A diverse group of 30 young Nigerians graduated from the first cohort of the Field of Skills and Dreams (VTE) Academy’s fashion entrepreneurship programme, an initiative supported by the U.S. Consulate Lagos to build the capacity of budding fashion designers in Nigeria.
Over the next six months, 100 emerging fashion entrepreneurs aged 22-35 will be trained on fashion designing and business management skills that will enable them to scale and sustain viable fashion businesses in Nigeria.
Designed to foster entrepreneurial know-how, the capacity building programme encourages new thinking in the fields of fashion, design, consumer trends, business development, marketing and branding, and provides opportunities to network with established industry players, alumni of U.S. government exchange programmes, and mentors.
Delivering remarks at the graduation ceremony, which was held at the Enugu Window on America, U.S. Consulate Deputy Public Affairs Officer Jennifer Foltz noted that the U.S. Mission has a long history of supporting the promising entrepreneurship sector and small businesses in Nigeria.
She congratulated the graduates for their successful completion of the programme and emphasized their important roles as entrepreneurs who create job opportunities and contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth.
“The fashion industry plays an important role in strengthening U.S.-Nigeria cultural ties and contributes significantly to growing Nigeria’s economy,” Foltz said. “The U.S. government believes in creating platforms such as this capacity building program to help support entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.”
Programme implementing partner and CEO of VTE Academy lauded the U.S. government for its commitment to supporting entrepreneurs in Nigeria’s creative industry, which she described as a space with huge potential.
Ogunrinde, an alumna of the U.S. government sponsored International Visitors Leadership Programme, noted that encouraging economic growth and job creation utilizing the fashion industry is key to spurring economic prosperity.
“Entrepreneurs and small businesses have a key role to play in Nigeria’s future prosperity. Through this programme, we are equipping the next generation of fashion entrepreneurs with the requisite skills and entrepreneurial know-how to enhance their success in the business world,” Ogunrinde added.
At the end of the programme, participants were awarded with certificates. Over the next couple of weeks, participants will continue to work with VTE Academy as they use their new skills and knowledge to scale their businesses.
The next cohorts of the fashion entrepreneurship programme will take place in Lagos and Port Harcourt.