Students have been urged to embrace entrepreneurship as it is the only path a country desirous of economic development can tread. They are equally challenged to think big, regardless of the economic situation or their lean start up capital.
These, among others, were an business tips given to Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) students at event tagged: ‘Life after school’, organised by LASPOTECH Students’ Union (SU).
With the theme: “Purpose-driven generation”, the programme held at the Ikorodu campus of the institution. In attendance were a number of budding entrepreneurs to inspire the students, connect them with fellow entrepreneurs, and provide them with start-ups to attain their desires.
Head Marketing and Communication at Sidmach Technologies, Lanre Basamta, said the biggest problem with start-ups is having small dreams.
Basanta, who spoke on: “Entrepreneurial brand and communication”, noted that if only the students have the courage to push their dreams, the sky would then be their limit.
He described entrepreneurship as the hope of Nigeria, adding that it is also the quickest road to improve the economy. He also pleaded with the government to create policies that could help expand entrepreneurship.
Basanta urged the students to make themselves a brand, take calculative decisions, take time off and think on what to do and refine their skills. He also asked them to create values in their minds as well as understand the capacity to provide the needs of the people.
“SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) are the hope of the global economy. There have been years of acculturation where the only thing we think about is jobs, which are no longer available. Therefore, what is going to change our great nation today is entrepreneurship. It is not something desirable or something the government should talk about, but something that should be intentional as a country.
“Unlike 10 years ago, the environment is a whole lot different now when we talk of entrepreneurship. There are lots of funding out there for start-ups, as well as ideas. As start-ups, you should be able to have a wonderful idea. Beyond that is to have a Business Plan, and then you can begin to access fund from the bank. We have the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, among others that can help you with funding,” he said.
Another speaker, Adeniji Kayode, said youths of nowadays have lots of opportunities they are not taking advantage of.
Adeniji, a lawyer, said youths for instance, are not maximising the business mileage offered by the social media.He, therefore, implored students to be creative, improve on skills they acquired as undergraduates, and learn the positive side of social media.
Nollywood actor, Adeniyi Johnson, reiterated the need to be educated before joining the movie industry. He also advised students to learn outside their field of study.
“For you to succeed after school, you need to be more creative because today, jobs are not forthcoming. Most of the successful people we know now are not doing things they studied in school. Whatever vocation you could lay your hands on, don’t stop learning it. Whatever you learn will definitely be useful to you.”
“Your education will always stand you out no matter what. I am now doing the business part of my profession. Have a passion for what you do, don’t look for money first, be creative and prayerful. If you come into the movie industry for fame and for people to take selfie with you, you will fade away,” he warned.
A digital marketer and a social media influencer, Pamilerin Adegoke, also said consistency made him different among his peers.
Adegoke advised the students to cultivate the habit of reading.
Like Johnson, Co- Founder of Bike and Blend, Temilade Salami, appealed to students not to make money their priority.
She also urged them on the need to have a structure for their dream business.
A comedian, Oluwasegun Ogundipe, popularly known as Lafup, said the ability to create something that connects with his passion was the career decision that helped him succeed.
Ogundipe urged the students to connect with themselves and “look for your own way of carefully and deliberately choosing your friends because that person that will or might help you realise your dream is here”.
Chief Executive Officer, Moreklue Group, Ademola Ajibola, also said the students need to realise their dreams when they are in school.
A film director and a producer, Titi Jeje, reiterated that education is not a guarantee to success.
She said: “What you learn here is just the basics, but the practical aspect in the field will determine your success. Never settle for less and always believe in what you do.”