25 Apr From Job Hunting to Job Creation – The Story of Toyosi Oyebolu
After graduating with a good grade and submitting tons of CVs, young graduate, Toyosi never made it past the interview stage and the feeling of self doubt began to creep in. Toyosi is the firstborn in a family of 7 and we all can relate with the enormous responsibilities firstborns bear. Her parents had such high hopes!
There are about 27 Million Nigerians who have similar stories like Her’s. That’s an unemployment rate of about 25%, and youth unemployment constitutes about 60%. Every year, about 200,000 students graduate from universities, but many fail to find a job, and some end up seeking out less-than- honourable means of supporting themselves.
That’s not all, Nigeria’s population is projected to hit 450 million people in 30 years time; a huge population can be either an asset or liability depending on if it is properly harnessed.
The answer to this is to build the capacities of smart youths like Toyosi to become employers of labour. In March 2018, Growing Businesses Foundation, in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI), facilitated 2 training sessions for serving National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Delta State.
The project is called the Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF), funded by the Bank of Industry and has trained over 1,923 youth corps members across the country. Interest free loans of about 456 Million naira has been given disbursed to 464 entrepreneurs
After attending the 4- day extensive training, Toyosi and 75 other entrepreneurs so far, have applied the techniques that were taught and they have been able to build businesses that solve specific problems. 21 out of the 75 entrepreneurs have scaled their business operations to employ more people, repay the loan, generate revenue and make profits.
Toyosi, in particular, now owns a restaurant and an event management business. She has moved from being just a graduate hustling for jobs, to feeding thousands of satisfied customers monthly. She also provides an opportunity for other young graduates to earn a living through events planning and management.
Toyosi is just one of the many other entrepreneurs who have benefited immensely from the GEF project, facilitated by Growing Businesses Foundation and funded by BOI.
In Toyosi’s Words
“The training was simply amazing. In fact, the best I have ever attended. It has exposed me to series of business strategies, skills and ideas that I had no clue of until the training. My business is now doing terrific because I leveraged on this experience: from customer relationship, marketing strategy, business model just to mention but few. Thank you very much for the knowledge passed down to me”.
About Growing Businesses Foundation
Growing Businesses Foundation was established in 1999 and has positioned itself as Nigeria’s leading platform providing capacity building, access to markets and access to finance to people at the bottom of the economic pyramid (BOP) as a means to work their way out of poverty.
Over the past 18 years, we have been partnering with local institutions, corporate organizations and rural financial intermediaries to execute projects that have impacted the lives of over 2 million Nigerians. Our operations so far span more than 2300 communities across 36 states in Nigeria. Because of our work, more than 200,000 micro-entrepreneurs have received technical assistance and capacity development and our investment portfolio exceeds N2Billion.