Apparently, the 4th industrial revolution will push further advancement in artificial intelligence, electric cars, software and robotics. The advancement will generate massive disruption that will nullify any advantage currently enjoyed by natural-resource-based economies.