An international non-governmental organization, Mercy Corps Liberia, on Monday, January 7, embarked on a five-day business development training for over 35 renewable energy products retailers in the country.
The training, which is currently ongoing at a resort in Mount Barclay, Lower Montserrado County, brought together participants from various business centers in Montserrado, Nimba, Bong, Gbarpolu, Lofa and Grand Bassa Counties, respectively.
Participants are expected to learn how to start-up a business, identify viable business ideas, research and selection of best business ideas, implementation of ideas, business review and improvement as well as financial statements and reports.
Others included basic business management, marketing and sales, financial management and customer care, business records management, human resources and marketing strategy that will enable them to sustain their own businesses.
The initiative, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by Mercy Corps, and is facilitated by Wilson Idahor, managing consultant and chief executive officer of Top Consulting Inc, Liberia and William R. Dennis of the Business Development Consultants.
Orlando S. Kanswen, Mercy Corps Deputy Program Manager for Light-up Liberia, challenged the participants to make use of the knowledge that is being provided to them.
Mr. Kanswen told the participants that the renewable energy sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and, as such, in order for business people to venture into that business one must be prepared to the know the challenges and cost of doing it.
He said: "We are providing knowledge and skills to renewable energy products business owners and executives as well as how to do their business and succeed."
Kanswen noted that renewable energy business has been a relatively new business in the country. Therefore, "we are providing this training to enable these businesses move into the Liberian market with success."
He added that the renewable energy sector is one of the trending sectors of the world to minimize global warming (climate change), environmental degradation and to ensure sustainable development.
Kanswen observed that electricity gap in rural areas shows that only two percent of Liberia's population has access to electricity and, in the urban areas, just a little below 11 percent have access to electricity.
"So, this is an area in which we think it is now important for Liberia to move in order to bring speedy development to its people. Without energy it is just impossible for the country to develop sustainably," Kanswen added.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Henning Dempster, chief executive officer of Henning Electronic, located in the ELWA community, expressed gratitude to Mercy Corps and EU for the training.
Mr. Dempster said he hopes that after the five-day training they will make use of the knowledge given them by the business experts.