I was one of the privileged few selected for the Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs organized by the US consulate in conjunction with the Field of Skills and Dreams (FSD).

One of the vital lessons I learnt at the event was the need for persistence from the stage of conceptualization of an idea to when the service is taken to the marketplace. Between the time I attended the conference and now, I have developed a business idea that am very passionate about. And with the training received from CEE on how to craft a business plan/proposal, I developed a business proposal on Sand Dredging, pitched the same before several prospective investors, and succeeded in securing funding for the business. There were times I almost gave up on the idea due to several rejections but I somehow felt like the facilitators were monitoring my activities and cheering me on. I developed a consciousness that I would be letting them and myself down if I gave up on the project. This consciousness of not wanting to let myself and the facilitators down kept me through the rejections to the time I eventually got an investor to partner with me towards the project.

Secondly, as a serial entrepreneur engaged in several ventures, I have been able to adopt some of the recommendations I received during the course of the CEE training. One of such recommendations was the need to develop a website for my business(s). This I have done and it has impacted on my businesses tremendously. Today, the bulk of the sales generated for my business comes from the website.

Lastly, attending CEE validated my decision to be an entrepreneur. Coming from a background where everyone is encouraged, cajoled and influenced to always look for jobs, my decision never to work for any company outside my personal business created lots of concern for my folks. Attending the conference helped to boost my confidence and gave me the assurance that if I follow the guidelines received during the conference I will eventually succeed. So the conference helped to clear self-doubts, boosted my confidence and enriched me with the know-how to navigate over the different stages of the evolution of a business.

Bernard