• Thursday, December 07, 2023
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Testing the waters of entrepreneurship as a youth


It is no longer news that thousands of fresh Nigerian graduates have just been discharged into the saturated unemployment market; a menace that has become more or less like a quarterly ritual after such graduates have completed the mandatory youth service (NYSC) scheme.

What could be the news is that among them, we have found few who have been able to tow the line of entrepreneurship, even before completing their mandatory one-year NYSC service. Bolaji Junaid, a recently discharged corps member from Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, is one of such new entrepreneurs. Today, he is the young CEO of Just Passion Concepts, a creativity company he has done well to simultaneously manage with his studies in the last thirteen (13) years.

This is an expose to share his experience on how he was able to manage and secure a degree, run an enterprise and also live a life of service in the years in view.

This creative young businessman had his early education at Dee Unique Schools, Ipaja, before he proceeded to Anwarul- Islam Model College, Agege for his high school education. It was while in this school that he discovered his natural talent (passion) of drawing, painting and arts in general. In the year 2000, he enrolled for skills acquisition training with a nearby artist. The ‘magic year’ as he fondly calls it, coincidentally witnessed the NUT a nationwide strike, which gave him more time to learn.

On resumption with his new knowledge of arts, he couldn’t wait to explore the school environment. His schoolmates became his clients almost instantly, while the staff couldn’t later resist his creative prowess.

Interestingly, he didn’t allow this new found enterprise affect his academics, as he made sure he studied hard during the day and concentrate on his art enterprise at nights, a time when his other colleagues were sleeping. This really worked for him, as his grades turned out impressive, which earned him the portfolio of a Library Prefect in his final year and he later successfully passed his WASSCE.

He later secured admission to study Business Administration in Lagos State University. Though in a new environment entirely, he didn’t forget his “SWOT- Night & Day Magic”. This saw him through his university days. Though quite challenging, with his belief in God’s grace, a few mentors and the right friends, he finished strong. Also, during this period, he toured all relevant media houses, dedicated a new two-room office and production facility on his 21st birthday and in his coffers are several awards.

Now fondly called a CEO, aided by a few of his friends, he founded a social student enterprise in 2011, in order to promote purposeful students’ leadership and entrepreneurship. This effort earned him an award of recognition as one of the Eleven Most Influential Persons in LASU.

He has trained and mentored several young individuals; a passionate commitment he’s made towards eradicating the plague of unemployment in his own little way.