By Nimi Princewill.
The inaugural edition of the Forum of Kwara Young CEOs 2019, didn’t fall short of its marketing hype as participants were thrilled to an enriching moment from start to finish.
The CEOs summit, powered by the Hannis Institute for Development Studies (HIDS), and convened by a renowned community development practitioner, Mr. Lawal Olohungbebe, witnessed the convergence of young entrepreneurs and business leaders from both the public and private sectors.
The Forum showcased a team of discussants who treated topics bordering on: Overcoming Startup Challenges; Entrepreneurship and the Consumer’s Perception; Product Marketing and its Many Issues; Hope for Female Entrepreneurs among others.
In his advice to business owners, Mr. Abdulrahman Taofik Olayinka, said: “To succeed, you build peoples path instead of money path because through that you build relationships, which in turn grows your business.”
In her charge to female entrepreneurs, Mrs. Funmi Osiegbu who represented Hajia Aisha Ahman Pategi, urged women to discover their strengths and build on it. She noted that despite all cultural exigencies, she persevered and succeeded.
Speaking further, she said, “Businesses don’t germinate without ideas. You need ideas to set you apart from multitudes of businesses. It’s a selling point. Start small and grow on it.”
The event witnessed the pitching of business ideas where five participants competed and were selected to make presentations and defend their business plans before a panel of judges who assessed them based on set criteria.
A 22-year-old entrepreneur, Kaosarah Abdulrasaq Adeyi turned out the rave of the moment following her pitch on “Bee-keeping for honey production.”
Thrilled by her presentation, three of the judges, AbdulRahman Taofik Olayinka, Shola Ahmed Gegele and Toba Adeyeye made cash donations amounting to the sum of N500,000 supporting her business plan.
In a chat with INSIDER, an overjoyed Ms. Kaosarah expressed her delight with the gesture.
She said, “Sincerely, I am short of words. It is indeed a double joy, today being the opening of my fish shop. Words are not enough to express my feelings.”
Speaking on plans to utilize the grant, the young entrepreneur from Ilorin West said, “By the grace of God, I will execute the project and everyone will get to know when we have the output.
“I currently keep bees on a very small scale, so this fund will be used for expansion.”
Another entrepreneur, Mr. Yunusa Muhammad got the sum of N200,000 to support his business.
Participants posed questions to the discussants during an interactive session.
In his remarks, the convener of the summit, Lawal Olohungbebe noted that as a community development practitioner, he meets a lot of people with good ideas but can’t assist them financially because he lacks the means to do so.
“I said to myself, if I don’t have money to assist them since I’m only a civil servant, I know people who can, so why not bring those who need support and those who can help together”, Olohungbebe said, explaining the reason for the forum.
The HIDS coordinator also thanked Hajia Aisha Ahman Pategi for her kind support towards the event.