Plans are underway to establish a consulting and coaching platform for about 10,000 budding entrepreneurs in Nigeria under the Growth and Employment, GEM, project.
The GEM project is implemented by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, FMITI, and supported by the World Bank. The project became effective in July 2013, and will close in September 2018.
The GEM structure and arrangement is a renewal of the YOUWINinitiative operated by the Federal Ministry of Finance in 2013 and 2014.
The project focuses on manufacturing and service sectors, specifically supporting information communication technology, entertainment, tourism and hospitality, light manufacturing, agro-processing industries and construction.
For the purposes of facilitating the assemblage of the entrepreneurs and enhance the outcome the project has established Business Innovation and Growth, BIG, platform, an interactive transaction-enabled web portal, which serves as the primary means of interaction between the GEM project and potential beneficiaries.
The objective of the BIG platform is to provide an easy-to-use and interactive platform for participating firms to access the GEM services for free.
All the prospective beneficiary needs to do is to go to the portal and access online materials and undergo online training courses after registering for the in-class training courses.
These training programs include financial management, business plan development, human resource management as well as industry-specific training as recommended by professionals in the beneficiary’s product line.
Some of the consulting services provided to beneficiaries include the development of a marketing strategy, assessment and optimization of key value chains, development of a robust reporting and forecasting system, development of processes to manage risk and fraud.
Then the beneficiary would apply for consulting services which is free and this links registered participants to consulting firms selected by the GEM team.
The successful beneficiaries would then apply for grants. Eligible applicants can access various grant facilities from both the ministry and World Bank.
The World Bank has concluded a coaching training and appraisal process for some selected consulting firms for the purpose of deployment as coach to the prospective applicants in the GEM project.