Abisola Olamide Williams, a 22-year-old final year Microbiology student at the University of Abuja, is also an event planner and social entrepreneur, who runs an NGO called Mediapreneur Network. She speaks on her passion to help young people build their businesses and brands.
Tell us briefly about your NGO?
Basically, it is to process and set grants for young entrepreneurs. The whole passion is for young people to understand the process. We understand that most people want to start a business or a brand but they just want to make it overnight. Our NGO is to make people go through the process. We have a community where people that are struggling with their businesses all come together where we can all relate to what you are going through to relay your brand.
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My next event is Mediapreneur Conference 3.0. We have seasoned speakers, social entrepreneurs and media personnel making a social impact who will talk to our delegates, give them real-life and practical ways to grow as business persons or aspiring business persons.
Who are your target audiences?
Aspiring entrepreneurs; those with the ideas but yet to execute them; the small-scale entrepreneurs – that is people that have started but are still trying to grow – and creative people like photographers, fashion designers, people that think out of the box and it is for young people from the ages of 16 to 29 years.
As a microbiologist, how do you manage business building plans and studies?
I have been an event planner since I can remember so when I went to school I realized a lot of young people have businesses but they were not really growing well because they didn’t know the right things to do. I want to see other people grow, so I started going out to figure out that myself.
Managing school is that I know myself; I know when I can I read and I am much of a night person so I read at night and during the day I take care of my other activities.
How old is the NGO?
Officially, we are less than a year since registration; but we started the conference about three years ago. We started it without registration, which is the process I am talking about. We just started and while we are growing and meeting mentors, they encouraged us to register the brand; that it is a good one, So we registered it.
What is your assessment so far?
Our theme for last year was ‘Growth’ and this year it is ‘Process.’ We want people to trust the process. Since we started we have had five businesses emerge from our programmes. We have something called “The Pitch with CMN,’ it is to support people with business grants and consolation, mentoring section and we also support greenhorn businesses with capital and link them up with mentors so they don’t get the money and misuse it. We make them invest it in the right source.
Last year, we gave N100,000 to two people and we are going to give more and other packages this year
How can one join your community?
It is very easy, we are a great community. Right now we have 50 community members in Abuja and we have some in Lagos but we are looking at going through all Nigerian universities because we want to have a large community where we can also have programmes in other schools.
You can attend our programmes or send a message when you get our fliers or follow us on Instagram and tell us you want to be a member of the community. We will check out when you started your business and how you are doing.
We also offer consulting services. The beautiful thing is that they are practical, we let them know it is never going to be easy and when young people see young people like them trying to progress, it motivates them more because they are on the same level.
Are your community members only students?
No, we have working-class people too who are not really entrepreneurs but they are looking at having something by the side. Also, the other members are not just University of Abuja students, we have Unilag and University of Jos students too.
What does your practicals involve?
Its training and we have Masters Class sessions for those that have found their niche and now need to grow. The class is based on leadership, how to lead yourself in business and how to lead your team; and other courses like managing finance.
Moving forward, we are looking at also having a session where we will train people on media businesses because we believe that everybody needs the media to grow. We want people to learn digital marketing, copywriting, content creation, cryptocurrency etc that can fetch you money as a student so you can be in school and doing your business with your phone.
What message do you have for youths?
I want them to believe in their vision, believe in their goal and stay true to it. Sometimes, you may not see the growth in what you are doing and you may get discouraged but you have to stay true to it.
I am a testimony of that because I started Mediapreneur Network not even aiming to be a brand but I knew I had the passion for encouraging young people like me. So I stayed true to it and said I was going to do this and yes we have grown. We are definitely getting into the city and I am taking over the world by God’s grace.