Africa is teeming with untapped talent, with Nigeria, the world’s largest black nation, at the epicenter. According to a 2019 report, Nigeria has a population of over 200 million people, which is expected to double by 2050.
Moreover, Nigeria has one of the world’s youngest populations, with an average age of fewer than 19 years. With all of these factors working in favor of the “Giants of Africa,” the Sub-Saharan country is the “Poverty Capital of the World,” with nearly 87 million people living in extreme poverty, surpassing India (84 million), which previously held the top spot. One man’s mission is to alleviate poverty one talent at a time.
Ekundayo Ayeni is a serial entrepreneur who has founded a number of digital businesses. He founded his first company, BusinessPlus Services, in 2012. To give back to his community, he has consistently trained and mentored thousands of young graduates, early-stage professionals, and entrepreneurs on the technical and soft skills needed to thrive in the workplace or as a business owner over the years.
“We’ve only scratched the surface,” he says. The goal is to lift as many people from poverty as humanly possible by providing them with the skills they need to succeed as entrepreneurs or in their jobs.”
Ekundayo’s business is structured in such a way that beneficiaries of his philanthropic efforts have been inspired to pay it forward. He encourages everyone to take the initiative to teach others, and he believes that new business owners should offer internships to other program graduates.
“I’ve seen the Igbo apprenticeship programs, and I believe that’s a great way to give people skills while also reducing poverty. Take a couple of people under your wing once you’re good enough, and prosperity will continue to spread that way,” Ekundayo said.
Beginning his career in laptop and computer gadget sales, Ekundayo observed the scalability and impact of technology by observing activities and interacting with clients in the United States and the United Kingdom.
He would naturally set out to reproduce his learning and experience for the Nigerian market, given his strong entrepreneurial drive. His influence in the Nigerian digital space cannot be underestimated two decades later. His clients range from multinational corporations to the political elite, and he trains an average of 100 people per month.
Ekundayo hinted at upcoming programs aimed at the older generation and late-career professionals through collaboration and several partnerships in the works. We’ll be keeping a careful eye on this Nigerian entrepreneur’s future actions because it would be stupid to dismiss his achievements.