Hi! I am Omolewa Adedipe, I am a content creator and developer and I am a graduate of the enterprise growth academy 2017 workshop.
Like Omon Ogudo loves to say, entrepreneurs are story tellers, I would therefore share my TEGA ’17 experience with you by telling you my story. I hope it inspires you.
I got to know about TEGA ’17 accidentally. On the evening of 27th December, the day before the workshop was scheduled to start, a friend called to ask for a mutual friend’s phone number because he wanted to invite him to a workshop. When I asked what the workshop was about, my friend told me it was organized for people with business ideas and he did not bother to invite me because he didn’t think I would have a business idea.
Quite frankly, a few months before that time, I did not consider myself an entrepreneur, although I had been selling my services to individuals and solving content problems either for free or in exchange for small amounts of money. But in December, I had started thinking seriously about a lot of things, and my writing business was one of them. I was beginning to think of myself as a service provider and I also saw the need to develop my ideas and start taking them more seriously.
To prove that I was really taking myself seriously, I composed a business idea and sent it in to apply for a scholarship to attend the workshop because I actually did not have the money to pay for it. To my surprise, I got a message informing me that I had been selected to attend the workshop for free.
I was totally unprepared for what TEGA had to offer. I left my house happy because my holiday was unexciting and TEGA was giving me a legitimate excuse to go out. Like every entrepreneurship event, I hoped to learn a couple of things, but TEGA wasn’t a typical entrepreneurship workshop so I was blown away by the depth and quality of the things I was exposed to.
Mr Omon opened our minds to a world that many of us did not even know existed and challenged several stereotypical mind sets. By telling us his story and other people’s stories, he effected a dramatic paradigm shift and in less than 30 minutes, I was thinking differently. At the start of his session, Mr Omon told us that he was there to tell us the things that the entrepreneurship books and webinars would not tell us, and he wasn’t bluffing. At the end of the first session, I was already seeing myself and the services I offer differently, I was seeing myself and the whole world through an entrepreneur’s eyes.
The workshop was very interactive and it involved connecting with people and introducing your business ideas with a sustainable social enterprise mindset. In two days, I talked more extensively and to more people about my writing business more than I have ever done in the past two years since I started taking jobs. We were also encouraged to connect and network with other people and work as a team. All participants were divided into three groups (I belong to the Eureka team) and each group was saddled with the responsibility of brainstorming and creating a feasible business idea for a given market. We also worked as a team to write a business plan which was presented before a panel of judges by a representative from each group. Although my group came last, we all learnt how to work as a team and how to write a business plan which was the purpose of the team work in the first place.
There were exciting training sessions on several topics, Mr Ireti Adesida, the coordinator of Rhealyz Naija took a very interactive and enlightening session on the effective use of social media in entrepreneurship. Mr Olayato of Oyato bakeries was also around to share his experiences as the CEO of Oyato bakeries and Chicken Republic restaurant. He was also available to answer people’s questions and interact with them.
We also learnt the importance of registering our enterprises with the government and also applying for enterprise funding programs like YALI and TEEP. There was also a practical session where we were trained in details on how to make a winning application for these funds.
In the course of the workshop I had opportunities to connect with potential clients and I also got a chance to pitch my business idea to a panel of judges. Out of about 20 people who pitched their business ideas, my business idea was selected as the best. That came as a huge surprise for me because before I attended TEGA, my thoughts were not very organized and coherent. Attending TEGA helped me to gather my thoughts and ideas, lay them out logically and interpret them using an analytical and entrepreneurial approach.
Although I am very happy and thankful that my business idea won the pitch, that is not the point. TEGA ’17 was a life changing event for me because I learnt to see and do things differently. That would have happened whether my idea won the pitch or not and I am immensely grateful to Rhealyz Naija for organizing this. TEGA 2017 is conveniently the best event I attended all year.
Rhealyz Naija is the forerunning herald of a fast moving train of change and difference among young people in Ondo state and in Nigeria at large, and I have decided to join the team, I think every young person who wants to effect a change in society should join too.
At the beginning of this article, I said that I hope my story inspires you. Here’s what I hope my story inspires you to do: to take a definite step about whatever worthwhile idea that has been on your mind all this while; to attend TEGA 2018 and to join Rhealyz Naija.
I look forward to meeting and connecting with you at the TEGA 2018 workshop.
Thank you for reading!