BY Solomon Oladipupo & Muyiwa Adekojede
The former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has advised students interested in entrepreneurship to brace themselves for what its takes, especially the determination to succeed no matter the challenges.
According to him, challenges are abound in any entrepreneurial journey and entrepreneurs must learn to prepare themselves for this.
The former governor, who is also an alumnus of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) stated this last Saturday while speaking at the 2019 edition of the Young Leaders Entrepreneurship Conference (YOLEC) which was held at the Afe Babalola hall of the institution.
He said, “You must not lose track of some of the key component of entrepreneurship. If you listen to some of the big entrepreneurship, you would be shocked. There is none of them who didn’t feel feed up as some point in time.
“If you seat with Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, he would tell you his story while he was producing sugar and salt, before he became, for instance, the biggest manufacturer of cement. So, one thing [you need]is determination to succeed.”
Daniel also enjoined students to get skilled so that when they don’t get a job, their skills would fetch them money.
“At the end of the day, you need to learn a skill. Whatever you study in school that is just education. You must know something which is extraordinary such that if everything fails, you can bring it on and utilize it,” he said.
Don’t start a business for money– Exxon Mobil project manager
Also speaking during the conference, Obed Ikem, the project manager of Exxon Mobil, emphasized the need for students to change their mindset towards entrepreneurship.
He said, “Entrepreneurship is pursuit of opportunities beyond your current resources. It is the creation of value. The mindset you should have at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey is that which seeks to add value.
“Don’t start a business for money. No, wrong mindset. Don’t start a business to become rich. Wrong mindset. Don’t start a business to impress your neighbours. Wrong mindset. Don’t start business so you can buy a big car. Wrong mindset.
“Start a business for the solution you are going to provide. And because of the value you are going to create, you are going to change the environment. Your business begins to impact others. That’s the way to start a business.”
Create specialized entrepreneurship bank for startups, Adebisi tells FG
In his own part, the director of the UNILAG Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre, Dr. Sunday Adebisi, called for a national policy on entrepreneurship, curriculum restructuring that embraces entrepreneurship as well as the establishment of an entrepreneurship bank for start-ups.
He said, “I am advocating for the government to make sure that we have the National Entrepreneurship Policy (NEP). That was what developed India. Finland was almost gone as a nation… the next thing Finland decided to do was not to let embrace entrepreneurship and build incubation centres. Today, the country has become an extremely innovative nation of the world.
“There is need for curriculum restructuring. There is need for tax-free incentives for start-ups. Incubation hubs across all state and on all major streets in Lagos.
“There must be a specific start-up business registration policy such that once you start-up, your registration process would be different from those of Medium-Scale Enterprises. There should be a specialized Entrepreneurship and Start-up Bank.”