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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Opportunitiesforyouths.com - Ademulegun Olowojoba #inthespiritofenterprise



Tell us about yourself

My name is Ademulegun Olowojoba, A Recruitment Consultant and Social Entrepreneur. I'm a native of Nigeria and a citizen of the world. I was originally trained as a Mining Engineer from The Federal University of Technology, Akure. I have a philosophy that regardless of your social or economic status, there's a solution lying deep on the inside of everyone.

Tell us about your business

Currently, I lead the team at opportunitiesforyouths.com, we post information about internships, scholarships, fellowships, grants, contests, and other emerging global opportunities for youths from all over the world.

It's a social venture and what we do is to create sustainable youth related solutions with a specific focus on Education, Unemployment and Economic Empowerment. Apart from our job fairs and employability trainings, we currently have 2 mobile apps in the google playstore: The Scholarships Finder Mobile App and The Nigeria Jobs Finder Mobile App. The former help connects youths from around the world with undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities, while the latter connect young Nigerians with job opportunities.

It was founded out of a passion to help youths especially from developing nations to access more opportunities.

What was your inspiration for starting this business?

I have always had this passion of connecting people with opportunities like jobs, internships, scholarships and other life changing opportunities which developed into a habit and I also had a very strong passion for youth development so I was looking for an uncommon model that would enable me combine these three things in a way that was sustainable and scalable. So a web developer friend of mine advised me to start a job board but I didn't want to go that route as I felt I would be lost in what was an already crowded industry in Nigeria so after a a while I thought of the idea of starting opportunitiiesforyouths.com which was going to be first among a series of innovative youth solutions that I plan deploying, shortly after I started ivolunteernaija.com, Scholarships Finder Mobile App and Nigeria Jobs Finder App.

Basically It's that urge to proffer sustainable solutions to social issues like Education and Unemployment that motivates me. The death of my late boss, Kunle Olaifa who happened to be a change maker across Africa and the globe was also a major occurrence that spurred me into action when I did.



How did you get funding for your business?

I run on personal funds till date. Due to the fact that it's a social venture and it usually takes some time to attract funding and profit.

What opportunities have you been able to leverage on in your business so far?

Until recently, I haven't applied for a lot of opportunities as I felt I needed to get it right first by putting in place proper structure and culture so that I wouldn't blow the opportunities when they show up.

Though, I was recently selected as a Fellow of The Project Social Impact Institute in Masachusetts, USA and I expect a couple of others to follow before the year ends.

What Challenges have you faced so far and how have you been able to overcome them?

Just like a lot of startups in this part of the world, raising funds has been a huge challenge and the only way I have dealt with this till date is to use personal funds.

Getting passionate team members has also been a challenge. It's been tough getting committed team members who are deeply passionate about what we do - proffering practical solutions to social problems. The only way we have been able to overcome that is by sticking to our standard and not compromising, meaning we have a very lean team.

Also combining this with my paid job since it hasn't grown enough to employ the team members on a full time basis has been tough and the only way we have been able to overcome this is to work extra hard and just be ruthless in our executions. It's as if I am working two jobs, one during the day and the other at night.

How will you summarize the journey so far?

Tough, Interesting, fun and faith filled.
I wake up on certain days and feel so excited about my journey and I also wake up some days and feel so discouraged about the whole thing but its been an interesting journey. It takes a lot of faith to carry on at times but i'm enjoying every bit of it.

Given the Chance, will you do this again?

A resounding yes, though I would do a lot of things taking a different approach and i would start earlier.

What lessons have you been able to learn from your journey so far that others should know.

Failure is never final, the failures of today is a lesson for tomorrow. Learn from failure and get up fast.

Passion is good but sustainability is also very good if you would go far.

Surround yourself with people who are already where you desire to be and get as much details of the way they live their lives including the movies they watch, the places they hangout and the people they follow on social media. It could serve as a huge leverage.

Entrepreneurship is very vital for Economic Growth. Once must at least have an entrepreneurial mindset.

How can people connect with you?

opportunitiesforyouths.com
Twitter - @adeolowojoba
Facebook: Ademulegun Olowojoba
Email: olowojobade@yahoo.com