US Consulate Empowers Entrepreneurs in Rivers


Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

The United States Consulate in Nigeria has trained fashion entrepreneurs in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on different aspects of fashion business to enable them take their trade into the global sphere.

The Deputy Public Affairs Officer at the US Consulate, Ms Jennifer Foltz, said the training of 30 entrepreneurs was imperative in order to broaden the horizon of fashion entrepreneurs in Nigeria, and also help them to expand and export their products.

Foltz, who spoke at American Corner of the University of Port Harcourt, at the weekend, said the US Consulate has also trained fashion in Lagos and Enugu States.

She said: “We are here in Port Harcourt to partner Field of Skills Academy to do a training programme for emerging fashion designers.

“We have actually done this programme in Enugu and Lagos States. Rivers is our third state we are visiting, and the goal of this programme is to identify 30 young fashion entrepreneurs and give them an in-depth training in marketing, fashion illustrations, branding and other different aspect of business with the hope that they can take their businesses to the next level, expanding and even exporting their products internationally.”

Also speaking, the CEO of Fields of Skills and Dreams Vocational Technical and Entrepreneurship Academy, Ms. Omowale Ogunride, said since fashion business was global, entrepreneurs just needed the right knowledge to make money from fashion.

“We are running this programme sponsored by the US Consulate to help fashion entrepreneurs and the whole essence is that the fashion business is global and huge, and there is so much money to be made.

“However, a lot of fashion businesses are struggling, and so we feel that all they need is some knowledge and to be taught the way out.

“So on this project, the US Consulate has asked us to teach this in Lagos, Enugu and Rivers States.  We have trained over a 100 people and the testimonies and success stories are amazing and most importantly, they are building sustainable businesses.”

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries in Port Harcourt, Ms Princess Essien, expressed gratitude to the US Consulate for the training, which she said has broaden her horizon.

“I’m really grateful to the US Consulate and the trainer for helping young entrepreneurs like us to grow in the fashion world. I have learnt a lot. Before now, I used to think fashion was all about cutting and sewing, but I have learnt here about fashion illustration, photography, how to manage your customers.”

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