A CASE FOR BUSINESS EDUCATION FOR YOUTH AGRIPRENEURS
A combination of 2 words – Agriculture and Business
There's a need to ensure that Youth Agripreneurs have sound knowledge of the Technicalities of Agriculture Production
Equally important is the Development of Business Management Skills
WHY BUSINESS SKILLS?
Majority of Agribusiness failures are direct results of the failure of Business Skills and NOT Agriculture Skills
The Apathy of Banks to Agriculture is primarily based on their Lack of Faith in the Business Skills of the Agriprenuer.
We have invested in Agriculture Capacity Development for many years but we have not seen commensurate Growth in Production
Many Small Agriculture Loans are unpaid – further strengthening the Bankers’ apathy and Reluctance to finance New Agripreneurs
Capacity Building for Youth Agripreneurs must include Business School Curriculum
Capacity Development has focused majorly on Production and Operational Topics to the Disadvantage of Business Management Skills
The result is that whilst the Youth have the Technical Know-how to run their Agribusinesses, they fail when it comes to Business Management Skills like Financial Planning & Budgeting, Marketing, Negotiation, Organizational Discipline, Sales, and Supply Chain Management etc.
This situation is not limited to Agribusinesses; we have seen global examples of Google etc. which would have failed if they had not brought in Business Managers to manage the Business side of things.
Since Young Entrepreneurs cannot afford to recruit Business Managers, it is very essential that all Capacity Development Initiatives directed at them have a Significant Amount of Business Management Curriculum.
ESSENTIAL BUSINESS SKILLS
Vital Business Management Skills Fundamental to the Success of ANY Business Irrespective of its Activity or Size include:
- Strategic Planning and Forecasting
- Human Resources Management
- Sales and Marketing
- Financial Management and Building BANKABLE Businesses
- Basic Accounting
- Operations and Supply Chain Management
- Enterprise Risks Management
- Self-Management and Leadership
EFFORTS SO FAR
I have spent a number of years working with the IITA Youth Agripreneurs in Ibadan, Nigeria.
IITA taught them the Production Processes, whilst we taught Business Management.
We have been able to translate them from Idealist Technocrats to Savvy Business People who understand how the Real Business World operates and how they should maneuver their businesses profitably.
They have learnt how to deal with HR issues and Improve Individual Productivity and Organizational Discipline.
They have become Prudent Managers of Financial Resources and understand HOW TO Achieve Financial Success.
Upgrade the Quality of Business Education in Capacity Development Initiatives.
Introduce Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship Education at Secondary and Tertiary School Levels.
Encourage Banks and Fund Providers to get “Agriculture Literacy” - in order to understand the Industry better and consequently be able to Structure Agriculture Loans well.