On the 27th October 2017, Imo, Nigeria‟s Eastern Heartland played host to the second edition of the Pan-African Spark Business Conference (Regional series). The theme for this edition was “Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Panacea for Africa’s Economic Revolution”
Brief History: The Pan African Spark, organizers of the event was founded in late 2015 by Mr. Godson Ogumka, Stanley Agu and Prince Uruakpa.
The institution, possibly the first of its kind in Africa uses a multi-pronged approach to cater for the needs of the young entrepreneur. This is because it not only teaches and encourages the would-be entrepreneur in the basics of entrepreneurship; its hub section also nurtures and supports ideas and dreams of young minds, teaches them leadership skils and acts as a platform for the best ideas to meet with investors and venture capitalists. It also provides a life-long mentoring service through its volunteering scheme.
It was not all surprising therefore that the PAS conference was filled with young people from all walks of life and seasoned and passionate entrepreneurs who saw this as a way to give back to the community. The second stanza of the National Anthem was used as the opening prayer; a way of paying homage to the forthcoming Independence Day celebrations. The event
Kicked off with an interactive session on „‟Digital Skills Training anchored by Stanley Agu & Jubilant Nwachukwu where there were an exhaustive discussion on the subject of digital skills, how it is important leverage opportunities of digital technology to springboard whatever business they are into. There were cross breeding of ideas on the discourse and participants was excited knowing that a lot more can be with smart phones and PC‟s beyond using for social media.
The concept of entrepreneurship was also discussed and the many innovative ways to make your business standout using digital tools and methods. There were questions and answers after the discussion and the audience was introduced to link to take Google online courses that will improve their knowledge on digital skills. Networking session. were given the opportunity to share their Expectations by showing up to the event and what they hoped to have gained by the end of it. They were also asked to mention some of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in general regardless of the state of the economy. Answers include: lack of steady power, high cost of production, difficulty in securing a sizable amount of funding and lack of consumer confidence when asked to pay for quality products. This warm-up session then broke up for a coffee break and
Up next was the profiling of guests speakers and the topics they will be discussing on as facilitated by Prince Uruakpa. He also educated the audience on the mission, vision and objectives of Pan-African Spark and how they can benefit from our services.
This was then followed by Advanced Digital Skils Training which was handled by Mr. Tayo Olosunde, the president and founder of MindTheGap Nigeria and Youthnomics. His focus was on migrating Africa to the Digital Economy. He went into details about the various social media platforms in existence, how to master the usage and optimize its provisions for business growth to drive success how eversmal. Participants were provided withe-certificates of participation by Google at the end of the training.
This followed by a lecture by Pst Anny Ikebudu on “Money Academy & Wetin You Carry” He revealed to the audience that everyone has a product and as a start-up using unconventional and irregular methods for marketing will not just be cost effective but is the game changer for any start up and small business holder to thrive fast in the competitive environment. Pst Anny Ikebudu is the Resident Pastor; House on The Rock Aba City Church, He is the President – MindPower Ledership Academy. He is author to many books including; Money Academy nuggets, Love not enough, who stole my wedding ring. He is the progenitor to wetin you carry, a radio drama series on entrepreneurship.
Up next was, Kyari Abba Bukar; the chairman of Nigerian Economic summit Group who gave his conversation through skype. He spoke on the topic; Todays Entrepreneur in a diversifying economy. He elaborated on the various income streams available in the Nigerian landscape and how entrepreneurs and start-ups
can leverage the vast natural and socio-cultural resources to make appropriate diversification to thrive in this economic downtimes.
Furthermore, we were privileged to have Dr. Chinenye Nyerere Anyim, Chairman Nig. Pension Commission and secretary and trustee Rochas Foundaton. He exhaustively delivered a lecture on “Economic Diversification and Harnessing Business Investment”. Here, the speaker made it known to the audience that they have to look beyond the oil sector for sustenance and economic development. He went further to state their urgent need for diversification of the economy particularly in the solid minerals, power, agricultural, manufacturing, and gas sectors.
To end the lecture sessions was Chief Innoson Ifediaso Chukwuma ably represented by Mr. cornel Osuigwe, who talked on “Advancing Technology and Todays Entrepreneur” He narrated the success story of innoson, how his consistency and doggedness has stood him out over time. Innoson, out of his bid for excellence and to always beat competition, he has revolutionized the automobile industry in Nigeria by his touch of excellence in his assemblage plant. He revealed to us more giant he wish to undertake in the nearest future.
We had as panelist, Tayo Olosunde – MintheGap, Cornel Osigwe – Innoson Motors, Kyari Abba Bukar – NESG. The discussion was central on supporting entrepreneurship within the region via providing enabling environment, leveraging innovation, information sharing and funding for startups and for scale up.
It was indeed a resounding success as participants keyed into the abundance of knowledge and resources on that day and how ever powerful this may seem, it is only starting point of what Pan-Africa Spark hopes to do achieve not just in Nigeria, but in Africa as a whole. On that note, I enjoin you to strive to be
Part of the next PAS conference scheduled to hold in the first quarter of the coming year and until then you can stay in touch with us for news and other important updates.
In line with the success of the immediate past Pan-African Spark Conference in Abia
State we are taking the conference and career trainings to Campuses and the Southern States. We have also agreed to effectively introduce DIGITAL SKILLS TRAINING as a key component of our curriculum which also has Entrepreneurship and Career Development as a major feature. Optimizing Digital Skills is undeniably paramount for both and we are excited to work with MindTheGap Nigeria to fulfill this dream of onboarding the youth to joining this Digital Republic.
In line with the success of the immediate past Pan-African Spark Conference in Abia State we are taking the conference and career trainings to Campuses and the Southern States. We have also agreed to effectively introduce DIGITAL SKILLS TRAINING as a key component to four curriculums which also has Entrepreneurship and Career Development as a major feature. Optimizing Digital Skills is undeniably paramount for both and we are excited to work with MindTheGap Nigeria to fulfill this dream of onboarding the youth to joining this Digital Republic.