The Trepmakers taught about 600 students at the ECWA Theological Seminary in Kagoro, Nigeria on December 14 to December 16. There were some initial concerns of a low turnout because the students had just finished their semester and were already in their Spring break but students and businessmen from all over the area came in to learn about starting their own business.
John Frykenberg and Raoul Pascual took turns in explaining the concept that people do not have to look for a job; instead, they can create a job. In a population where over 50% is unemployed, this new concept has a huge potential to help the local economy.
Students were given examples of how big businesses started. They learned that everything started small. Every business started from a need or a problem and then someone offering a solution and getting paid for it. They were taught the importance of having a business plan to keep track of their finances; the importance of team work where there needs to be a visionary, a manager, a finance expert and a sales person.
Free manuals and free lunch were provided to the crowd courtesy of our generous sponsors. Several local business owners participated. There was April who owned a lumber (mahogany) business who sought advice about improving her quality and diversifying. There was a printer named Femi, Samuel who started several small ventures; Another Femi who started a healthy “Finger Millet” factory; John Bosco who has a carpentry business; Still another “Femi” who is a journalist; It was a good mix of businessmen at different stages of their careers.
Special thanks go to Rev. Associate Professor Sunday Agang who spearheaded this activity. The challenge to hold this event in his institution came only a week prior. Another university was scheduled to hold this “Making a Job” seminar but they had to cancel due to some local unrest caused by the untimely death of the local “Oni.” Provost Sunday did a superhuman task of spreading the news, preparing the facilities and gathering his staff to prepare for anything. By the positive feedback of the participants, it was apparent that all his hard work was worth it.
There is already talk of starting a “Trep Club” that will meet on a regular basis. The provost has already approved the concept and directed some of his staff (Dennis Shelly and Micah) to head the team.
Although the seminar is over, the Trepmakers are committed to keeping the communication lines open. In a few days, this website will create a forum for the Kagoro residents to share their thoughts to the world. Maybe you who are reading this will be interested in some of the business ideas or have a business proposition of your own.