Wednesday, 29 October 2014

How youths can become successful entrepreneurs, by Adesina, Utomi, others

MD ADESThe inability of Nigerian youth to set their priorities right is responsible for their inability to run successful enterprises.
This was brought to the fore recently by speakers at the second ICcube National Youth Training Conference and Job/Enterprise Fair. The three-day event took place at the Alfred Martins and Enuha Halls of the St. Leo Catholic Church, Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos.
Quality speakers from different fields were at the event to provide tips on Employability, Job Sustainability and Entrepreneurial Realities of the Nigerian Youth in the 21st Century Global Economy: Winning in Business and Career.
Chairman of the event, Senator Kola Bajomo, observed that with such a programme, arresting restiveness in the country was an achievable feat.

Rev. Tunde Afe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Faithway Business School, noted that “government does not have the best interest of the youth at heart,” stressing that a lot of government policies did not favour youths.
He insisted that the failure rate of enterprises in Nigeria was high, adding that most of the businesses that succeeded in advanced countries would fail in Nigeria. He argued that banks’ conditions were not favourable to the youths.
“If one wants to go into business, the first step is to have a guiding vision. Write it down and give yourself a definite time with plus and minus. The vision would automatically help discipline you. In the process of starting, there are people who would support you financially. You must lead yourself through self-control, determination and discipline,” he said.
The keynote speaker, Mr. Olakunle Soriyan, CEO, OSC, bemoaned the clarity of ideas bedeviling many young people. He tasked participants on the need to build structures, such as laws and principles to govern their behaviour. “People are not suffering unemployment but employability,” he asserted.
Also speaking, Professor Pat Utomi x-rayed how society had progressed in the place of entrepreneurship, noting that each of them could play a role in sustained entrepreneurship.
He said rich men didn’t choose money but desired to change the world in a fundamental way. He asserted that many that were rich yesterday were penniless today.
He said: “Your living must have a meaning, no matter what you do. If you do it well by creating values in the society, you will live well.”
“We rely so much on strong men rather than strong institutions. Most countries that had sustained institutions were through policies and law. 419 has consequences of how all of us engage in business across the globe.”
He berated the high cost of doing business in Nigeria, adding that institutions didn’t allow Nigerian businessmen to thrive compared with their counterparts in other countries.
Utomi canvassed that institutions must be empowered to be revolutionary in order to allow youths progress. He also noted that many could not build successful businesses because they wanted instant gratification.
At the panel session, Mr. Femi Adesina, President, Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) and Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, The Sun Publishing Limited, dwelt on issues pertaining to the traditional media while Mr. Chris Udeji, CEO, Adibba Online, discussed the new media. The second group of panelists were Zeb Ejiro, a popular filmmaker, and Owen Osemwengie, a comedian. The two focused on entertainment and show business.
Taking the first shot, Adesina, who has been in the mainstream media for 27 years, shared his experiences from his days in Lagos Television as a current affairs officer to his stints in the Vanguard, The Concord andThe Sun where, as pioneer editor of Daily Sun, he helped nurture the newspaper to enviable heights within one year. He urged the youths to remain consistent in whatever they believed in. “You need God in whatever you do. There is a God-factor to every success,” he stressed.
A participant complained that she was turned down by an advertising firm because she didn’t study Mass Communication. But Adesina said: “The firm did not want to invest in human capital development. Mr. Biodun Shobanjo did not study advertising, but he is doing a lot in the industry.”
Speaking on internship, he noted: “There are too many institutions, producing Mass Communication graduates. The experience of internship is pathetic because there is a wide gulf between the gown and the town. Nevertheless, every organisation must play its role in this regard. The solution to joblessness in the country boils down to entrepreneurship.”
He tasked organisations to imbibe the act of training young graduates, who have a passion for the job rather than relying on paper qualification.
Mr. Udeji agreed with Adesina. He urged participants to follow their beliefs and passion. He charged those with the knowledge of website design to be more creative.
Speaking on what informed the initiative that is now eight years old, founder of ICcube International, Mr. Charles Ajiboye, explained: “The import of the idea stems from what is happening among young people today, who have passion and energy without direction.”
“It is either their parents don’t have information, time or that economic power has limited them. In order to change that, we decided to work on their thought processes so as to reduce their nuisance and ignorance level and make them performers.”

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