Entrepreneurship Day 2019: Experts Urge Covenant Students to Find their Niche
Keynote Speakers at the 2019 Entrepreneurship Day of Covenant have urged students of the University to strive to find their niche as a first step towards achieving their dream of being a successful entrepreneur.
At the event with the theme: ‘Nurturing Wealth Creators’, the trio of Mrs. Adepeju Jaiyeoba, Barr. Ayotola Jagun and Prince Michael Osinaike were unanimous in their exhortations that the students should be able to determine what interested them the most, which was likely to be what they were passionate about.
While speaking on the topic, ‘Finding Your Voice in a Noisy World’, the first Keynote Speaker, Mrs. Jaiyeoba, a social entrepreneur and Founder, Mothers’ Delivery Kit, said that entrepreneurship was about people finding their voice and meeting a need, whether it was by providing a service or making a product. She posited that it was important for a person to find his/her voice because many people (dependents and prospective employees) would look up to him/her taking a step towards their own future.
Mrs. Jaiyeoba, renowned for her expertise in maternal and child health care, gave other nuggets on what the students should do to be successful entrepreneurs. These included surrounding themselves with people who believe in them and could help to amplify their voice; to realise that finding their voice was not about what they studied; not to feel too big in taking up any task; to do whatever they do conscientiously because they never know who is watching; and desist from blaming people or attributing setbacks to the circumstance of their birth.
The serial award winner said that after the students might have found their voice, the next thing was to move from Point A to B, determine their weaknesses and look for a person that could complement the weaknesses. Also, she advised the students to make diligence their watchword, they should see a disappointment as an impetus, set standards for themselves and see themselves as extraordinary.
The second Keynote Speaker, Barr. Ayotola Jagun, a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the Chief Compliance Officer and Company Secretary of OandO Plc, in her address to the students, urged them to find their purpose in life as Covenant had provided a very good environment for them to excel.
She highlighted the critical factors for creating wealth as having the right values, understanding who you are, humility and diligence, having courage and determination, the need to be resilient and disciplined, avoiding procrastination, building supportive environment, imbibing the principle of sustainability, making a choice between consumption and saving, leveraging on relationships, treating wealth like it was a business and avoiding extravagance.
Barr. Jagun stated further that the purpose of wealth was about God establishing His covenant with people, while she also guided the students to prioritise their family and relationships.
Entrepreneurship, according to the third Keynote Speaker, Prince Michael Osinaike, was not just business, it went as far as making innovation and meeting needs. “You identify gaps in the society and you make yourself available to bridge the gaps,” he stated.
In his presentation on the topic, ‘Sustainability, Synergy and Symbiosis for Entrepreneurial Development in Nigeria’, Prince Osinaike, a graduate of Covenant and a food security expert, said that his Master’s thesis foresaw the food security crisis that people experience in Nigeria today. “It started as a Master’s thesis and I could have improved on it with a Ph.D., but I was driven to be part of the solution to the problem,” he said.
Prince Osinaike, whose company has a relationship with Golden Penny in the supply of agro products, averred that as an entrepreneur, one could not maximise a particular sector or meet a need he had not studied nor understand. Businesses like this, he added, folded up in no time. He told the students that their purpose in Covenant was to be wealth creators not to seek employment and whatever they start today should be sustainable.
Synergy, he explained, entailed understanding the different component elements that would make a structure stand, while symbiosis signified the essence of give and take. He encouraged the students to eschew corruption and other vices by developing their own ideas that would put food on their table.
Earlier in his remarks, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Covenant, Professor Akan Williams, representing the Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero, said that entrepreneurial education was synonymous to the University as the institution was the flagship for the idea before it was taken to other institutions in the country by the National Universities Commission.
While appreciating the facilitators from the external context and the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development Studies (CEDS) for organising the event, Professor Williams expressed confidence that the students would not only be leaving Covenant as graduates in their respective disciplines but as wealth creators.
The Director, CEDS, Dr. Felicia Olokoyo, had in her welcome speech, bemoaned what she described as the devastating increase in the rate of unemployment in Africa, with its ripple effect obvious in the state of the Nigerian economy and increase in crimes and violence. She stated that, “We need to obviously begin to tap into the entrepreneurial potential of our youth population to solve our societal problems and create more employment opportunities for national development and growth”.
Covenant University, she said, had since inception encouraged entrepreneurship development, which had always been a focal part of the drive to raise innovative and enterprise-driven leaders, who would in turn develop valuable solutions to the social problems in the nation’s communities and in turn generate wealth.
Dr. Olokoyo admonished all students, entrepreneurs, academics, parents and other stakeholders present at the Entrepreneurship Day event to take action steps from discussions and teachings as the gathering sought to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs needed for sustainable economic growth and development.