As part of effort to develop Liberia into a vibrant private sector-led economy, 15 beneficiaries of the Branson Scholarship Program were last Tuesday certificated, after completing one year training in entrepreneurship.
The scholarship program was offered to the students through the Business Start-up Center (BSC Monrovia), a local non-governmental organization in partnership with SPARK, and the Association of
Liberian Universities (ALU), to promote entrepreneurship and Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) development among Liberia’s youth.
In special remarks, Dr. Walter Wiles of the University of Liberia challenged the graduates to put into practice what they have acquired from the year of training.
“The knowledge you have acquired doing these few months is intended for you to improve businesses and to provide job opportunity for Liberians, which would help in the economic development of the country,” he said, encouraging the young entrepreneurs.
According to him, Liberia cannot be only developed by foreign investors. Instead, it is time for small business owners to take ownership by helping to empower more local businesses people who would compete with the foreign-owned businesses.
He also admonished the graduates to organize themselves into a partnership and to work hard, if they want to compete with the foreign investors
“Liberia can not only develop by foreign investors, it can be developed if only you can extend what you have learned to other local business owners. You can provide it,” Dr. Wiles added.
Earlier, giving an overview of the scholarship, Wilson Idanor, project consultant at BSP, said the aim of the scholarship is to develop Liberian’s entrepreneurs that would act as a catalyst to spearhead the development and acceleration of a vibrant private sector-led economy in the country.
Mr. Idanor also said training provided students the opportunity to travel to South Africa, where they were able to interact with local and international business people, on the development of entrepreneurship.
According to him, they have selected about 20 students for the next phase of the program which, he said, would begin in September.
Angie Howard, one of the beneficiaries of the program thanked the organizers for the opportunity and knowledge they acquired from the training.
Madam Howard said the training has empowered them to take their businesses to another level.
She called on other Liberians to take the advantage of such opportunity to empower them for the future.