Bukola Owo-Bello is co-founder nous communications; she is an image management specialist, an education entrepreneur (edupreneur),a prolific writer and publisher. In this chat, Bukola talks about her latest exploit, College People Magazine.
- FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR READERS, PLEASE TELL US ABOUT COLLEGE PEOPLE MAGAZINE (CPM).
Today, young people advance from secondary schools and colleges to higher institutions of learning; bagging high-sounding degrees, coming out with high-flown certificates, and at the end of it all, after being crestfallen, they end up having to go and learn entirely different vocational skills in order to meet the necessity of their societies, the modern day startling realities.In order to help avert this misguided upbringing which the society erroneously normalizes, College People Magazine campaigns for at least a corresponding place for skill acquisition as in formal education. College People Magazine facilitates awareness for college students on the threshold of graduation, awareness that impresses upon students the practicality and benefits of skill acquisition as opposed to the conventional “certificate-oriented” learning. Additionally, and equally important, College People Magazine pushes forward the moral debate;helps reawaken and aid the revival of moral consciousness among students; the need to remain morally upright even in a world that drifts speedily into the immoral, all these, through mind-blowing contents.
- HOW DID YOU COME ABOUT THE IDEA OF COLLEGE PEOPLE MAGAZINE?
Daily, I see many boys and girls with misplaced priorities, yet giving such flawed priority utmost precedence in their lives; I see young people tossed around without any idea of what they really want to make out of life despite huge talent deposited in them. I perceive lofty ignorance delicately wrapped in the façade of sham intelligence. I didn’t want the “generation next” to fall into the mistake of yesteryears; mistakes people of my generation drifted into. I wanted to help correct many odds within the circle of contemporary young boys and girls. I knew fashioning an appealing content in form of a magazine would serve my purpose well. So, College People Magazine was borne out of an unquenchable desire to help young ones meet these needs.
- WHO ARE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE AND WHAT IS YOUR PRODUCT’S VALUE TO THEM?
By now, am sure you know who College People’s targets audience are, but for emphasis sake, let me reiterate that young boys and girls, especially of secondary school age and that phase prior to higher education,are our foremost target audience. What’s more, our content profit everyone in the education sector and beyond: students, parents, entrepreneurs, teachers and members of the society at large; our intent being to help nourish young leaders who at an early stage recognize the need to carve their niche in entrepreneurship; realize their God-given talents and potentials, thus develop their capacity to the full to benefit not only themselves but their society, hence, our slogan: “transcends education, inspires creativity”.
- TALKING ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP, HOW DO YOU THINK COLLEGE STUDENTS CAN START THEIR OWN PROFITABLE BUSINESSES EVEN AT SCHOOL?
Thanks moderator for asking this apt question.You see,if I was asked this question a few years ago, my answer wouldn’t have been in the affirmative, but my recent involvement in student entrepreneurial development has exposed me to the verified possibility and reality of students’ involvement and participation in entrepreneurship.It is very feasible!In fact, the right stage young ones should be entrepreneurship oriented is right from elementary school.Candidly speaking, at age 14 or thereabouts, talents are already realized in persons, the problem is the delayed practice that many talents are subjected to in favour of higher education, but things are changing now. There are many high-school or secondary school entrepreneurs spanning across various sectors, and these ones are doing handsomely well for themselves; building strong foundation for the nearest future, proving to their peers that it is indeed possible to become an entrepreneur even as a student.Every edition of College People Magazine is replete with exciting start-up stories of student entrepreneurs that will enthuse our readers.
- WE ARE AWARE OF THE APPROVAL OF COLLEGE PEOPLE MAGAZINE BY SOME STATES FOR THEIR SCHOOLS, HOW DID YOU COME ABOUT THIS HUGE FEAT AT THE DOUBLE?
It is a good thing that a few states have bought into the idea of student entrepreneurial development that College People Magazine encapsulates.This singular gesture is an enormous signal of Government’s readiness to support and advance Nigerian youths in their quest for entrepreneurship development.I am happy that some people actually see something good and worthwhile in our endeavour and decided to subscribe to it. Nonetheless, there is need for more support from stakeholders and Government so as to help boost up our coverage as it is our desire that all school students in Nigeria can access timely information on how to achieve their dreams to the fullest and beyond school grades.For me, having the approval of College People Magazine by some well-meaning Nigerians is not just a feat; it is an endorsement,such that impels more hard work and resolve on our part, after all, it is hard work that has taken us this far.
- TELL US SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACED IN YOUR FIRST 6 MONTHS OF INTRODUCING THE MAGAZINE INTO THE MARKET?
(Sighs) It was tough, Very tough!Although the idea was nascent, the brand was alien to the market, and so, making our audience familiar with the brand name, getting the attention of our audience and penetrating the market was very tasking for us. In fact, when we kicked off, we did not realise it would be as challenging as it turned out to be, otherwise, we would have been scared off the whole endeavour.Apart from the problem of fund which is not peculiar to me as an entrepreneur, we also faced apathy from people generally; most people do not like to associate with beginners, so there were many disappointments from potential clients.Some would scorn us, others would tell us what other things we could have ventured into but we did not let those cheap talks way us down. There are many more challenges that we still experience now, but with persistence, doggedness and endurance, we are sure to earn the prize.
- HOW DO YOU HANDLE COMPETITORS IN YOUR LINE OF BUSINESS?
I will not say there are no competitors,but there are no intimidating ones yet, only a few guys who now look up to us as trend setters despite their span in the industry. This is not shocking; we started out virtually certain of what we wanted to achieve and here we are laying our hands on it.We are very ready for substantial future competitors but for now, we are topnotch so we top the chat.
- WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?
In five years time, I see College People Magazine as a household name for all in the entrepreneurial and education sector.
- WHAT IS THE ONE LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT WITH YOU EXPERIENCES IN LIFE?
Humility! Life has taught me to be humble. Humble enough to listen,obey and concur with God’s purpose for my life; humble to allow God guide and direct each of my steps all the way; humble enough to give all the glory back to God when he has eventually seen me through a phase in my life.
- WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT www.ideaslane.com
Great platform for great minds who have got great ideas that can help change the world for the better. This is where every young, aspiring entrepreneurs should sign on, Keep it up guys, kudos!