• Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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‘The industries today have gone beyond what our curriculum can handle’

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David Lanre Mesan an idea strategist and director Infinite Impact in this chat with KELECHI EWUZIE x-rays the challenges of human capacity, massive youth unemployment and how a well structured plan can help address these issues. Excerpt.

Unemployment issue in Nigeria

The problem of unemployment is an issue we as a country cannot run away from. It has been a major challenge. A lot of people think unemployment is out there because of government lack of in consistencies and a lot of people think that young people are unemployable. The country has a lot of young people who have ideas but lack the require capital to pursue their ideas. We equally have a situation where we have young people who have skills at a very basic level but don’t have a system that supports them to professionalise these skills from a potential level. Young people have talents, but they don’t have an enabling environment to help them thrive and develop their talents.

As an ideas company, we are addressing the issue of unemployment from two basic angles. From the point of turning potentials into financial substance by so doing making the youth financial inclusive by providing them with income earning opportunities knowing that if we provide them with income learning opportunities, they would be able to raise some funds to development themselves, advance their education pursuit and nurture their dreams into a more standard and desired level that can further boost their self employment prospect in life.

We have so far worked with young people to set up their businesses and these small businesses have been able to employ other youths. The ripple effect of this development would trigger growth at all levels by providing employment for teaming youths in the country.

About Infinite Impact Limited

Infinite Impact Limited is an idea port folio management company that focuses on helping solve the unemployment surge we have in Nigeria and indeed Africa.

We are out to help develop SMEs by providing strategies and idea that actually help the SMEs strive. We also do idea banking where we work with people who are currently in paid employment but desire to have alternate source of income for themselves.

This also applies to Nigeria resident abroad who would like to relocate to the country but are looking for where to invest their hard earn currency in the local market in Nigeria. We develop ideas for them and help take these ideas to a thriving market.  Aside from developing this idea, we look at product design,  market research in branding and other essentials to see that the product eventually get into the market.

We also do capital support where we tend to raise funds for small businesses from start up business to existing business and we have being able to raise one million dollars so far for the businesses that we have been working with over the years.

As a company, we are not just out there to make profit, we are out to address the real problem faced by real people and that is why we are looking at young people as our focal point. We want to help them reconceptualise their ideas, then commercialise these ideas by helping them build process that would further help them actualise these ideas by so doing turn it into a money earning opportunity for them.

In Nigeria today, we discovered that when young people run businesses, it seems very unlikely that they would succeed at it because there appears to be some level of forces that control the market system which tends to hamper the growth of new comers into the market space.

Infinite Impact limited is the first organisation that came up with a hub system, today hubs are rampant everywhere but we were the first organisation that had a hub which provided young people a place to express their creativity and earn income.

Another innovation we have is the idea banking solution where we provide an alternative source of income for people who are in paid employment without them physically being present to run their business.

We help them develop their idea away from their work so that they just focus on their work while we help them run their ideas which have been turned into a business. Through this process, we have been able to deal with the issue of the working poor.

What we are trying to achieve with idea banking is we want people to look beyond what they earn today. We discover that employees though earning income also have venture ideas but because of time constraint a lot of them have gone into retirement with these venture ideas.

People who are gainfully employed are the ones that drive the consumer market owing to their spending power. So through the idea banking platform we want to see how they can create enterprises for themselves.

Through this idea banking they can work with us because as an idea portfolios Management Company, where we help them structure their ideas. Our targeted clients are mid level managers or executives who see this as a second option. We work with them through several processes to ensure the businesses thrive but at their own pace.

Innovation to tackle youth unemployment

We will soon be launching an innovative card known are Yaggy energy card, a card that bring young people together on a common platform and sell to them products at discount that would enable them as entrepreneurs to sell their own product to a market that is already available for them. The way we are structuring Yaggy, after the young people have gotten all the support they need to set up their business, there is a market already that is going to be their first point of sell for them.

By doing this, we are trying to turn potential into professional substance and to see how we can make young people become more financially inclusive by providing them the opportunity they need to earn income. This is one of the ways we intend to approach the unemployment scourge in the country.

Yaggy is a platform that enables youth to learn a skill, shop, save and start their enterprise and earn income.

Your take on skills gap

The issue of skill gap is a reoccurring decimal today. I realise that as a people, we are not very realistic. As stakeholders from various sectors of the economy, we should be realistic about trends that are going on around the globe in terms of business and careers.

Whenever CEOs and employers complain about the issue of skill gap among graduates, the first to ask is why are there skills gap among graduates? I would say that while developed economies have experienced a lot of transformation in term of technological innovations and scientific progress recorded, Africa and indeed Nigeria is still playing catch up. There will always be a skill gap when we continue to look out to the western world for emulation, taking what they have already done and trying to fit it into our system.

Nigeria industries need to be realistic about the issue of skills gap and develop processes to train and develop human capital in such areas to address this issue of skills gap.

We are going to be doing a lot of collaborative partnership with corporate organisations because I believe we should do less of complaining and more of action

Yes we realise that there is a skill gap, what are organisations doing about it? The issue of skills gap would always be there because we are playing catch up and our curriculum is kind of behind. The industries today have gone beyond what our curriculum can handle.

Prospect

There are plans to get the NYSC involved in our youth targeted platform. To date the NYSC is already doing a good job in trying to empower corp members. We are looking at a process where we can have a shared economy, looking at how we can grow together create partnership that would empower these young people with funding.

So we are actually going to partner with NYCS to ensure that the advantages that we have as a company extends our market.

KELECHI EWUZIE