U.S Consulate General partners with iYouth Resource Centre to train 50 small business owners in Osun

A non profit organization, iYouth Resources Center has trained not less than 50 SMEs in Osun in Digital Marketing and other related social media strategies for business management.

The training which was funded by the US Consulate General, Lagos, lasted four months and started in December 2023 with recruitment for existing business owners through Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) as well as online.

While speaking at the closing ceremony of the training on Tuesday at Halatria Event Hall, in Osogbo, the Osun State Capital, iYouth Resources Centre Executive Director, Mr Osazee Isonarae noted that the goal of the training is to help small businesses leverage on the power of social media and digital marketing in order to improve their business.

“The project aimed to enhance the brand visibility and bolster revenue and profitability for chosen small enterprises in Osun State through a comprehensive digital marketing capacity-building program. This initiative was designed to foster improved livelihoods, reduce unemployment rates, and stimulate positive economic development within the region.

“Selected participants underwent intensive training spanning four months, focusing on cutting-edge digital marketing skills such as Content Creation and Promotion, Mobile Photography & AI Image Generation, Online Business Branding, and Business Website Editing.

“Additionally, participants received entrepreneurship training facilitated at the Osogbo Window on America center, where they had the opportunity to interact with seasoned and successful entrepreneurs from Osun State who had leveraged social media tools to grow their businesses”, he added.

In her address, the Public Affairs Officer of US Department of States, Julia Mckay stated that the US Consulate is interested in training Nigeria entrepreneurs because research has indicated that there are over 40million small businesses in Nigeria adding this figure, if well harnessed will reduce unemployment in Nigeria.

She therefore admonished beneficiaries not to give up as well as not be afraid to fail stressing that from failure comes the lessons to succeed.

Speaking on behalf of Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the Commissioner for Women, Children Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Ayobola Fadeyi Awolowo commended the efforts of the iYouth Resource Centre and the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos, for their invaluable support in making the training program a success.

She added that the collaboration has provided a platform for small business owners to enhance their digital marketing skills and ultimately improve their businesses’ competitiveness in the state economy.

Speaking further she said “To the participants, I applaud your willingness to learn and adapt to the rapidly evolving digital landscape. By embracing the knowledge gained from this program, you are not only empowering yourselves but also contributing to the growth and development of our state.

“As the Commissioner for Women Affairs, I am particularly proud to see the inclusion of women entrepreneurs in this initiative. Women play a vital role in our economy, and empowering them with digital skills is essential for fostering economic independence and gender equality.

“Furthermore, I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to commend His Excellency, Governor Ademola Adeleke, for his steadfast commitment to supporting women in Osun State. Governor Adeleke’s dedication to promoting gender equality and empowering women economically has been evident since his assumption of Office. His initiatives and policies aimed at creating a conducive environment for women entrepreneurs are commendable, and I am proud to stand alongside him in our shared mission of advancing women’s rights and opportunities in our state.

“I encourage all participants to continue applying the knowledge acquired here to expand their businesses and reach new heights of success. Remember, the journey to entrepreneurship is filled with challenges, but with determination and perseverance, you can overcome any obstacle.”

Speaking earlier, State Coordinator US, Exchange Alumni Association, Dr Femi Adefila noted that the strength of every economy is the small and Medium Scale Enterprise adding that it is obtainable in most developed nations of the world.

He added that “iYouth Resource Centre has contributed to the growth of Osun and Nigeria adding the digital marketing is the rave of the moment that business owners must take advantage of.

“I therefore challenge other alumnus of the US Exchange Programs to take further steps to do more of this initiative in the state.”

One of the beneficiaries, Daniel Ibikitan while expressing appreciation to organizers of the training revealed that he learnt to give his business a hundred percent attention so as to get a hundred percent result adding that visibility for his business has greatly increased in the last four months of the training.

Another beneficiary, Adebiyi Suliyat said the challenges she encountered in her business was almost leading to her frustration but eventually she was able to come up with a business idea and eventually a proud adding that she is not able to improve her brand through what she has learnt.

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