For Those About to Enter the Job Market: The Future Awards Hosts Fourth National Enterprise Conference
Thousands of young Nigerians gathered on Saturday, January 26, 2012, to participate in the fourth edition of The Future National Enterprise Conference (formerly ‘The Do SomethingPre-Awards Conference). The event held at the Main Auditorium of the University of Lagos, Yaba.
An inspiring mix of celebrities, high-profile young professionals, and career veterans were present to interact with the attentive audience, as they shared their knowledge, experiences and gave advice on entering and surviving the workforce.
Targeted primarily at high school, undergraduate, and graduate students; current National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) members; as well as young adults currently in the job market, the programme was titled, ‘Our Generation Needs to Get to Work’. It was a forum for young people who are about to enter the job market to interact with professionals from a wide variety of industries — IT, journalism, medicine, entertainment, and more. The diversity of mentors spanned several key growth sectors in Nigeria; from the chief executive of television production company Inspire Africa, Mo Abudu, to an executive director with Nestlé, Iquo Ukoh.
Some speakers at the event were: Kola Oyeniyin from Venia Hub; Otto Orondaam of SLUM2School Project; actresses Stephanie Linus and Rita Domnic; cinematic director Kunle Afolayan; Ugochukwu Nwosu of Microsoft; Ola Orekunrin of Flying Doctors; Jason Njoku of Iroko TV, photographer Bayo Omoboriowo, Akintunde Oyebode who is Head of SME banking at Stanbic IBTC, Idiare Itimomo of Etisalat, TV journalist Adaure Achumba, writer and PR professional Toni Kan, advertising wiz Steve Babaeko, and designer Bridget Awosika. Also speaking was investigative journalist Idris Akinbajo, who was The Future Awards Young Person of the Year 2012.
The event was anchored by magazine editor and fashion designer Mai Atafo, alongside radio presenter Cynthia Kamalu.
It was a lively and highly interactive event, with participants on both sides of the stage and introduced the new format of the event.
The speakers had plenty of insights to offer to the students, and many of them passed on key life-lessons they had obtained as they struggled to attain their dreams.
“At 25 I was talking business when my mates were speaking English,” Kola Oyeneyin told the audience.
“If you want to be anything tomorrow, work for someone for a year,” said Toni Kan.
Mo Abudu emphasised determination: “If you want to succeed, a lot of passion and obsession is involved and each time someone says no to you, someone else is about to say yes.”
“I am extremely proud of what we accomplished here,” said Chude Jideonwo, executive director for The Future Project. “This, is what The Future Project is all about; helping to shape the future of this country by creating platforms that assist the youth in the building of capacity, the opening up of opportunities and the driving of enterprise. For Nigeria to be transformed, our youth need to get to work.”
The event also featured the launch of The Future Enterprise Support Scheme (TFESS) website, www.tfess.com, a jobs and opportunities app/online community designed and predicated on assisting young Africans as they enter the workforce; providing information, skills enhancement, a community platform on the internet. With video tutorials, inspiring content, job-skill acquisition assistance and more, the website anchors The Future Project’s mission to build enterprise.
The Future Awards, flagship programme of The Future Project launched Season 8 at the event – with town halls meetings now to be held across the country leading to the grand televised event in August.
The event was presented by The Future Project in conjunction with BlackBerry, Etisalat and the Start-Up Hub. Media support came from Silverbird, Channels TV, Cool FM, TV Continental, 360Nobs.com, BellaNaija.com, NigeriaNewsDesk and the Linda Ikeji Blog. The official media partner was Y!/YNaija.com.