Today’s Arewaobinrin

Nigerians are not lazy people, what they need is empowerment – Adeniji

 

With  Sukurat  Adelodun

Social Media has gone beyond mere socialising these days, it serves as an avenue to network, impact and transact business.

To this end, Tokunboh Adeniji utilised such opportunity to start a Facebook group that impacts and connects men and women from all corners of the world.

Below is an excerpt from her exclusive interview with Today’s Arewaobirin.

You created Business News and Pleasure on Facebook, what inspired the creation and for how long has the group been in existence?

My trip to Nigeria in August 2017 left me heart broken and depressed, I saw graduates roaming the street of Lagos without jobs. Ladies doing the unthinkable for survival, children hawking tirelessly.

The poverty level in Nigeria is alarming, so I thought to myself, “Nigerians are not lazy people, what they need is Empowerment”.

We are in the computer age where small business owners can advertise their businesses through social media, business gurus can share ideas, Job training can be offered at no cost or token to people.

I spoke to my dear friends Adunola Aroyewun, Ayodele Tella and Adedolapo Sokoya, they thought it was a brilliant idea. BnP was created on September 23, 2018.

Have you been able to achieve the motive for which the group is created so far?

I can truly say we have achieved a lot in the little time the group was created. Although, we keep growing daily.

What are the criteria for selection of members of the group?

Our main audience are small business owners, youths, business oriented people who can help build the group. BnP is a business group thus a target for scammers of all sorts, so we do a little bit of snooping before accepting members.

One of the missions of the group is to empower and encourage entrepreneurs to connect, how well have you performed in this regard?

We have a session we call “Meet the Entrepreneur” every week, a member is showcased in the group, other members ask the Entrepreneur business questions, lots of members have learned a lot from it, hence, connecting on different levels. We also encourage entrepreneurs to  follow others on their Instagram pages.

What’s the experience like when you get to meet group members in person?

BnP is a tight knit group, it’s more like a family group, I get super excited, almost like seeing a lost brother or sister.

Membership of the group cuts across the world, are their plans to take the group beyond Social Media?

Absolutely, we have bigger plans ahead.

Do you have  numbers to group members that have been empowered or impacted since the creation of the group?

Yes, we started off with a Digital Literacy class which was coordinated by Sis Toyin Madison. She trained almost 50 women, taught them how to use social media to advertise their businesses.

We had four Esusu groups in the month of November, members were trained on how to save their profits weekly, they contributed for 10weeks and cash out N10,000, N20,000, N40,000 and N50,000 respectively. A member was given money to buy sets of knives for his business. Another member was given a token to add to her business, she made us proud by buying her Ponmo, kulikuli and oil. A mother of a special need little girl got about N25,000 from our good Samaritans to pay her daughter’s bills. An event and Decoration training started this week. Too many things have happened on the group in such a little time.

How would you rate your relationship with your team of admins in the group?

My Admins  (Adunola Aroyewun, Ayodele Tella, Adedolapo Sokoya, Adam’s Taofeek and  Philip Terry) are the backbones of the group, without them, I couldn’t have done it alone. They are truly the real MVP’s.

Which category do we tag Business, News and Pleasure to be, an NGO or a Social Group?

Business News and Pleasure is not just a social group, we have a goal and a mission that will go beyond social media. We can as well say we are a Non-Governmental Organisation.

In every gathering of thousands, there is always bad egg, how do you separate or handle the situation?

We are strict when it comes to that, zero tolerance for bad eggs, we warn the member on the first occurrence, the second time is to delete and block such member. We want our Entrepreneurs to feel safe and respected at all times.

How do you coordinate or connect group members in various locations?

We have representatives in different countries and States.

Where do you see the group in the next 5 years?

Large numbers of Entrepreneurs will emerge, youths will be more financially stable, there will be creation of new jobs. I also plan to bring my expertise in Social Work to help young ladies take control of their lives, finances and be more independent in the nearest future.

Is there a difference between the Tokunboh Adeniji on the group and Tokunboh Adeniji in Person?

I am who I am, What you see is what you get.

If you were to give awards to the 5 most active members of the group, who would they be and why?

Excluding the Admins, if I am to choose five active ladies, they would be Aishat Adeyemi, Mistura Sulyman, Shakeerah Yinusa, Bukola Adeyemi and Bukola Ogundiran. My men will be Charles Osita, Adeniyi Azeez, Babalola Boluwatife, Bolaji, Lastborn Animashaun.

You are a wife, mother, social worker, caterer and teacher, how do you cope?

Sometimes I feel 24hrs isn’t enough, let’s just say the Lord is my strength.

 

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