By Chris Aghanya
ENTREPRENEURSHIP is a term that conjures different meanings to different persons. To some it is the ability of one to invest wisely with the view to earn a living and to others, it means the ability of one to think deeply, explore ones inert talents and exploit opportunities towards economic gains through meaningful ventures.
No matter what perspective one views entrepreneurship, it remains a key and panacea to economic development nay macro and micro economic advancement.
The later underscores Anambra State Government’s policy and programme on Youth entrepreneurship as a giant step towards macro and micro economic development of the State and its citizenry.
Against this background, the state government through the Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Entrepreneurship, Eloka Maduekwe initiated the Nnewi Youth Entrepreneurship summit at the weekend under the sponsorship of Reality Forum – an Obiano Support Group based in Nnewi, drawing industrial giants in the area, to pilot Nnewi youths through ways and means to be self-reliant and self-sustenance via small and medium scale ventures.
According to the initiator of the summit, Eloka Maduekwe, the event was aimed to change the youth mindset, while helping them to rediscover their potentials and passion in order to become better members of the society.
The convener explained that the summit was part of Governor Willie Obiano’s vision, to redirect the youth on entrepreneurship drive rather than the unending search for white collar jobs which are hard to come by.
Maduekwe noted that government alone cannot provide jobs for everybody, but can create the enabling environment through security and stoppage of unnecessary taxes to give opportunity for youths to exploit their inert talents and potentials rather than remain dependants.
In his speech on the summit, sponsor of the event, Uzo Nwosu-a Lagos based oil and gas worker and House of Representative aspirant in Nnewi North and South Constituency, noted that the summit was designed to create the next group of entrepreneurs in Nnewi, adding that the youths can be successful if only they remain focused in their areas of passion.
Uzo Nwosu, who is the founder of Reality Forum said they had embarked on medical outreach to several hospitals in Nnewi and environs, education outreach to indigent students at secondary and tertiary levels, stressing that the sponsorship of the summit aimed to discourage bagging of degrees, but encourage youths on ways and means to be self-reliant like the Asian tigers.
Noting that hardwork pays, Nwosu enjoined the youths to get involved in the political process in order to change their mindset but cautioned against politics of cash and carry which is the current doom of the country.
Notable Nnewi Industrial gurus delivered lectures at the event, beginning with Ajulu Uzodike, founder, Cutix PLC and Conv-Aj centre who stated that entrepreneurship is an idea and key to realizing one’s vision.
He regretted that most of our youths out of selfish pride overlook the small tracks of making money while chasing refined jobs rather than bend down to learn small trades, adding that entrepreneurship is all about innovativeness.
Uzodike quipped, “innovation is a challenge for our youths and honesty in business pays”, this is but the only way to successful entrepreneurship”.
In his own lecture, “Mr Peter-Damian (Peedee) Ofodeme, Chief Executive Officer, Poncard Integrated Service – an agricultural consortium noted that every individual is endowed with a talent, but the problem is being able to harness such talents.
He regretted that most of our youths are lazy, not wanting to engage in hardwork, urging the youths to develop positive attitude to life in order to be successful.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth Mobilisation, who represented Governor Willie Obiano on the event, Onyeka Ibezim stated that the only way to successful entrepreneurship is hardwork, adding that ndigbo are creative and hardworking people.
He informed that the state government has structured in a lot of youth programmes as a way to always partner with the youth urging participants to take advantage of lessons of the summit to venture into meaningful trades.
In his lecture, Humphrey Ngonadi, Chief Executive Officer, Ngobros Group of Companies, identified the problems of youths as not knowing what they want in life, reminding them that what they give is what they receive.
He noted that wealth is the wisdom and knowledge one has, adding that “Manna has since stopped dropping from Heaven”, stating that one must be creative in order to be a successful entrepreneur.
Linus Ilozue – Managing Director, Chikason Group, enjoined the youths to explore petty trades as a stepping stone to becoming big time entrepreneur.
He explained that wealth creation is a gradual process which does not require huge capital but the wisdom, perseverance and ability to save.
Highlight of the summit was a drama presentation by Metu theatre drama group.