Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, Founder of The Dome Entertainment Centre, has instituted an entrepreneurial research chair at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) Business School to research into the Onitsha market as a central hub of Igbo enterprise development.
The research is to document the beginning, the growth and development of entrepreneurship at the Onitsha market which at a time was the largest market in West Africa.
Dr. Okonkwo made the announcement at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Anambra State, shortly after being conferred with an award of Business Philanthropist of the Year by the UNIZIK Business School.
According to Okonkwo, Onitsha-Market refers to all the markets located in almost all corners of Onitsha metropolis, Onitsha and parts of adjoining towns of Ogbaru, Obosi, Ogidi, Ogbunike and Nkewelle Ezunaka of Anambra State.
Report reveals that Onitsha Market started in the sixteenth century (1506) when Onitsha people settled near the bank of River Niger. The market is the second most densely populated market in Nigeria after Lagos.
The annual volume of trade in Onitsha Market is in excess of three billion dollars with about forty per cent of this figure in constant circulation through the unbanked transactions.
Okonkwo challenged UNIZIK Business School to use the research to help create innovations that would turn Nigerian business into super brands.