Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Youth Entrepreneur- Joshua Ajayi

Twenty-four years old Joshua Ajayi attended Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU). For many people, this institution is not one of the Ivy League colleges in Nigeria. But Joshua did not let the Ivory Tower define him. Before graduating, he started a company called “Awesome Communications.” According to him, he saw the yawning gap between the students in Mass Communication department and the Communications industry, and wanted to do something to ameliorate that condition. “The Communicator was born out of the passion to bridge the gap between communicators industry and the classroom.” He said.

His company, Awesome Communications, is a strategic Marketing and communications firm based in Lagos Nigeria. Not only do they publish “The Communicators” a magazine aimed at informing students about the industry, they also host “The Communicators Forum” which brings undergraduates from different universities and professionals in the industry together on one large platform. “There was not enough interaction between the two.”

As a new firm, the challenge of having enough funds for sustainability cannot be over emphasized. On how he is coping despite the challenges, he said “the God factor and being strategic in sourcing funds by building relationship with people whom will give access to the funds.”

His advice to young people aspiring to start-up their company is to have a clear vision of what they want to do-- “Ask yourself if you are passionate about it. When you face challenges, it is the passion that keeps you to your vision. You must be persistent. Build relationship with right people. Be at the right place at the right time. Meet the right people that will help bring your vision to reality. Do a detailed analysis of the industry you are going into-- be knowledgeable about the field before you go into the market. Do a personal SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis in order to help foster your vision.”

One other important factor he mentioned is mentorship. Before starting off he got different mentors- Legal mentor, financial mentor, inspirational mentor and professional mentor.

Joshua is currently serving (NYSC) in Jos, Plateau State. On how he was able to establish his company while still in school, he said “lecturers were not so frequent in class so those free time I used...” From this example, you can see that you do not need the euphoria of schooling abroad to set the ball rolling to actualize your dream. And also, instead of nagging about circumstances, which seems beyond control e.g. lecturers going on strike, It is important to position yourself right-- do personal research/study and use the stumbling blocks as stepping stones. A transformational education does not begin and end in the Ivory Tower.

1 comment:

stacie28 said...

I really appreciate young entrepreneurs like Joshua Ajayi! Another successful entrepreneur that I admire is Yuri Mintskovsky. He is one of the youngest Assistant Vice Presidents in Nations Bank, where he successfully manages multi-million dollar IT projects.