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Thursday, August 29, 2013

She Stopped Looking for a Job and Started Her Own Small Business

I am confused and frustrated! The Government has to do something about this unemployment issue! For the past 5 years, I have been looking for a job; I spend 3 hours daily in the cyber cafe sending my CV to companies; not even a phone call, a text message or even an email! I have given my CV to all my Uncles and friends; nobody is ready to help! I am 30 years of age and most of
the jobs available require not more than 26 years of age. This country is messed up! These are some of the complaints from a regular unemployed graduate. Let's face the fact, can everyone be employed? You already know the answer. In an interview with Labaran Maku, the Minister of Information of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the public sector can't employ all the graduates being churned out of the Universities; same also applies to the private sector. Unemployed graduates were advised cultivate the Entrepreneurial spirit to become employers of labor.

While thousands of Youths are out there complaining, some others have decided to start up something on their own. Meet this young lady who searched for a job in vain for one year and some months after her NYSC; she decided to going into catering and started up her own provision store thereafter.

Did I tell you she is my younger Sister?  Meet Chioma Agina Ogugua!

Picture of her Shop

Hi, my name is Chioma Agina Ogugua, I am a graduate of Business Administration from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State. I graduated in 2010 and rounded off with my NYSC in 2011. Really, life after school is not easy. You get faced with the harsh realities of life. I had hoped to get a job in Lagos immediately after my service year; I kept on sending my resume on the internet, sometimes I have had to bother my elder brother to help me send my resume to the email addresses of certain people who promised to help me get a job. After having waited till July 2012, I decided to use my little savings to enrol for a catering school which lasted about 2 months. Few weeks after I graduated, I got a small job to do a surprise cake for a friend's fiance; I did the job and got a N5,000 profit. This was the starting point, I started getting jobs through referrals and word of mouth. I started doing small chops, spring rolls, samosa, chin-chin etc. I took up jobs as an event planner as well, all these just came in as an ad-on to what I was doing. With the profit I made, I was able to purchase every other equipment I needed for my business.

In May 2013 after I got married, I decided to open a provision store. I didn't start asking for money initially; I had rented a shop with my money just for everyone to know I was serious about business. I had some savings left so I talked to my husband and I was able to raise startup for my business. Some of you might say it's easy because I have access to people to give me cash; you just have to set things in motion for every other thing to take place. Now I have a shop - Not a very big place though but I am okay for now but plan expanding in the nearest future. Business is not easy, but if you are tired of looking for a job like me; you better start something now no matter how small. It wasn't all smooth sailing oh! There are challenges involved in my business, sometimes it wears you out but what keeps me going is the thought that I run my own show and would be expanding in the next few years. It's my sweat going into my own business and not someone else's business. I will get there someday.

What do you want to do?

What you want to do from this point is entirely up to you! I understand some people's condition is worse than others. I imagine the situation of those from very poor homes whose parents managed to send them to school! YES, I can imagine; some people live in abject poverty without hope for even the next meal. For these set of people, their immediate need might be to look for a job that can give them their daily bread; it's well understood, but I need you to also know that many people have started to build a business in the same situation. Look around you, there are several small businesses for you to attach yourself as a trainee. It all depends on what you want interests you. I know this guy, I call him ' Hustler', he never had a shop, but he made money for himself. How? He was the guy always hanging around the shopping complex; he meets you at the gate and directs you to the shop where you have to make a purchase; he gets a commission for doing this. I knew him years back, he was shabbily dressed; I saw him some weeks back and the story had changed. He has a shop where he sells mobile phones and accessories and now lives comfortably at least.

Have you registered for the SURE-P? If not you can register here . It's a Government initiative to help train graduates with necessary skills for a period of one year, I learned they pay you a stipend during the course of the program; you can enrol why you gather the necessary skills and experience required for you to start up something. The internet is another good place to get jobs done and make some money. Some smart graduates and under graduates are secretly building their businesses around the internet trend by rendering specific services and making money. Do you know you can get paid for academic writing, content writing, graphic works etc. Freelance websites provide an avenue for professionals to hire and pay you for specialized services. Really, there is a lot to talk about.

I leave you till next time.

To your success,

Ikenna Victor Agina


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