An entrepreneur of the United States of America, Mr. Juan Casimiro, has emphasized the need for Liberians to reverse from dependency to champion their own cause to become sustainable through business.
Making the assertion in an interview following a Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop organized for young Liberian entrepreneurs by the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Mr. Casimiro indicated that Liberia, like other countries around the world, depends on others for survival— something he said people need to seriously put behind them to engage in business ventures that will make them successful entrepreneurs, instead of depending on others.
“What I see in Liberia, like other countries, is that people depend too much on others. They see these NGOs and the government and decide to depend on them. You have to reverse that mindset, become self- enterprising, become self sustainable,” he stressed.
Highlighting the nature of the four-day workshop, Mr. Casimiro said it is meant to provide knowledge for young entrepreneurs to be successful in life and be able to manage money the best way and to become independent entrepreneurs.
He said they had a training exercise for the same group last October, and the Training of Trainer component came to prepare these Liberians to train others in their communities in return.
The program, according to the workshop facilitator, in line with U.S. Government under the leadership of President Barak Obama was initiated for African youths; about 850 Liberians have applied to be a part it.
Of the 850 Mr. Casimiro said only about 15 to 20 will be selected from Liberia to form a part.
Concerning the Casimiro Global Foundation he operates as an entrepreneur, Mr. Casimiro said he came with the dream following the death of his father fourteen years ago when he realized that he could not just sit to mourn but to undertake a venture in honor of his deceased father.
The foundation, he said is concerned with three programs; namely, Global Youth Chain of Commerce, Global Youth internship Program and SEED (Social Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Development) Fund.
He said while some have the entrepreneurial knowledge and plan to make a business grow, they lack funds to invest in business. Therefore, he said the SEED aspect of the foundation was included to provide funds for prepared entrepreneurs who will want to start a business but lack the capital.
Mr. Casimiro assured that some of the Liberian entrepreneurs that underwent the training may receive funding from his foundation, but they will have to submit their business plans through electronic mail and he and the board of the foundation will assess and properly evaluate the plans before providing fund for some of them.
To keep the trained entrepreneurs in touch, the facilitator said there will be a periodic video conference with them and will constantly be exchanging emails so they remain acquainted with what they need to know to train others in their respective communities.
The twenty participants are mainly young Liberians who have gained knowledge at various accredited universities in the country.
Commenting on the significance of the workshop, two of the twenty participants, Suah Wanyan and Chebio W. Dickson II, expressed delight over being a part of the training. They noted that it left them more determined to becoming entrepreneurs, instead of relying on government or other institutions to provide jobs for them.
Suah Wanyan who is already operating a sanitation company said strategies learnt from the training will help her not only to train others, but will provide her the opportunity to explore avenues on how to sustain and account for her business.
For his part, Chebio W. Dickson said the workshop has given him leadership direction in addition to his Business Management gained at the university. He said he will make sure he uses his knowledge to succeed in business.
Meanwhile, having gained their business knowledge through the U.S. embassy, the participants returned the gesture by offering a token of appreciation to the embassy and its facilitator.
As is customary, on occasions, they gowned Mr. Casimiro and presented to one of U.S. Embassy staff, an artifact symbolizing friendship. It was intended for Ambassador Deborah Malac who was unable to attend the closing ceremony.