Akwa Ibom: Experts reveal drivers of economic growth

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Experts in Akwa Ibom state have identified self-introspection, personal branding, proper time management, building human bridges and communication as key drivers to Small and Medium Enterprise development and growth.

Mercy Bassey, vice chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government and one of the experts who spoke at the Citizens Outreach Nigeria in Uyo on Monday added that personal capacity building remains key to growth.

Bassey said the “Personal branding is about consistently communicating who you are, what you stand for and your values to people strategically. Personal capacity building singles one out from the crowd. There is a consistent and inconsistent improvement in one’s effort. New ideas and ways of achieving set goals keep emerging while keeping abreast of trends.

“Personal capacity building increases the quality of what we can offer. New versions, editions, innovations in products and services are all manifestations of the ingenuity of the human mind. The more we task our inherent abilities, the better the output”. she said

Also, Michael Bush, Chairman of the 3.0 edition of CitOut, with the theme; “Harnessing Citizenship Engagement for Economic Development: SMEs as Catalysts”, encouraged those going into businesses to venture into areas of necessity.

You could start a business from your living room and grow it into an international income earner. Do not decide to go where the big money is. Don’t follow the trend, follow your mind. venture into an area of basic necessity. It shouldn’t always be about politics”. he said

Also, one of the renowned SME operators in the State, Mr Ime Uwah noted that lack of entrepreneurial education is one of the factors militating against the development of SMEs in the state.

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While expressing optimism that the proposed Akwa Ibom State youth fund bill will soon be legalised and assented to by the Governor, Uwah called for preparedness on the part of young entrepreneurs in the state.

“You must join entrepreneurs across the globe to acquire skills. leverage on your unique selling point to stay on top of your game. knowledge and certain soft skills are the major tools. Prepare a good business plan and good cash flow. seek knowledge and pursue it. understand your business if you must grow. know the business of the industry you go into”. he advised

The discussion panel which had successful young entrepreneurs and other professionals deliberate on the issue of multiple taxations by government ministries and agencies, called for harmonisation of such roles, as well as the need for victims of such exploitation to reach out to appropriate quarters.

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