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Taiyese Ebunlomo Boluwatife is an event consultant and the team lead of NPU Events. She is the convener of My Grand Event exhibition. In this interview by KANGMWA GOFWEN she speaks about her passion and how she joined the event industry.
What is the idea behind “My Grand Event”?
MY GRAND EVENT is an exhibition set up to showcase different vendors in the events industry in Ogun State and its environs. It is meant to serve as a veritable platform for attendees to interact, network, learn, and to showcase their business and services. This then became a melting-pot between prospective clients and the various event vendors. We saw that the event world was becoming bigger and it was necessary for people who lived in Ogun State and its environs to have their event handled by dwellers of the same community. This will not only add to the states investment and generate revenue internally but also build local business.
As an entrepreneur, do you agree with the assertion that Nigerian youths are lazy?
On the contrary, I do not think that Nigeria youths are lazy. Based on my assessment as a business person, it is very evident that the youth both male and female are doing exceptionally well in their different fields. I also see the effort that they put into everything they do and I see how much they commit into getting better and improving their skills. The Covid-19 pandemic also opened the eyes of many to the different opportunities that exist, I could see how much everybody wanted to get busy and survive during that period. A lot of people who the society perceive or consider as lazy are those who want to get it done the easy way or the fast way. I think that Nigerian youths if given the right platform and enabling environment will succeed in the different fields they find themselves.
How do you think government can make entrepreneurship appealing to youths?
As players in the informal sector, we believe the informal sector is essential for economic growth. It is a key provider of jobs and it has gainfully employed a lot of youths. Governments support for entrepreneurs cannot be over emphasised. Most entrepreneurs are youth which bring the largest chunk to economic growth. MSMES and SMES have added value greatly to the economy’s GDP. I believe that government should provide grants and funding for entrepreneurs to run their businesses from time to time. The engagement between Entrepreneurs and government are always financial. They should provide loans at good interest rates easily accessible. Government should also try to make the loan requirements for entrepreneurs reasonable and not neck breaking. Also, tax levy for entrepreneurs should be brought to barest minimum so that it is easy to do business and still send returns as at when due.
How long have you been organizing “My Grand Event” exhibition?
Right from 2017, we launched the exhibition with the idea that entrepreneurs have a platform to showcase different vendors in the events industry in Ogun State and its environs. We had the second edition in 2018 and the third edition in 2019 but no thanks to the pandemic that struck in 2020, we couldn’t hold the fourth season and 2021 being a recovery year, we had to strengthen the organizing business first before reorganizing the exhibition as it is capital intensive. This year, hopefully this month, we decided to try again having waited for two years.
How is the exhibition going to benefit participating businesses?
The exhibition creates a platform for event vendors to showcase their businesses. It will be an opportunity to buy and sell on the spot. It will be an opportunity to build friendship network amongst exhibitors and attendees. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact, network and have fun. Business owners will be able to sell products and services on discount. Through the different activities planned out for the event, it will create opportunities for business starters to learn from established brand during the master class. It is also an opportunity for prospective clients and individuals to plan their event under an umbrella with all the professional vendors exhibiting at the event.
Why did you name your exhibition “My Grand Event”?
The exhibition is tagged My Grand Event because it is a platform that guarantees clients of having a successful event with professional event vendors which will make their event grand and beautiful. Grand means something huge, exceptional, large and magnificent. This is the first of its kind of event vendors line up in South West and Ogun State. We are proud to say we have amazing vendors who will successfully handle events be it, social events or cooperate. So if you want to have something Grand.
Tell us about your brand.
Npu events have been in business for 12 years. We started off as a passion from my roots in the entertainment and ushering industry, way back in my University days. I used to work with a family friend who was a decorator and would want us to provide hostesses for the event he was handling, that was in my 200 level, so I will get my friends and we will attend the event. Over time, we became professional in it and got recommended to friends and family. We officially launched Nube Prestigious Usherettes in 2009 and we grew into a full-fledged ushering company. We saw the need to start coordinating and managing events so we rebranded and started NPU EVENTS since then we have grown to become a foremost event planning company in the South-West.
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs out there?
It is important that you have a passion for whatever business you intend to go into. Do not go into any business because Mrs A is cashing out on it or because Mr B looks successful doing it. You must be sure it is the business you love that you go into. You must also be sure about your location and their needs- the business you aspire to must meet a need for it to be viable. So your location is key. You must also go all out to get the right skills required to make you a professional in that field. Go get all certifications required to get leverage over your competitors and more importantly, offer quality services that will set you apart. Attend seminars, workshops, gain all the right skills and knowledge required. Most importantly put God first in all that you do, make him the center of space. You will be on your way to the very top.
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