By Ugo Aliogo
Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN), in partnership with the Lagos Business School (LBS), has hosted members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the 2020 Venture in Management Programme (ViMP) as part of measures to prepare them for the world of work.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director, JAN, Mrs. Simi Nwogugu said the programme was designed for outstanding corps members who have gone through extensive application process.
She added that after the screening processes, 50 top corps members were selected to undergo a mini-MBA programme in LBS.
She further stated that JAN has been running the programme for the past 20 years, adding that some of the alumni are leaders in business.
Nwogugu stated that in selecting the top 50, JAN examined leadership, experience and ability to solve problems, academic excellence (either they have made a first class or 2.1).
“We are not the ones who rank them, but the board members, (formerly Accenture, now they are Verrati). They have been conducting the ranking exercise with us for 20 years now. So they receive the applications and screen, then pick the qualified candidates. What we have noticed is that there is a strong social responsibility component of the programme. There is that desire by many to give back even when they go into business. These participants of the programme have gone to teach in different public schools.
“The programme helps them to understand that to whom much is given, much is expected. We explain the importance of the programme and the need to give back of their time and service to the community. A lot of non-profit organisations are run by ViMP partners such as LEAP Africa, Fate Foundation, WIMBIZ, among others.
“ViMP is not actually a Junior Achievement Programme. We started it in Nigeria. Junior Achievement is part of a worldwide organisation that teaches financial literacy and entrepreneurship in primary and secondary schools. So our core programmes are entrepreneurship programmes that we teach secondary school students. These students run a business for about six to nine months. They make money, select officers among themselves; they have annual reports and return dividends to shareholders. They have competitions at the state levels, then to the national levels. From the national levels, then they will represent Africa, so that is our flagship programme. We have other programmes that teach them from age five the difference between the economics of the individual and family, in order to help them understand their responsibility circles as they grow up.”