FirstBank chief advises corps members to be innovative
First Bank Nigeria Limited Chairman, Chief Ibukun Awosika has challenged corps members shortlisted for the Bank of Industry (BoI) Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF) not to limit their capacity to their academic degrees.
She said the youth must leverage on the opportunity they have to break even in various sectors and create the change desired in the country.
Mrs Awosika, who inspired the budding entrepreneurs during the kick-off of the four-day capacity building session organised to guide their entrepreneurial voyage, said it was high time the youth shunned mediocrity and test their assumption of what is thought to be right.
She said: “Every business idea is an assumption. The process of executing it is the experiment; what you arrive at from the experiment is your conclusion and it can be positive or negative. You have to prove your theory. Your certificate means nothing. It is the education that you have received and how you apply yourself. The way you process information, look at situation around you and decide to turn it around for good; the way you use the factors that you see to create value are the possibilities unimaginable even as you can’t see it now.
“You have a stake for yourself in making sure that the opportunity that this facilitates changes your life for good. Don’t define your personal dream by what is going around you (but) take time to seek out what you want for your life.”
Acting Managing Director BoI, Waheed Olagunji, said the lender looked forward to excellent results on the support provided as it had collaborated with business experts to project the bankable potentials of their various business concepts.
According to him, 976 candidates were selected across the geopolitical zones including Lagos, Delta, Ebonyi, Oyo Ogun, FCT, Katsina, Osun and Taraba for the second edition of the scheme.
Olagunju said the lender had eased the challenge arising from inability of candidates to obtain information required to framing bankable businesses, dearth of technical know-how for proposed projects among others in order to deliver outstanding performances.
He said: “Of the over 800 that went through the programme last year, more than 300 applied and about 200 benefited and they are conducting their businesses now. In other words without the Bank of Industry, what will those 300 have been doing? We have been able to engage them in a constructive manner that they have hope in themselves. They see a bright future for themselves in Nigeria through a scheme provided by Federal Government institutions.’’