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JAN seeks partnerships to reach 1m youths by 2020

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Winners of Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) National Company of the Year, Innovative Minds Company from Caro Favoured College, Ajegunle, Lagos State, display their product, programmable DOT Matrix LED display system, during a courtesy visit to Rutam House, the corporate headquarters of The Guardian.

Winners of Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) National Company of the Year, Innovative Minds Company from Caro Favoured College, Ajegunle, Lagos State, display their product, programmable DOT Matrix LED display system, during a courtesy visit to Rutam House, the corporate headquarters of The Guardian.

Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN), a non-governmental organisation, committed to providing economic education to young people is seeking partnerships with corporate entities, and public-spirited individuals, in its bid to reach and impact one million youths by 2020.

This is as the winning National Company of the Year (NCOY), Innovative Minds Company, from Caro Favoured College, Ajegunle, Lagos State, have lauded the group for its programmes, which they say have the capacity to equip students with entrepreneurial skills, as well as, prepare them for the world of work.

Manager, Marketing and Communications, JAN, Tobe Ifeanyi, who led the NCOY, on a courtesy visit to Rutam House, corporate home of The Guardian, said even though the organisation is gradually achieving its set objectives, a lot of untapped talent abound in the country.

She explains that the JAN company programme teaches young people to be self-sufficient by exposing them to the rudiments of starting, and running their business successfully.

She said, “The average Nigerian youth is full of untapped potentials, what we need to do is to identify these young people and help them discover their innate ability. JAN’s goal is to impact one million youths by 2020, with the right partnerships, in-kind support, through private individuals and organisations, we can definitely meet and exceed this goals.”

Innovative Minds Company recently secured a ticket to represent Nigeria in JA Africa Company of the Year competition, slated for Zimbabwe, between December 7th and 9th, with their product, a programmable DOT Matrix LED display system.

President of the firm, Dikko Bright, explained that the programmable digital display system, which also has a secondary power supply device, was created to enable small and medium business owners advertise their products and services in an affordable and classy style.

The product sold for N32, 000, he said, comes with a smart remote control that enables the owner to change the display message, as often as they deem necessary, without engaging the services of relevant professionals.

He said the product, which is already selling within their host Ajegunle community, would be of immense benefit to both small and medium entrepreneurs, as it is an affordable means of advertising their products.

Recalling their trip to winning the NCOY contest, he said, “Actually we were 32-company members, from where 10 executives were selected. But when some members started withdrawing, I was discouraged. We wanted to embark on bead making or craftwork, but our teacher Mr. Sunday Ojeleye, and JAN volunteer, Kelechi Igwe, an engineer advised us to do something innovative; something that would synchronise with the company’s nomenclature. They challenged us to task our brain, and that was how we started.”

He said the company in addition to selling shares, manufactured and sold black polish to students, teachers and parents to raise startup funds for the project.

“We first created a prototype of this product and visited mini shops in our locality, to show and demonstrate to shop owners, what our product is all about. We researched and bargained its acceptability and affordability and that was how we started producing,” managing director of the firm, Virginia Athanesius.

She continued, “The first one we did used electricity as its only source of power, but considering the regular power outage in the country, we decided to create a secondary power supply, which will be attached to our product, so that even if there is power outage, it will continue to work. For us to cover both our new and existing customers, we came up with a new strategy. For our existing customers we gave them the new power device, retrieve the old one and they paid the difference in price.

“As part of our corporate social responsibility, we reach out to small entrepreneurs in their business centres, and we help them advertise their products for a day. In the course of the advertisement, they started demanding for our product. We also go to schools within our locality to teach students about global dignity day and also showcase our product as a way of encouraging them to be innovative.”

Also commending JAN for bringing the young entrepreneurs initiative into the country, Head, Human Resources, Ogechi Amadi, and Head of Account, Ifediora Chiamaka, noted that the programme has helped them identify their inner strengths and capabilities, particularly now that there is high rate of unemployment in our country.

Director of Caro Favoured Colleges, Ughamadu Ebuka, expressed optimism that the Nigerian team would win the African contest, having participated in the Nigerian event on three occasions before winning in the fourth outing.


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