Barry University’s Andreas School of Business and the Miami-based Africa-Diaspora non-profit, ADPED, Inc., will welcome 20 Nigerian youths on Friday, Nov. 12, to Barry's campus for a month-long entrepreneurship development program.
The Barry-ADPED partnership is one of 11 projects funded in Africa by the U.S. State Department under the Young Entrepreneur Program (YEP) which seeks to promote entrepreneurial thinking, job creation, and business planning and management skills for emerging young professionals worldwide.
The Barry-ADPED project brings 20 young Nigerian entrepreneurs to the United States this month, to participate in a four-week training program led by business school faculty in the areas of human resource management, mergers and acquisitions, accountability, operations and project management as well financial markets among other subjects. The group will be accompanied by two mentors, senior government officials representing the Small and Medium and Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Nigerian Economic Recovery Fund (NERFUND). They will meet on Barry’s Miami Shores campus Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Dec. 6.
The group will also attend tours in and around South Florida including to communities such as Overtown, MiMo and Little Haiti where Barry’s Institute for Community and Economic Development (BICED) has worked closely with community leaders on projects.
Each young entrepreneur will formulate a business plan that can be deployed upon returning to Nigeria. They will also visit local businesses and small ventures, as well as organizations that support entrepreneurs such as banks and other financial institutions, venture capitalists, as well as governmental and non-governmental agencies that track and support economic and entrepreneurial activity.
Ten professionals including ADPED leaders and Barry faculty members traveled to Nigeria for one week to assist colleagues at their partner institutions to develop their own entrepreneurship training program. Barry professors will collaborate with their counterparts in the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile Ife to strengthen their entrepreneurship curriculum.
Under the theme “Connecting People Creating Understanding,” the U.S. State Department professional exchange program provides grants to U.S. nonprofit organizations in order to carry out exchange programs that support the professional development of foreign participants. The purpose of each exchange program is to engage with foreign leaders in critical professions, to demonstrate respect for foreign cultures and to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.
In that spirit the Barry University-ADPED Inc., partnership will connect people and other institutions from South Florida with their Nigerian counterparts to tackle one problem in specific; the high rate of youth unemployment that is believed to be at the root of social and political upheavals in many developing countries. For instance, the South Florida’s division of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has already donated several hundreds of entrepreneurship textbooks to ADPED, Inc., for distribution in Nigeria.