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Entrepreneur Counsels Covenant Students on Building Blocks to Successful Business Partnership

Some strategies are building blocks for any business partnership to start strong and stay strong as the company grows, a seasoned entrepreneur, Miss Oluwakemi Akin-Olotu, has said.

Akin-Olotu, Guest Speaker at a recent Town and Gown Seminar of the Department of Sociology, Covenant University, made the assertion while speaking on "How to Build a Great Partnership as a Sociologist for a Thriving Business in the 21st Century".

The Covenant University graduate of Sociology highlighted some of the building blocks as values, shared purpose, strong communication, and strategic planning. According to her, for a business to succeed, there must be an alignment of core values. "This is the single most important factor in any close relationship. Finding a partner or vendor that believes in what you believe in and upholds the same standards will be critical at every decision point in your business journey," said the founder, Eventories, an events management company in Lagos.

She stated the need for a long-term shared purpose that would address issues such as why are you doing what you are doing? Where are you going? She said partners must be aligned in their future visions regarding the company's direction and the impact they would make.

While pointing out the importance of complementary strength, Miss Akin-Olotu stated that the best partnerships included leaders with different skill sets. "You don't need another one of you. For example, if one partner thinks big picture and is the lead strategist, the other partner, ideally, will excel in operations and implementation. Your partner should fill in your gaps and not simply add bandwidth," she explained.

The Guest Speaker emphasized the need to be proactive and intentional in communication because, even if values, purpose, and strengths aligned, a partnership would struggle if partners didn't prioritize communication. Partners, she said, must be willing to have difficult conversations.

"If you are going to partner with people to build your business, protect the business, yourself, and your partners with a partnership agreement. No one expects a partnership to go south, but it happens," she warned.

Akin-Olotu listed the challenges of entrepreneurship as lack of funding, initial struggle to build a brand, difficulty in creating a balance between work and personal life, and difficulty in establishing a clear remuneration for self.

Earlier in the event, the Head, Department of Sociology, Dr Tayo George, thanked God for His grace over the Department and appreciated everyone there to support the event in one way or the other.

She appreciated the Guest Speaker, stating that what was happening was special and very significant. "We appreciate the Guest Speaker, who is our very own graduate and has come today to share her thoughts on what is happening in the industry with our students."

Also at the event were other members Faculty and Staff of the Sociology Department.


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