Chike Okoli Centre For Entrepreneurial Studies
The Chike Okoli Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka is a brain-child of the Chike Okoli Foundation and a mission borne out of the vision to re-train, re-equip, re-engineer and re-direct Nigerian youths towards acquisition of vocational, business and managerial skills needed in today’s competitive world. The goal is to inculcate 21st century skills, techniques and competencies in Nigerian youths; harnessing their untapped potentials, and reduce unemployment by producing self-employed graduates.
The Centre focuses on ICT, electrical/electronics, auto mechanics, tailoring, hair dressing/barbing, and home management – fashion and designing, catering, bead making, hat making, knitting etc. The essence is to further expose them to real life work experience.
The center has organised entrepreneurial workshops, seminars and conferences for artisans, scholars, students and the general public. Some of these are: A Partnership with Enterprise Development Center, EDC to organize the (YouWin) Programme, the Annual Chike Okoli International Conference and the Rags to Riches seminar to mark the International Day Against Poverty.
In 11 years, the center has trained and equipped over 5000 entrepreneurs in the science and spirit of entrepreneurship. COCES is currently in collaboration with SMEDAN South East Zonal Office, Enugu for Entrepreneurial Development of students and established Entrepreneurs in the South Zone. Also accomplished are:
- Formation of Student Entrepreneurship Club.
- Expansion and enhancement of skills training in the Centre.
The Centre’s Curriculum now includes; Millinery, Shoe and Bag Making, Production of Confectionery, Fashion and Design, Indoor and Outdoor Decoration, Fashion Accessories such as bead necklaces, earrings, bangles, bags etc. Also to be introduced are beverages such as zobo, soy milk, kwunu for sale and customized diary and notepad making.
COCES Kitchen is currently used for teaching students the art of cookery including African, Continental and Asian Dishes.
The Centre published a Text Book titled: Fundamental Issues of Entrepreneurship in 2014.
The Centre is constructing a Multipurpose Workshop for the which includes a kitchen and a showroom for COCES Products.
The Foundation has two awards instituted by donors for the promotion of entrepreneurship. These Are:
- Chief S.I Anyikwa Entrepreneurship Award worth N300,000; a revolving loan scheme by Prof Ngozi E. Anyikwa
- The Preparation Meets Opportunity Award worth N300,000 by Mrs Uzoma Ezeoke. The Modalities for these awards will soon be worked out.
The Foundation will continue to pursue the ideals for which it was set up nine years ago, with even more passion and commitment in the years ahead.