We are always proud of our alumni making a transformational impact in their respective communities. One of such alumni is Favour Ojike, 2020 ViMP alumna who is currently building one of Africa’s soon to be giant Agri-business startups. In this interview with JAN, she gave us an insight into what she’s working on, her ViMP experience and what we should expect. Excerpt below…
- What’s your name?
Favour Chinaemerem Ojike, I participated in the Venture in Management Program in 2020.
- What do you do now?
I am building a startup in the Agritech Space. XpatAg Ltd which is registered as a private limited liability company will be launching before the end of the year 2021. In addition to that, I co-founded a business development firm; we develop customized business plans, proposals, market research, feasibility study, financial planning for clients within and outside the country. My expertise in business development extends to the agricultural community; I am an Agribusiness development facilitator with MyFarmBase Africa where I train farmers on how to develop business documents for funding opportunities.
- How would you describe your ViMP experience?
Wow! My ViMP experience was super amazing, that was my first experience getting into such a high-profile program, the business management classes were top-notch. I enjoyed working with my excellent team members on the different competitive tasks, and while at it, we had fun. My relationship with participants at ViMP extended to very valuable friendships to date. Furthermore, I was treated like a queen throughout the program, had everything I needed and forgot I had a bank account at that time. (Lol). From the comfort of the hotel room, to the varieties of ‘foods’ (I added 10kg extra after ViMP), to the VIP pick up and drop off from the hotel to LBS, to the movie night at Sky Cinema, CSR and alumni mixer. To be very honest, I almost if not dropped a tear when it was time for goodbyes.
- How has the ViMP experience influenced you/professional achievement?
First of all, my confidence level drastically increased after ViMP. ViMP was the game changer for me. Before ViMP, I was a Lagos corper who had a big vision but no action plan. Then came ViMP, you CANNOT go through ViMP and remain the same.
My major takeaway was the business management classes which helped me advance my knowledge in my field of interest. Also, I was able to build valuable networks that have added great value to my professional growth. I met my current business partner at ViMP and a few months after ViMP, I got into the Orange Corners Incubation Program; an initiative of the kingdom of the Netherlands. The opportunity was shared by a ViMP alum. The words; “ViMP Alum, JAN, Lagos Business School, Mini-MBA” have gotten me into high places and created a sweet opportunity to engage with top personalities in various industries. Going into full details will need a 48-hour podcast. lol
- To what extent has your participation in ViMP contributed to your overall development?
100%, my reason being that ViMP was the first program I ever got into in life and it changed me for good, ViMP built me again, it stretched my capacity, ViMP positioned me for more achievement. If I didn’t get value from ViMP, I would have remained the same old confused young Nigerian trying to find relevance and means of survival with anything life throws at me.
- Share any memorable highlights from participating in ViMP?
Our first day in class, Esther, a JAN staff member, encouraged us to network during tea break with other categories of people that came to Lagos Business School. I asked her how to go about it and she briefly told me. There I was at the tea break contemplating with my friend if we should go or not, lol. We finally went straight to meet top GTBank’s managers that came for a course at LBS. Trust me, it didn’t go really well but I managed to bless them with my smile. After that day, I told myself I will keep networking till I can confidently engage anybody I come across. It didn’t take me a long while cos I nailed it at the alumni mixer which was a few days after and got a lot of business cards. Don’t try me now, I can engage with all the presidents of the world in one room lol.
- Why is youth empowerment/development important?
The growth of the nation is largely dependent on the youth, they are young, smart, strong, innovative and the most populous category in the country. All that is needed is to catch them young, help them with self-discovery, empower them with resources that will enable them to explore the world full of opportunities, connect them with networks that will catalyze their growth process, help in providing an enabling environment for them to thrive and lots more.
Imagine having ViMP alumni making up only 60% of Nigeria’s Youth population? There is actually a great need to increase the number of productive youths, it translates to a better nation.
- What do you have to say to those participating in this year’s ViMP?
Trust me, you will tell the same story!
Don’t be overwhelmed, take your time to note all you intend to achieve during the course of the program, utilize the free opportunity ViMP presents you to achieve them. Participate actively, it comes with extra benefits.
Very importantly, network with as many people you meet, and don’t fix your gaze on selfish interest, note that a relationship that will be sustained is the one built on the exchange of value.
- Tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I will die if Eba and Oha soup go into extinction. Lol