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Leadership Through Innovation


Some undergraduates have been trained on how to use their innovation and free enterprise skills to change communities. It was at a leadership seminar organised by Enactus Nigeria at the Covenant University in Otta, Ogun State. JENNIFER UMEH (HND II Mass Communication, Federal Polytechnic, Offa) reports.

Students from various tertiary institutions converged on Covenant University (CU) in Otta, Ogun State to learn leadership skills at a five-day leadership training organised by Enactus – an international non-profit organisation promoting free enterprise among students.

The event with the theme: Achieving personal success through self leadership, was held from February 19 to 23, drawing participants from 32 tertiary institutions.

The goal of the training was to equip the participants with skills that would boost their abilities in project and financial management ahead of the 2018 Enactus national challenge where students from the participating institutions are expected to showcase their entrepreneurial projects.

According to the organiser, the training would enhance the students’ leadership ability and help them create strategic partnerships on common project.

In his opening remark, Enactus Country Director, Michael Ajayi, described Enactus as a platform for breeding future business leaders, adding that the organisation was established to mentor students and train them to be problem solvers. He said the trainees are taught how to leverage modern technology and innovation to impact lives in their immediate communities.

He said: “Enactus has become a veritable platform for transformation of lives. We equip students with all necessary business and leadership skills through a learning process. This exposes them to mentoring and creates opportunities for them to practically experience what the corporate world looks like, even as students.”

Facilitators and selected resource persons from diverse sectors engaged the participants on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), mentoring, financial management, research, monitoring and evaluation, innovation and technology and project ideation.

Some of the facilitators included LEAP Africa founder, Ndidi Nwuneli, a social entrepreneur and Mandela Washington Fellow, Grace Ihejiamaizu and pioneer Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic of the Covenant University, Prof A.A. Atayero, among others.

A session facilitated by Act Foundation, the event’s sponsor, had participants grouped into various teams with the aim of coming up with innovative ways of solving a SDG challenge of particular community in an entrepreneurial and environmentally-friendly manner.

The Enactus judging criteria were used in evaluating the presentations made by each team. Ajayi said each student-team could now focus on their projects based on the skills and guidance they got from the leadership training.

Some of the participants, who spoke with CAMPUSLIFE, described the event as worthwhile, saying it made positive impacts on them.

A student from the Federal Polytechnic, Offa (OFFA POLY) in Kwara State, appreciated Enactus for giving her the opportunity to attend the leadership training.

She said: “I learned skills that will help me to improve in managing projects and evaluating progress I undertake. Every session of the event was productive. I have learnt that the size of the project we may be working does not matter, what we need is to give our best to make lasting impacts on the lives of others.”

Babatunde Odekunle, leader of Ekiti State University (EKSU) Enactus team, said: “The training has given us skills to become great leaders to connect with people around the world and also exposed us to ways we can empower communities and people through different projects. If anyone is looking for opportunities for self-growth and making meaningful impacts on the lives of others, Enactus is a great platform to explore.”

Segun Ogunlana, a student of University of Ibadan (UI), said he found a session facilitated by the founder of LEAP Africa, Ndidi Nwuneli, impactful. “I am proud to be part of this training, which took me out of my comfort zone,” Segun said.

The leadership training set the foundation for the Enactus project year. The event was chiefly sponsored by Act Foundation with the support of Enactus Alumni and Covenant University.

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