Experts have suggested business reinvention as the key to sustainable entrepreneurship in the country following economic crisis bedeviling the world.
Deputy Pro Vice- chancellor, University of Sussex, Prof. Richard Follett, and other experts proffered this solution at the Hot Topics Africa Forum with the theme: ‘Sustainable business, entrepreneurship and the future of work,’ held at the Access Bank headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos.
While appreciating Access Bank for partnering with the University of Sussex in making the program successful, Prof. Richard Follett, said entrepreneurship is key to addressing disruption.
According to him, studies have shown that corporations are becoming increasingly short-lived, thanks to being disrupted by newcomers, adding that with accelerating technological change, innovating becomes critical if companies are to survive.
“Research has shown that the most successful entrepreneurs and innovation-led organisations have supportive cultures and structures, and are connected with external partners in extensive innovation ecosystems, including universities, research institutions, and other companies.”
Addressing NYSC members who attended the forum, Prof. Follett, admonished the youths to take advantage of opportunities that would equip them with skills and make them independent of paid employment when they finish their youth service.
“It is tough being an average unemployed Nigerian, but you have to understand that taking yourself out of that situation is your own responsibility and not the government’s or society’s,” He added.
Also speaking, Head of Sustainability of Access Bank, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, urged the youths strive to become employers of labour, noting that the organisers were clearly poised to achieve that which the country needed most.
While engaging the youths to create original products that are unique and competitive, Mrs. Victor-Laniyan said Access Bank is ready to support such creative ideas to any length.
According to her, it is important for youths to develop their emotional intelligence and create proper financial plans that would align with their vision.
“Young people must take action but knowing the right steps to take at every point is key. You must take the first steps in the right direction and ensure that you are consistent with those steps and actions,” she added.
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In his own contributions, Sola Owonikoko who is the project director of Project Enable, said the best option was for the youths to target entrepreneurial skills development so as to enable them be self-reliant.
According to him, it would be difficult for any government to provide employment for the youths going by the teeming number of employable people in the country.
He also said “if the youths are skilled in different vocations, it would not only reduce poverty, but would encourage investment.”
Other speakers at the event include: Tosin Adebisi who is the Senior International Relations Manager, University of Sussex; Deola Adejuyigbe, Managing Director of Serve consultancy; Femi Taiwo, Executive Director of Leap Africa; Sola Amusan, Education Leader, Microsoft; Funmi Oyatogun TVP Adventures and Tobi Aigbogun, Co-founder, Social Good Lagos.