Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, Nigeria’s leading end-to-end financial services organisation, held the 2021 edition of its Youth Leadership Series (YLS) on Thursday, 08 April 2021. The event held virtually this year due to the pandemic. Youths from across Nigeria and various parts of the world including the UK, USA, and UAE were in attendance.
Dr. Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, delivered the opening address. He stated that the YLS was birthed as an avenue to engage and empower young Nigerians into becoming future business leaders. He pointed that the youth made up over 50 percent of Nigeria’s population. Sogunle asserted that the organisation remained committed to the vision of grooming young Nigerians and providing guidance in order to become successful in every sphere of life.
He said, “The Nigerian youth require support, guidance, and empowerment to propel them to the pinnacle of their various fields. The innovative projects and tech disruptions championed by the youth in virtually every sector are proof of their ingenuity, skill, brilliance, and resourcefulness. At Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, we believe in breaking boundaries, hence our tagline, IT CAN BE, which is hinged upon the premise that everything is possible as long as we are dedicated and put in the requisite effort to make it work.”
The 2021 edition of YLS was themed ‘WINNING’ and had an array of well-versed speakers in the areas of trading and investments, building businesses, and monetizing with social media. These speakers shared their invaluable entrepreneurial experiences, challenges and success stories in three (3) breakout sessions, much to the delight and admiration of the youthful audience in attendance.
Debo Adebayo; an entertainer better known as Mr. Macaroni, spoke during the ‘Winning with Social Media’ breakout session. He said his passion and urge to succeed propelled him into the business of entertainment. He added that having realized he wanted more visibility; he invested in himself from his meager resources.
He advised youths to be passionate about their cause and added that with passion, resilience could be sustained in the face of debilitating challenges.
Ms. Ifedayo Agoro, the founder of Diary of a Naija Girl (DANG), an online lifestyle website, revealed that the need to be heard and give women a voice made her leave a thriving career in the oil and gas industry and started her online community. She noted that although she did well in her career, she was unhappy until she found fulfillment with DANG.
She said the first six months were not encouraging as many people didn’t really understand her vision, but she kept at it. “Winning doesn’t only involve consistency, it also involves constantly adapting to change”, she added.
At the ‘Winning with Entrepreneurship’ breakout session, the duo of Olumide Soyombo, co-Founder, Bluechip Technologies, and Tracy Batta, co-Founder, Smoothie Express addressed business strategic moves, that included the rudiments of nurturing businesses. The panelists shared their experiences and entrepreneurship journeys with the participants.
Soyombo alluded that it was common to encounter challenges and uncertainty with business start-ups and advised entrepreneurs to remain flexible and well adapted to the ever-changing business climate.
On ‘Winning with Investments’, Akin Bamidele Akintola, Head of Equity Sales, Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers, emphasised the need to make adequate preparations for the future. He explained that it was better to save in investments such as stocks and mutual funds, as the economy was largely unpredictable.
Co-founder of Bamboo Invest, an investment platform that allows Nigerians to invest in United States stocks, Yanmo Omorogbe said her major challenge was getting funding and investors before the pandemic. She advised people to believe in themselves, improve pitching skills and be persistent. She also stated that when entering any investment business, it was important to know the regulators.
As Wole Adeniyi, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, gave his closing remarks, he assured thousands of the participants at the event that Stanbic IBTC would continue to make productive investments in the lives of the younger generation, as well as providing the needed financial solutions that would help them achieve their dreams.
The general takeaway from this year’s YLS was that consistency, passion, self-development and value-addition remained essential ingredients for winning.