Entrepreneurship: The Path To Greener Pastures For Average Nigerian Graduate! By Olatomirin Olabanji

In Nigeria today, youth unemployment is a norm in the society. The Nigerian youths are being played and kept aside like a 5-aside football game. Getting a job in Nigeria today is nothing to write home about. A “typical” Nigerian graduate,after spending at least four years in the higher institution of learning,has no hope instead his/her “after-school” life is riddled with fear and uncertainty. As a typical born and breed Nigerian and raised in a Nigerian culture,you’d agree with me that once you become a graduate,you are automatically expected to carry some responsibilities-from parents, from siblings and of course from people around you. So these “automatic” responsibilities combined with the thought of your upkeep after school–of course you can’t continually depend on your parent after graduating–brings upon an average Nigerian graduate, fear of the future and worries of the unknown. The Job market is inundated with both qualified and otherwise set of graduates. Some are fortunate enough to return to school for 2nd degree,but well I’ve seen a masters degree holder still unemployed. I can’t forget so soon the case of a vacancy at Dangote Group that attracted six Ph.D holders and 704 masters degree holders to a post of an Executive Truck Driver. With that number of masters and Ph.D applicants,you can guess the number of what the bachelor degree applicants will be.

So what will save we the average Nigerian graduate and even the “to be” graduates from the thoughts riddled with fear of the future? How can we be at peace in our mind without the worries of uncertainty?
How will you feel as a young graduate,to wake up one morning and getting prepared to go to your place of work,not just a work but work founded and owned by you? I bet you’d feel a lot more relieved and accomplished. There are so many things that comes with being an entrepreneur. Entreprenuership has both its pros and cons, its highs and lows as well as its gains and losses. The most obvious advantage of owing your business is the opportunity to be your own boss. Being in charge and making the important decisions regarding your business can be fulfilling, but it can also be challenging.

Being an entreprenuer, you choose the work you like to do and that makes the most of your strengths and skills. The result can be more job satisfaction.
Entrepreneurship can as well be exciting and many entrepreneurs consider their work highly enjoyable. I’ll advice every Nigerian graduate aspiring to own a business to do what they have love and passion for. Each day is filled with new opportunities to challenge your abilities, skills, and determination.
Entreprenuership brings about Flexibility. Business owners can schedule their work hours around other commitments, including spending quality time with their families.
Being your own boss gives you Freedom. Freedom to work whenever you want, wherever you want, and however you want draws many to entrepreneurship. Most entrepreneurs don’t consider their work actual work because they are doing something they love.
As an entrepreneur, your income is directly related to your efforts and the success of your business.
Challenges abound in entreprenuership than its benefits. Successful entreprenuers attach their success to the passion they have for what they do coupled with enthusiasm and perseverance. Their thirst for greatness supercede every challenges they encounter on their road to success. Some of these challenges are reasons why people tend to shy away from the thought of being an entreprenuer. One of the challenges is your personal income from the business otherwise called salary. You will not get a regular monthly salary – how much you make will depend on how good business is. This is a tough decision for most young people to make because income depends on what comes out of the business. Chief Micheal Ade Ojo, founder of Elizade Nig. Ltd, a well respected auto-business mogul with whom I enjoyed some background relationship with, once said he founded the business with just one car thus personally earning very low from the business in its early years. But his thrust for success and excellence combined with perseverance grew the business and stood it out in the industry for over 40 years.

Being an entreprenuer, you risk losing everything you have worked for – some of the most successful business owners have failed before but you can always make a comeback. Successful business owners have all failed at some time in their life. Failing is sometimes good for an entrepreneur, as long as they learn from the experience.
Inexperience is another challenge a young potential entreprenuer might encounter. You will have to learn a whole lot of new skills. You can fast track this by attending business courses and consulting a mentor or good business advisor.
A young entreprenuer will come across a change in lifestyle – you will be working long hours initially. A typical young Nigerian wants a “leisure-like” lifestyle which is not always a quality of an entreprenuer in the growing years of the business, but as your business develops and you become more organised, your lifestyle improves dramatically.
As a business owner, you can’t pass the blame – you are responsible for every decision you make in your business, good or bad. Bad decisions can cost a lot of money.
To own a business, you have to be broad in the field of your business. You have to be a Jack or Jill of all trades initially. You have to understand a little about each section of your business.

