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Monday, July 15, 2024

Entrepreneurial children mentor their peers and share business lessons at Lagos event

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At a Lagos event organized by Business Matters Incubators (BMI), a cross-section of established child entrepreneurs mentored their peers and shared business lessons.

The BMI Catch Them Young (CTY) event aimed to foster entrepreneurship in children and adolescents to prepare them for the future.

At the event, organizers also advocated for including entrepreneurship in the curricula of primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.

It was well attended as it witnessed a gathering of students from various schools, entrepreneurial children and notable men and women like Nnamdi Ezeigbo (CEO of SLOT Systems Limited), Taiwo Timothy, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology. Akure and Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, Associate Professor at Lagos Business School.

Founder of Glowfield International School, Lekki, Tony Anenechukwu; Founder/CEO of SLOT Systems Limited, Nnamdi Ezeigbo; Director, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Abatan Adedamola; founder of Business Matters Incubator, Nnamdi Unachukwu; the Consular General in South Africa, Bobby Moroe; and member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Onuakalusi Okey-Joe, at the event. Young businessmen

One of the teen entrepreneurs, Sapphire Ekeng, a 14-year-old actress who also owns a skincare brand called Sapphire Skincare, spoke about her brand and the role her mother played.

She said: “The idea came to me during the year of Covid, which was 2020. For me, I would say Covid broke you or created you. He made me because I normally act, but I didn’t get called for acting jobs in that period because of the lockdown, so I was thinking of another way to earn money.

“I first thought about pillows because I love pillows; they are comfortable. When I told my mom, we did some marketing surveys and saw that it wouldn’t be as successful. Then I remembered that I always get compliments on my skin, which looks healthy and radiant. So I said why not invest in that and turn it into a business? So I launched it when I turned 13 and it’s been amazing ever since.”

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Another 14-year-old teenage entrepreneur, Kosi Ogboruche, a sports analyst and visual artist, shared how he manages his time as a student and entrepreneur.

He noted that focus and discipline are essential for any entrepreneurial child who is an actor or anything the child is doing to make money.

The young actor said: “Without discipline and time management, you could end up playing games when you’re supposed to be reading or thinking about ideas, and I think I manage my time well.

“For example, you said I’m a football analyst, so I’m writing a test right now and at night I’m supposed to be reading, but there’s a game. What I do is record the game. After reading it, I can play it later and analyze it. That has worked for me.”

Toluwanimi Olaoye, a 14-year-old actor, on the other hand, shared business nuggets for aspiring kids entrepreneurs.

He said: I would advise any young person who wants to get into acting or entrepreneurship to make sure they do their due diligence. It would help if you put in a lot of commitment and hard work. It would help if you didn’t give up so easily.

“You may not see results as soon as you expect, but if you keep putting in the same amount of energy and commitment and are consistent, you will eventually see results.”

Inspiring success stories

In response, Nnamdi Unachukwu, a business tycoon, CEO of BMI CTY and an established entrepreneur, encouraged the audience by sharing his humble beginnings in business.

He also presented his book “How I Made My First Million Dollars” to the audience.

During his speech, he credited his parents, especially for nurturing his entrepreneurial talent from a very young age.

“I kept telling stories about how my mother made me go to her store and take care of the entire store at age 11 until my uncles felt I didn’t want to go to school. But that was not the case. I learned to be an entrepreneur and my mother and father also exposed me to it.”

Mr Unachukwu, an engineer, also narrated how they started earning money as a member of the Youth Corps.

“I studied electronic engineering and graduated in 1999 when telecommunications was introduced in Nigeria. There were 62 of us in class; 60 were seeking employment in oil, banking and telecommunications companies.

“But the two of us, unfortunately, my friend is late, we said that we want to create jobs. So, back to Lagos, where I was serving the people who worked for me, I opened an internet cafe in Mushin that my father gave me in his square. Those people didn’t know that I was a member of the Youth Corps and that I had five employees.

The history of slot machines

Similarly, Nnamdi Ezeigbo, Founder and CEO of SLOT Systems Limited, emphasized that for him starting a business was born out of necessity and not passion.

“I didn’t grow up in a household of entrepreneurs; My dad and mom were salaried. I studied electrical engineering. My vision was to work in an oil company. When I graduated, I was fortunate enough to serve in Lagos and was posted to Guinness.

“The idea was to work hard and get a job, but that didn’t happen in my case. When I graduated after my youth service, I couldn’t find a job at an oil company. I spent two years at home looking for a great job until I realized that the job was not enough for everyone,” she said.

catch them young

A young man called Perfect Odiniwu from Cosom School gave a presentation on entrepreneurship. He caught the attention of the public with his well-articulated speech.

Professor Onwuegbuezie taught the children the difference between a businessman and an entrepreneur. Surprisingly, the children were able to assimilate the lessons.

Event organizers recently announced their innovative efforts to integrate entrepreneurship into core educational curricula.

READ ALSO: At TEF, we have supported 700 African health entrepreneurs: Elumelu

After two years of extensive research, they said they had come up with a comprehensive approach to delivering entrepreneurship education in Nigeria.

The team consists of qualified educators, accomplished entrepreneurs with extensive experience, IT specialists, experienced researchers and management consultants who would help groom young entrepreneurs to become innovators.

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