On Friday the 6th of June, a cross-section of Nigerian youths living in London attended a seminar organised by the UK chapter of UN backed organisation GenVoices.
The event tagged Gen Talks: ‘The future of Entrepreneurship in Nigeria’ took place at Greenwich University in London, home to a sizeable number of Nigerian students and alumni.
Blogger and social activist Feyi Fawehinmi hosted the seminar which also featured talks by Budgit Nigeria founder and CEO Seun Onigbinde and Co Founder of the Future Awards Nigeria Chude Judeonwo.
The interactive section also featured a robust Q&A where issues facing small business owners in Nigeria were explored in great detail.
Leader of the UK chapter of GenVoices Sheun David Onamusi told the audience to challenge themselves and view entrepreneurship as a means of adding value rather than just making money.
“We owe it to ourselves and our country to ensure a society that makes business easier to do even if this doesn’t directly benefit us in the diaspora”, he said.
He also added that although there were many challenges facing entrepreneurs in Nigeria, what mattered the most was the attitude and motivation of the individual.
Founder of Budgit Nigeria, an app readily available for Nigerians who wanted to know about budget allocations in Nigeria and how this affected National funds Seun Onigbinde, told the young aspiring entrepreneurs that to do business in Nigeria, it was literally impossible to ignore the impact of government policies, saying ‘we can’t divert ourselves from the failures of the government.’
“When businesses keep quiet about government failures, it is not right”, he said. He urged everyone to take part in campaigning for better policies in the country to make life easier for the small business owner.
He also added that doing business in Nigeria takes courage, urging prospective entrepreneurs to ‘stand firm’ and not to be discouraged by the bureaucracy, power challenges and all other factors.
Other factors highlighted on the day include the ability to manage cost, volume and profit gradually, finding and defining a niche to do your business and being street smart.
Above all, the speakers agreed that the main factor was to think about the ‘value’ added to the economy rather than focusing on profit in the short-term as most new entrepreneurs tend to do.
The event also featured the UK book launch of ‘Are We The Turning Point Generation’ by Chude Jideonwo, founder of Red Media group, Y!Naija and the Enough is Enough Movement.
Jideonwo also read chapters from his book which seemed to be full of inspiration and motivation on how to drive change in Nigeria as well as enunciating the main challenges facing the country in the areas of politics and economic growth.
Members of the audience also got a chance to receive signed copies of the book on the night during a networking session which held after the talks.