The 2019 Akin Alabi Youth Enterprise Conference held on Wednesday at the University of Ibadan.
For the past three years, I have continuously registered for this event but always end up not attending for one reason or the other.
However, alongside a very close friend, I attended this year’s youth enterprise conference. I must say, that it was a very enlightening event.
The Youth Enterprise Conference (YECO) is an annual event, organised by Akin Alabi, multipreneur and CEO of NairaBet; the first online sports betting company in Nigeria.
Luckily, we got to the event minutes before the supposed scheduled time, which however did not start until few minutes to 11 am (the African time mentality is still in us).
The event had in attendance the Iroko TV boss; Jason Njoku, popular social media commentator; Japheth Omojuwa, Soupamarket boss lady; among others.
About Each Speaker’s Session
Akin Alabi was the first person to take the stage. When he did, he spoke intensely about his sojourn and survival as a beginner enterpreneur in the Nigerian terrain.
He aptly talked about the several businesses he ventured in, before the NairaBET enterprise became his eureka. His session was educative, informative, and entertaining.
Then, Japheth Omojuwa takes the stage to talk about the power of the social media in boosting entrepreneurial endeavors. He spoke intensely about the do’s and dont’s of the social media. His session was also interesting and very enjoyable.
Then came the lady boss of Soupamarket, Olashile Abayomi. She also narrated her enterpreneurial beginning, from when she sold absolutely nothing in six months of being in business. She was very straightforward and honest with her story.
After her, came the Iroko TV boss; Jason Njoku, who also spoke about his own enterpreneurial journey. His session was not so interesting because of his accent and pitch. Many of us could not clearly hear what he was saying and so, resorted to doing other things until the next speaker comes up.
There was also a panel session where questions were thrown to each speaker for further explanations.
Key Lessons From Akin Alabi’s Session
Just like always, you know I will always have something written down for your personal and business growth. So, here are some key takeaways from some of the speakers at the event.
- Quit excuses. Get things done.
- People are not looking for the lowest prices. They are looking for the highest value.
- Sell what people want to buy. It is your job to identify existing desire and then input yours.
- Do not go into a comfortable habitat
- Begin small.
Key Lessons From Japhet Omojuwa’s Session
- Be persistent.
- Be careful with social media. It is not a reality, but a perspective of reality. Do not allow other people’s made-up reality distract your owb actual reality.
- Add some value, even as an entrepreneur.
- As you go on in your bisiness, reflect and correct your mistakes.
Key Lessons From Olashile Abayomi’s Session
- God over everything. Have a sensitive spirit to hear and listen to the Almighty.
- Have a clarity on what exactly you want.
- Don’t wait. Get up and do it
- Imbibe quality and consistency. They will keep you going.
- Many will do what you do but exclusivity will seperate you. So, trust your gift for it will make way for you.
- Be patient. Trust your process. It could be slow, but it’s worth it.
- Prioritize your time.
- Mind your business
I must admit that the session I enjoyed most was that of Soupamarket boss. The hall was quiet while she was speaking except for the occasional laughter from the audience. And when she eventually ended her session, the audience resounded with loud and thunderous claps.
I think this explains why I have more notes from her session. It was very interactive because she employed a storytelling method to drive home her points.
An highpoint of the event was when the convener, Akin Alabi, gave a guy that came all the way from Borno for the event, his transport fare back. The transport fare totalling a sum of 32,000 naira and another 100,000 as a thank you gift.
The other highpoint for me was also when another sum of 100,000 naira was each given as a support to 10 enterpreneurs from the audience. (I know I like money, but who doesnt?)
Also, more than 10 copies of Akin Alabi’s best selling book, “Small Business, Big Money”, a political book like that, and a Chelsea jersey was also given out to members of the audience.
The low point for me was the political charade of the Oyo state APC governorship candidate, Bayo Adelabu, that came at almost the end of the event.
Deep within, I think the event was purposely bought to Ibadan because of the convener’s political ambition. However, I also think it a bad idea to bring in the politician.
Even though he tried to input his humble enterpreneurial/career journey alongside his campaign speech, the audience was too tired to take it in.
At the end of it all, I bought the convener’s book at a discount of 70% and I havent had any cause to regret the book. All in all, it is an eye-opening event for any beginner or struggling entrepreneur.
PS: All pictures from Akin Alabi’s instagram page