Determined to further strengthen the strategic position young Nigerians occupy in the country, Stanbic IBTC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has continued to promote various programmes to get Nigerian youths engaged and empowered for better productivity and participation in the development of the nation.
The Group aimed one of its initiatives, the ‘Youth Leadership Series’ (YLS), at deepening financial and entrepreneurial knowledge among Nigeria’s younger generations. The initiative, which was launched in 2018, is held in institutions of higher learning across the nation and brings together mentors from across various sectors of the economy to encourage and inspire the next generation.
Dr. Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, spoke of the initiative. He stated that through one of the organisation’s CSI pillars, ‘economic empowerment’, the YLS was birthed as an avenue to get young Nigerians engaged and empowered to become future business leaders.
He said that Nigerian youths required support, guidance, and empowerment to propel them to the pinnacle of their various fields, and added that innovative projects and tech disruptions championed by youths in virtually every sector have proved their ingenuity, skill, brilliance, and resourcefulness.
Sogunle further stated that since youths easily get distracted by different challenges, the organisation wanted to ensure that they were aptly and constantly guided, mentored, inspired, and motivated, not just to attain their goals but to actualise their full potentials.
This year’s event which was held virtually attracted youths from across Nigeria and various parts of the world including the UK, USA and UAE. It featured an array of speakers – Debo Adebayo, better known as Mr. Macaroni and Ms. Ifedayo Agoro, the founder of Diary of a Naija Girl (DANG), an online lifestyle website, who spoke on ‘Winning with Social Media’; the duo of Olumide Soyombo, co-Founder, Bluechip Technologies and Tracy Batta, co-Founder, Smoothie Express who spoke on ‘Winning with Entrepreneurship’; while Akin Bamidele Akintola, Head of Equity Sales, Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers and Yanmo Omorogbe, co-founder of Bamboo Invest, an investment platform that allows Nigerians to invest in United States stocks, both spoke on ‘Winning with Investments’.
All speakers shared their entrepreneurial experiences, challenges, and success stories in these areas.
Speakers at previous editions of the YLS included Kechi Okwuchi, a survivor of the ill-fated Sosoliso plane crash of December 2005, who later went on to bag a First Class Degree from the University of Thomas Houston, Texas and emerged a finalist at America’s Got Talent; Member Feese, a survivor of the United Nations Building bomb blast in Abuja and Cobhams Asuquo, renowned music producer, who was born blind.
Also, Stanbic IBTC Bank, in collaboration with Creative Youth Community Development Initiative (CYCDI), and Covenant University, Ota and in alignment with the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, engaged Nigerian youths on a better understanding of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their role in its attainment.
The organisation also said that some needs of youths have been catered to with the Stanbic IBTC BluEdge Youth Account, targeted to help students and youths cultivate a savings culture very early in life.