Nigerian students and youths have been enjoined to always apply their God-given talents, display their natural abilities at solving problems and show passion in anything they do in order to bring about positive change in society. This was the submission of the 3rd Commencement Lecturer of the University, Mrs. Folusho Olaniyan, while delivering her lecture titled, “Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship in Nigerian University: Students’ Choices, Nigeria’s Legacy”, as part of the matriculation ceremony.
Mrs. Olaniyan, who is also the Chief Executive Officer, Contact Consulting Nigeria Limited, defined Entrepreneurship as “the recognition of an opportunity to create value and the process of acting on this opportunity whether or not it involves the formation of a new entity which is usually associated with innovation and risk taking”. She opined types of Entrepreneurs to be economic entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs, the latter which she said was a mixture of both the economic and social entrepreneur. The Commencement Lecturer added that Entrepreneurship was a means to self-development and empowerment since youth unemployment had its social consequences while most unemployed youths live in developing countries that are faced with many challenges such as low quality of education, lack of marketable skills and early pregnancy of the girl-youth.
She described the youths as energetic, with the ability to bring about change, citing the Tunisian revolution as an example, where President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali’s government was toppled in November 2011; because the youths were demanding for social justice and improved livelihood. For the students to be self-reliant, certain factors should be put in place to make them real entrepreneurs by engaging in regular entrepreneurial education and training as well as proper mentoring and rendering of business assistance to up-coming entrepreneurs. Mrs. Olaniyan added that a lot of youth entrepreneurs were faced with many problems such as not being taken seriously by colleagues, business contacts, inadequate funding for business, age discrimination and lack of support from family and friends. She gave the characteristics of people who get to the top of the pyramid of success to be resilient, purposeful, dogged, refusing to bow to distractions and bearing pains of growth. She said that taking the right decision always will help them get to the top, which was only for the distinguished, and urged them to use what they have to get to where they want to be by developing themselves as well as developing Nigerian goods and services for their benefit. Gaining entrepreneurial skill in addition to their formal education is paramount, for the modern day student, she said. Most importantly, she charged the students to use their time wisely as no one should be given any opportunity to waste their time.