By: Sylvester Choloplay
Saclepia, Nimba County (March 30, 2023): The International Labor Organization (ILO) through the United Nations Human Security Trust Fund Project has begun the training of another fifty-two vulnerable Liberians on business management skills in Saclepia, Nimba County.
Selected participants are from Bahn and Gbanquoiin Nimba County, as part of the six project communities in the north-central region of Liberia.
They are being trained on several business management skills with a focus on how to Start and Improve their Businesses (IYB) in their communities.
The training begun on Tuesday, 28th March 2023 and will end on Saturday, 1st April 2023.
Speaking on behalf of the ILO Country Director for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, ILO Country Coordinator for Liberia, Salif Massalay said the training is part of phase-two of the “Start and Improve Your Business” (SIYB) programme intended to transform the lives of vulnerable people in rural Liberia, especially in the hard-to-reach areas.
Mr. Massalay said participants will receive a start-up capital in the amount of two-hundred United States Dollars each to start a small business in their communities as a means of empowerment, and to apply the knowledge acquired to improve their lives.
“We are not just training you and let you go or forget about you. We will give you small amount of money to start a business”, Mr. Massalay encouraged the participants.
He admonished them to take seriously the knowledge being provided to acquire the necessary skills needed to effectively manage and improving their businesses, adding that there will be more support for the targeted participants based on their outcome from the start-up capital given them.
“I encourage all of you to take the training serious because when you learn all the things we are teaching you, you will be able to properly use the money we are giving you to grow your business. There will be more benefits for you on this project, but it will only come if you are able to manage the first one well”, he said.
The training is being conducted by two SIYB consultants including Mr. Alieu L. Kemokai – Lead Consultant and Dr. Moses Zolue of the World Bank in Liberia.
Participants are being trained on topics such as generate your business ideas, characteristics of an entrepreneur, business planning, marketing, and recording keeping, amongst others.
The training brought together representatives from Government Ministries including Horace D. Zaway from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and Czar Parley from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Phase one and two of the SIYB project is targeting 264 vulnerable community members to benefit from entrepreneurial skills training on how to start and manage their businesses.
The beneficiaries were selected from six of the project communities (Bahn and Gbanquoi, Botota and Forkelleh, andZorzor and Yealla) in Nimba, Bong and Lofa Counties respectively.
The objective of the step-down training is to build the entrepreneurial capacity of vulnerable community members in the targeted communities to start and improves their businesses; styled: Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB), as a strategy for creating more and better employment opportunities.
The intervention which is being carried out within the framework of a Joint United Nations Project titled: “Building Resilience of Youth, Women, and Vulnerable Groups through Social Protection Floor in Liberia using ICT,” aims to address the complex multi-sectorial and inter-connected challenges of human insecurities particularly food, social, and economic issues for the most vulnerable and neglected populations of the North-Central region of Liberia at the community level.
Five United Nations agencies including the Food and Agricultural Organization, International Labour Organization, World Food Programme, United Nations Development Programme and UN Women are implementing this project.
The project promotes the concept of human security through implementing this initiative as a model human security with “protection” and “empowerment” measures as the most appropriate approach.
The Participants who learned various business management skills are expected to start their businesses in their communities.
One of the Participants Lydia M. Volar said she will use her startup capital to start a retail palm-oil business in Gbanquoi, Nimba County.
“I want to say thank you to ILO for not just impacting my life with the knowledge, but also giving me a start-up capital to start my business.I will be selling red oil in Gbanquoi. I will go in the bush to buy my oil for lower price and sell it to buyers from Monrovia.
This business will help me sustain myself and family”, Lydia M. Volar.
The Bong County component of the training was held from27th February to 9th March 2023 in Botota and Forqulleh, Bong County. A total of two hundred and twelve (212) persons including from phase I have now been trained and provided with start-up capital from Lofa, Bong and Nimba Counties.
The ILO – SIYB intervention is to ensure increased access to livelihood opportunities for vulnerable women and young males and females in the targeted Counties for sustainable and inclusive economic and human development.
This phase of the SIYB training is expected to continue in Zorzor and Yealla, Lofa County bringing the total number of those trained and capacitated to two hundred and sixty-four (264).