Monday, March 5, 2018 2:33 pm
Sanjayvipul Srivastava is the Founder, CEO of Emprowess, an Entreprenuer firm with a vision of Empowerment of Human Capital through skill development. He is also a Management Professional, Business Coach, Youth Mentor, Yoga Trainer and Economic Growth Activist. In this Interview with Daniels Ekugo, Sanjayvipul highlighted the importance of empowering women to transform the family.
Emprowess has been noted to be a leading training firm in Nigeria towards Skills Development and Promoting Entrepreneurship. What is your organisation doing to facilitate Women Entrepreneurs.
We are running a social media campaign on empowering women through trainings. It is quite a big one. I think one of the major reasons is to get general awareness especially young women and girls and many of them like to be on the Internet, many of them like to use social media. We have Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages, and we are posting quotes; inspiring quotes. Other things we are doing are, many of the women that have established businesses and that have been running successfully, as the business is growing, they have an issue on how the business will grow, and you know they want to go to the next level. People approach them to say I want to be an investor and you find out that just the person putting his money down, they don’t really get anything, they don’t get much value, it is actually not about money but it is actually about expertise.
We are also doing an inspirational brunch, so we are having a panel section with a keynote, talking about what makes a successful entrepreneur. How do you build the foundation? How do you go about envisioning your ideals, your strategy, how you do you locate your people, your project, your system? How do you collaborate, a lot of businesses are done without partnership and collaboration, how do you do that respectively?
What exactly is your target audience?
I think we go across the spectrum because our responsibility is on entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship goes to a mature entrepreneur like Dangote to those in the university working with laptops, developing apps. So we go right across the board, that’s why we do the inspirational brunch which is more for people that are thinking of having ideas, moving on. What we want to do is to give them a taste that we know that a lot of people out there that can help them.
Is your organisation only centred on the urban centres, or do you have plans to go into the interiors?
We run training programs in cities like Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna, Abuja and Port Harcourt etc. for accessibility to all. I would have loved to go into the interiors, but it is now a case of skills and access and part of the reason we have to partner so that we can get our voice out to tell them that this opportunity is here, we welcome ambassadors.
Appraise the past one year. How do you monitor your trainees? Have you seen some that are really exceptional?
Women participation in our training is encouraging; we had 60% women participation last year in our trainings. We had about 400 women that attended the last fair also. A lot of them have been giving us feedbacks that they found it helpful but we have to know that entrepreneurs are kind of like mavericks. They speak with their feet and action, they send us notes and they keep registering for the programmes that we are doing throughout the year, so we know we are doing something well. I am an entrepreneur myself, I work as Finance Manger for the construction company and I understand profession. I don’t want to report to anybody. I just want you to give me the information, give me the network and let me fly with my programmes, so that’s all we do. We give them the information, we give them the right people to talk to and they have the onus to drive what they want to do, and if they have questions, they are welcomed to come back to us.
If you empower a woman entrepreneur, you directly empower a family and participates in national growth, the statistics has showed that when you invest in a woman, 90 per cent of the money that she receives, she will put it back into the family, into the home, into the society. With all due respect to gentlemen, when you invest in a man, it goes in many things and many at times on trend and fashion or car or house that may be unproductive.
How do you get your feedbacks?
Mentoring them on various entrepreneurial aspect is one of our long term commitment, we keep in touch and they do that through social media and e-mails. I am sure you know entrepreneurs in your life, they are usually quiet and independent minded, they usually know what they want, what to do, you don’t really need to pester them too much. They are creative and innovative and have power to change the future with their hard work.
Does religion or culture impede your attempts to support women entrepreneurs. What I mean is that in some societies, men are the ones who go out to work.
Some of our role models are from all ethnicity, paid Jobs, skilled human capital and economic growth is the religion in true sense. When we do our role modelling we have a number of northern women that are part of the campaign, we are a secular organisation, and so we don’t really talk about religion or culture, we just talk about entrepreneurship, we talk about economic independence, poverty alleviation and role model for women. I think the religion side is not something we really get involved in.
Talking about mentoring, do you have any plans in training school girls, inspiring them, not only adults…
Yes we do visit Schools and conduct some skill development programs. Why we really pushed the social media is that we have a lot of young people who use Instagram. We put a lot of graphics, punchy quotes that we can now be sharing; we are doing a sharing culture where people can now be sharing quotes. So that is what we have been doing for the young people in the medium time. I hope that this year, we will move to get university ambassadors, next year I hope we will go to secondary school ambassadors. You see what I mean, both from the secondary school level to the university level to the industry level. I am just a pioneer because the thing has just started, my job is to spread the word and get multiple results.
What have been your challenges in doing so?
Its my passion to volunteer in skill development of the country which i pursue without any payment or motivation, so there are some challenges with the current economic environment, has a negative effect on some of our key partners and in the industry in general. So the financial pressure of doing something like this when people are still trying to look after themselves, you know they are like oh that’s very nice but am still trying to pay my staff, am going to lay off 20 people, who cares about running some training programs free of cost for women entrepreneurs?
What entrepreneurship does is to add value to your commodity and it actually increases the value of the economy. So in my opinion, this is the best time to pursue entrepreneurship right through to school, university to professional level, because we have entrepreneurs in our economy. The US economy, over 90 per cent of the economy is driven by small businesses. That’s the situation we are supposed to have in Nigeria. Economic Growth of the country can be achieved by skill development and development of women.