Innovation, A Great Tool For Any Entrepreneur –Akan Okon
By Umoh-Obong Kingsley
The Commissioner for Housing and Special Duties, Hon. Akan Okon, has identified solutions to some of the challenges facing the world today to some unlikely sources, which, according to him, are from teenagers groups.
He disclosed this while delivering his keynote address during the 2017 Youth Entrepreneurship tour at St. Brian Model College, Uyo, on Wednesday, a programme organised by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Social Re-Orientation, Mr Ekpeno Gold, in partnership with Akwa Ibom State Teenage Forum.
Mr Akan stated that while some young investors around the world are developing different devices and techniques, putting their minds to overdrive for innovative solutions to problems that plague this world, some are out there busy enjoying their lives to the fullest.
Speaking on the topic: “Teenage Entrepreneurship, The Path To A Lifetime Of Success,” he said “An entrepreneur is someone who is able to actualise his/her inept potential and develop a character that is not dependent but independent. Someone who undertakes great values by putting in unique packages of resources within any available opportunity.
“To be a successful entrepreneur, you must identify what opportunity exists in your environment and go out and spread that opportunity. An entrepreneur has the capacity to build something from practically nothing. Entrepreneurs are achievement-oriented. They take responsibility for decisions and dislike repetitive and routine world. Creativity and innovation are in the hand of the spirit of enterprises. You must be creative and innovative in the way you carry on your business.
“Entrepreneurship is the vehicle that drives creativity and innovation. Creative ideas are the underpinning to any great business. To have a successful business and become a successful entrepreneur, you must be great. You have to do things differently from other people are doing. Creativity enables you to realise something new.”
“Innovation is a tool for any entrepreneur. Both innovation and entrepreneurship require creativity. It is said that all innovation must begin with effective idea. It involves building on something that is in existence, but in a more efficient and better way of handling it.”
He further stated that Innovation and creativity brought about the use of mobile phones today. “In those days, if you have a telephone, it would be in the house and you can’t receive calls whenever you are not at home. But some set of people came up with a thought that it is possible to receive calls anywhere, and they came up with the mobile phones. The amount of money generated from the use of mobile phones today is quite more than what was generated from the use of the landline.
“Currently, there is an application called UBER which enables you to hire taxi online at the comfort of your home rather than standing on the road to get one. People put on their thinking caps and innovation bringing to birth. In the nearest future, there will be a car that would not require a driver. All that it would require is speaking to it where you want it to take you to. This is innovation at play.
“As a teenager, what you need to be successful in life is engaging in creative thinking. Creative thinking is a path of generating solutions to problems by the force of imagination and reasoning. You must be creative, think outside the box and you will be on the greater part of success.”
The Honourable Commissioner pointed out few examples of those who have done one or two things in life as a result of entrepreneurship, ingenuity and creative thinking, that all of us are benefiting today. They include Bill Gate who is known for the manufacture of computer Operating Systems (Windows); Graham Bell, the person who invented the telephone landline; Michael Faraday invented electricity; Isaac Newton is associated with the physical law of science.
According to him, apart from those foreign inventors/entrepreneurs, there are also great entrepreneurs in Nigeria like Mike Adenuga, the CEO of Globacom and an oil company called Consolidated Oil; Adelo Peterside who was the founder of the Investment Bank and Trust Company (IBTC) Standard Trust; Chief Raymond Dopesi of the Daar Communication (Ray Power and AIT).
He said before now, businesses were handled by foreigners but as a result of entrepreneurship, the people were able to think, brought people together to form the business that is successful today and competing with the ones owned by foreigners.
Mr Akan Okon charged the students not to allow anyone tell them that they cannot be entrepreneurs, but should have it at the back of their minds that they can be and even better.
Also speaking at the event was the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr Essien Ndueso, who sensitised the students on the effective use of the social media platforms, saying that social media can make and mar.
He urged them not to disclose their identities to unknown individuals on social media, using a lady who was lured and killed in a hotel in Lagos last year as a case study.
Mr Ndueso also charged the students not to be carried away by the informal way of typing using abbreviations, symbols or emoticons while chatting as it could affect their formal way of writing letters even during examinations.
Highpoints of event were HIV/AIDS sensitisation where the participants were educated on the need to abstain from unprotected sexual intercourse till marriage, and the various ways virus can easily be contracted; and Dakkada creed recitation
Present at the event were the Special Assistants to the Governor on Grassroots Re-Orientation and Agriculture, Mr Joseph Okon and Moses Armstrong respectively; Principal, St. Brian Model College, Mr Linus M. Etuk; President, Akwa Ibom Teenage Forum, Jimmy Martins; Mr Edem Orok, Health counsellor, Society for Family Health, and Miss Akwa Ibom group.