Ufot Inspires Young Entrepreneurs 

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Solomon Elusoji

The Group Managing Director of SO&U, Mr. Udeme Ufot, has declared that the biggest obstacle to entrepreneurial success is not what the entrepreneur lacks, in terms of money or connections. According to the business leader, success would come with ideas that create value and help transform situation and businesses.

Ufot said this, while speaking at the weekly Masterclass session of the Ausso Leadership Academy, a platform for mentoring young entrepreneurs to institutionalise and scale their businesses.

According to the co-founder of SO&U Limited, “the most valuable assets in your entrepreneurial journey is the power of your ideas and your passion to drive the ideas to success.” 

Using practical examples, and drawing on his experience, he stressed that having the right skills and passion for excellence could be the difference between success and failure, no matter how financially well-resourced you are.

He further stressed that for any business to grow, the entrepreneur must grow himself, in terms of skills, experience, managerial capacity and network. A big obstacle to growth was a high sense of comfort with the present, he added.

Speaking further, he said entrepreneurs must be prepared to constantly challenge themselves and pull out any sense of comfort with the status quo. 

“Each new day must be seen as an opportunity to push the envelope further,” he added.

On relationship building, Ufot stated that, “some of the most successful people are superb relationship builders and managers. 

“It is relationships that provide the opportunity to use skills to create value”. He went on to give the analogy in soccer of a great striker who is never passed the ball by his team mates.

He further advised the young entrepreneurs not to dwell unduly on errors committed, but to quietly analyse them, asking themselves questions as to what they did wrong that led to the bad situation. 

“If they can find the right answers as to how they got into the bad spot, it will be the first step to solutions for getting out of the problem,” he said.

In his closing remarks, the Founder, Ausso Leadership Academy, Austin Okere, expressed appreciation to Ufot for honouring the invitation to share business tips with the young entrepreneurs. 

Groups Empower Entrepreneurs 

Orange Corners Nigeria recently celebrated the start of its first six-month incubation programme for Nigerian entrepreneurs in Lagos. 

The programme provided 20 talented young innovators with training and mentorship as well as access to facilities, networks and supply-chains, to start and grow their company. 

Orange Corners Nigeria is an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands executed by local entrepreneurship platform FATE Foundation and in partnership with local and international companies including Nigerian Breweries Limited and BE Networks.

According to a statement, Orange Corners are platforms for job creation and socio-economic growth across Africa and the Middle East that support aspiring young entrepreneurs in building sustainable and scalable business models for their innovative ideas. 

It revealed that Nigeria was the sixth country in the region to host the programme, following South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Morocco and Sudan. 

“During 2019, new programmes are also expected to launch in – amongst other countries – Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Iraq, Algeria, Ghana, DR Congo, the Sahel region and Egypt. 

“Entrepreneurs from these different hubs will have the chance to exchange knowledge and experiences and explore opportunities and synergies together through an exchange programme to be launched in 2020,” the statement added.

It quoted the Deputy Ambassador of The Netherlands to Nigeria and Head of the Dutch Embassy in Lagos, Michel Deelen, to have said, “If I had to qualify Nigeria with just one single word, I would say ‘entrepreneurial,’ as I am convinced that there is no other place in Africa where you have such a great concentration of young creatives minds ready to conquer the business world!”

Commenting about the programme,  an Executive Director at FATE Foundation, Adenike Adeyemi, said ‘’The energy coming from the bootcamp was electrifying and we look forward to working with other partners in the ecosystem to provide business incubation support for the 20 selected entrepreneurs over the next 6 months.”

The formal incubation programme would start on tomorrow, at the Orange Corners workspace at FATE Foundation in Lagos.