The burden for growth of micro biz
by Ima Nkanta
In 2015, Pastor Umo Eno, then enmeshed in his corporate world activities as the Chief Executive Officer of the Royalty Group, Eket, where he was addressed as the Executive Governor, was burdened much about how to help micro and small businesses rise from the crippling effect of the harsh economic environment occasioned then by multiple recessions that hit the entire country in the wake of Buhari administration. Employers had to cut wage bills, downsize, and reduce production capacities in an attempt to survive.
That was when Pastor Umo Eno came up with a project theme – Rise Up and Work! The holistic thinking then was to encourage individuals to create wealth. He advocated a radical change of the laid-back attitude of many self-employed who saw, and still see, their enterprises within the limiting stethoscope of hand-to-mouth syndrome instead of transforming them into a going concern that could employ more hands; increase resources to reduce poverty.
Investopedia describes a going concern as a “business that is financially stable enough to meet its obligations and continue business for the foreseeable future.” This was exactly the vision Pastor Umo Eno caught eight years ago and started implementing.
How did it happen? He was preaching Acts 3 where Peter and John told the lame man at the beautiful gate that they had no money but could give him what would help him rise up and work to get money – they raised him up and the man never begged again.
The biblical term here is rise and walk but the entrepreneur pastor rephrased it the way it could inspire action by would-be entrepreneurs – Rise and Work! He was deploying the spiritual to teach wealth creation – just as the lame man rose and walked, aided by being lifted up, many small startups could be aided to rise up and work. These startups could be given some impetuses to do more, create wealth and be financially free.
Walking the talk, Pastor Umo Eno set up a team then to identify micro businesses which needed some boosts to move to the next level. I led the team around Eket; identifying and profiling micro and small businesses – from tailoring, roasted corn sellers, artisans, etc. We reached them with the Rise and Work project. Support was given to this bracket of businesses.
So, when early last week, Governor Umo Eno stopped by the Itreto junction, Nsit Ubium local government area, and along airport road, Uyo, to interact and dole out some support to the micro business holders who sell vegetables, roasted corn and coconuts to the admiration of the public who applauded the move, he was simply unbundling the burden of many years.
As this administration progresses, we will see more of these intermittent interventions. But much more is the governor’s deliberate wealth creation plan for Akwa Ibomites, as enclosed in the Arise Agenda.
Eradicating poverty through job creation is the core focus area of this administration. The Pastor Umo Eno administration will achieve this through massive investment in agriculture, expected to raise millions of citizens out of the crippling shackles of poverty.
We strongly enjoin our citizens to shirk away from the deficit mindset that says, “There are no jobs.” Jobs are available to those who embrace the rise-up and work philosophy of the kingdom. Those micro-business women didn’t sit at home to receive the token of support from the governor. Opportunities are knocking on the doors of those who rise and work. Akwa Ibom state is abundantly endowed with many business opportunities. In this season, smart enterprise persons are making money from roasting corn, stocking vegetables, doing laundry, food vending, gardening and farming. Key into the heart of the governor, RISE UP AND WORK!