OLEC is an Enterprise Development Institute (EDI) for the training of youths in the broad area of leadership and entrepreneurship. The Centre operates as a training institute to prepare youths of Onitsha origin and other interested youths drawn from across the country and beyond for leadership and entrepreneurship on an on-going basis.
OLEC is set up to organise training programmes for different categories of participants, aimed at acquainting participants with the process of establishing and effectively managing an enterprise. The trained youths would be assisted in their entrepreneurial journey through mentorship and access to soft start-up loans. Graduates of the Centre would therefore be encouraged to form or join existing cooperative societies for the purpose of these financial access.
The Centre trained its first cohort in 2020 and followed up with another cohort in 2021. So far, a total of 54 youths of Onitsha origin have benefitted from the trainings, 66 percent of whom were either graduates or students of various tertiary institutions in the country. Other training programmes for master craftsmen and women, corporate executives and retirees etc. would be initiated as the Centre develops.
When fully operational, OLEC would champion the much-needed economic empowerment and values reorientation of our youths critical in the fast-changing Nigerian and world economic landscape of the 21st Century.It would also be able to attract funding from government and development agencies. If approved as an EDI by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Centre would serve to prepare qualified youths for the CBN backed Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) loan scheme and other immediate government youth empowerment programmes.