My challenges as a young entrepreneur – Secondary school graduate | Dailytrust

My challenges as a young entrepreneur – Secondary school graduate

The trucks at production stage
The trucks at production stage

Apeh Godwin finished secondary school in 2016 and has been supporting his family in educating his younger siblings with the proceeds from a toy truck business he started in January this year. The young entrepreneur is a self-taught inventor with no science or engineering background.

Apeh Godwin is a 22-year-old inventor from Kogi State. The Abuja-based manufacturer of remote-controlled toy cars, which has been the delight of children and adults, is without a science or engineering background. He was an art student at the Government Secondary School Shafan Kwoto, Nasarawa State, where he had his secondary school certificate in 2016.

Though he has put his studies on hold due to financial constraint, he said studying science or engineering should he return to school could be difficult due to his poor knowledge of calculation.

“I am not good at calculation and most people wonder how I go about my creative ideas because they require calculation. But these ideas are inborn, it is my talent and I do the calculation needed for it with ease. It does not bother me but calculating in subjects stresses me. I don’t know anything about calculation, but when it gets to coupling things, I do that excellently and the products come out really well,” he said.

Godwin started doing the toy trucks in January this year but has tried his hands on other successful inventions like a water sanitizer and soap dispensing machine at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

While describing some of his works, he said “I also made a battery activating machine that uses card. The cards activate a contact in the machine. I have also made a lamp in the form of a small water fountain model in front of a house. This serves both beautification and illumination purposes in the house and before these trucks, I made several toy cars and ships.”

 

Godwin said his ambition is to come up with things that are useful to human beings.

With his ambition, he always challenged himself to be better and not give up despite several challenges he has faced. “Getting the best results and the best quality I have on my toys now wasn’t so easy and it was not also from just a trial. There were times when I almost gave up at the production process but with diligence, retrying with a different method, and the help of God, all parts of the toy trucks came out successful,” he said.

He said his works are made-in-Nigeria including the shell, the engines and all other parts, “but the remote control are made in China. I buy remote that can work perfectly with my products, the reason why I use foreign remote is for the product to be unique.”

Godwin said he spent N108, 000 getting necessary materials and accessories in making four trucks while he sells each for N48, 000. He described the business as lucrative but bemoaned a lack of patronage and called for the support of the government and other stakeholders.

He said lack of adequate finance and marketing has limited his reach, and so he prays for a sponsor in order to further his education or develop his talents so that he can produce works in line with global best practices.

Despite the prospects of the business and his ingenuity in setting the pace in locally made toys, the young entrepreneur told Daily Trust Saturday  he had no plan of proceeding with his studies due to financial constraints. The third in a family of five said the burden of taking care of his aged mother and two younger siblings were shared between him and his elder siblings since the demise of their father.

Apeh Godwin

He said his situation would not allow him to further his education as he tends to focus on his craft to ensure a better future for his mother and siblings.

On why he stopped schooling, he said, “I possess senior secondary school certificate only. It wasn’t easy for me to continue with academics because I had no one to assist me with school demands.”

He said his chances of survival in the industry is bright but could be brighter with formal education but he’s optimistic because “nobody taught me all that I’m doing. When I think of creating anything, the idea and understanding of how to do it come to me. And I put them together. I will construct it and get it done. I did not learn it from anywhere so that is an advantage I have and it has been helping me.”

However, he has not given up on studying yet, “education would require money which I do not have. We are still struggling to put food on our table. My dad is late and the burden of taking care of the family is shared among my mum, siblings and I. Going to school now is difficult but I would want to attend a technical school later to sharpen my knowledge and understanding in this craft.”

He said his creative works, powered by his talent and passion for bringing out new inventions, would make him unique in the industry aside from being made in Nigeria as his trending creation – Current trucks.

“Current trucks are made with metal and their qualities are very different from other toy cars. They also last longer than other products of their kind made of plastic materials. Current trucks are rechargeable, fast in response and possess most of the quantities real truck cars have,” he said, adding that there have been encouraging reviews and comments from his customers.

 

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