But come to think of it, have heard young graduates like me say “I have many ideas but its capital that is restraining me” – of course, all businesses requires capital to start. But what have you done to transform your raw materials (ideas) u claim to have into the capital you will need to float your idea? Besides there are businesses you can start with few capital. Now please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying becoming a young enterprenuer won’t cost you your resources-money,time and what have you. For example, to become a business owner in a field alien to you, you’d need to under go some training in that field which will attract some fee. So the path to a successful enterprenuership isn’t a rosy one and I don’t have to paint it like one. You’d need passion and perseverance along side your strength and resources.
Running your own business isn’t just about obtaining freedom–financially, in decision making etc, it is an avenue for you to explore your creative ability as young graduates in various ways you handle or run your business.
As an average Nigerian graduate with little or no post-graduate financial savings, but with a strong urge and passion for entreprenuership, starting your own business might seem unrealistic to you. You’ve got the idea and plans all mapped out seasoned with the passion needed, yet that crucial factor – Start-up Capital – is missing thus making your plan unachievable.
Seeking for funds to achieve your plan and float your own business should be the next process after carrying out an assessment and other findings about your business idea. How then can you seek for funds?

One sure way I’ve learnt is to prepare a well packaged and detailed business proposal. Send the proposal to every well-to-do individual in your society, those you know are capable of assisting you financially and the ones you don’t even think would have a glance at the proposal but BE OPTIMISTIC. Optimism, I heard, is a powerful key in achieving greatness -TRY IT. Send your proposal to people you know can give you some “non-financial” assistance. Tell them about your plans and sought their advice or opinion (but use your sense of judgement to identify the right advice from the wrong ones). You can as well send proposals to some Organizations that can assist or partner in your idea but be wise to enough secure your creative idea in order to avoid your idea being stolen. In sending your proposals, please be formal and professional. Get their contact information and continously ask for their response (but not in a disturbing manner). Do not be discouraged if you get no response, persevere, PRESS ON! You never can tell, your proposal might attract Lenders, Partners, Financial Assistants and even Strategy Advisers.

There are various businesses suitable for young graduates in this generation of young people. Photography for example is a thriving business springing up among the youths. Its a business that involves your passion for camera; and love for creating an unforgetable and clear memories. Photography is one business you can start small with and then grow into an exquisite organization.
Bridal make-over is another fast rising business that requires hardwork and also very rewarding. Its a business that comes with networking and meeting people. Popular beauty homes in Nigeria, House of Tara; MUD etc, are known for their relentless efforts in growing their business to where they are today. That is one reason I appreciate the relentless effort of a young Nigerian undergraduate, Ameenah make-over in the beauty industry.
What about bridal cake-making – Vivid Ent. Planet is one of such in the industry. Owned by a young Nigerian graduate,the firm is growing as sky even isn’t the limit; Fish farming; Interior Decor; Fashion designing and what have you. You can even come up with your own fantastic idea. JUST GET SOMETHING GOOD DOING!
You can’t imagine how much people invest on consuming fish protein or how much people spend on weddings and “owambe”.

On the last note ♍♈ fellow youth, Nigeria of today is in our hands. We shouldn’t and will not wait to get to the helm of power before we become the leaders of tomorrow. First let us become the leader of ourselves by finding a path to lead ourselves through by ourselves. That path can later become the leader in its own industry. That path can later feed the nation. THAT PATH CAN LEAD US TO OUR GREENER PASTURE!

Olabanji Olatomirin is a Batch A 2013/2014 Youth Corp Member serving in abuja.
Follow on twitter: @realOlatomirin
Email: banjiolatomirin@yahoo.com
LinkedIn: Olabanji Olatomirin
Check out ♍♈ blog: olatomirinblog.wordpress.com

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

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