Fate Foundation graduates 114 new entrepreneurs
The energy in the room was bubbly, positively infectious; it spoke of courage, tenacity, of verdant hopes tethered to a determination to brave every odd. This was the feeling at the Fate Foundation’s annual celebration for the 2017 graduates of its entrepreneurship programmes.
In the 2017 edition, a total of 114 participants graduated from different training programmes conducted by the organisation. FATE Foundation is a private sector-led non-for-profit organization founded in 2000 by Fola Adeola with the mission to foster wealth creation by promoting business and entrepreneurial development among Nigerians.
Austin Okere, the founder, CWG Plc, who gave the keynote address titled the Future of Entrepreneurship, counselled the graduates to dream big and aspire to great heights but also to be mindful of challenges on the way.
Okere, an Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Business School, drew from his own experiences running a business for over two decades, when he told the successful participants that the road would be rough and bumpy and they would be tempted to give up but they needed to dispel all forms of fear.
“I will leave you with 3 principles that have guided me all these years. I call them the 3 Ws of Life. These are the ‘Way Power’ which is getting the know-how just as you have done today. The ‘Will Power’ has to do with the attitude that will keep you going even at the hard times. And, the ‘Wait Power’ has to do with patience (something that is not common with Nigerians. There is a waiting period for every planted seed to grow. You must learn to wait for your time.”
Speaking to BusinessDay after the event, Okere said that it was important that these small businesses succeed because they represent Nigeria’s hope to grow jobs and drive the economy.
Unemployment rate rose to 14.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 from 10.4 percent in 2015, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, underscoring the need to grow jobs.
Fola Adeola, a former managing director of Guranty Trust Bank who is chairman of the foundation encouraged the graduates to anticipate a bumpy ride on their journey but emphasised that the key is to always pick themselves up whenever they fall and keep running towards the goal.
Vivian Ihaza, who graduated from the Aspiring Entrepreneurs Progamme and also gave the valedictory speech, told BusinesDay that the programme has been beneficial, equipping her skills with manage her communications business in terms of time management, negotiation and business management.
Since the year 2000, FATE Foundation has assisted entrepreneurs across Africa to grow, by offering access to sound entrepreneurial learning, invaluable connections to like-minded peers, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make entrepreneurship very rewarding.
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