Entrepreneurship is assuming a critical role in the Nigerian political economy because of widespread unemployment, which has led many young people to start a business.
While many have failed and lost hope, others have continued to make progress regardless of the difficulties on the way and government inconsistencies.
However, many young people have refused to be deterred by the harsh economic policies and are proving their mettle. One young entrepreneur who has braced the odds and made a name for himself is Chukwudi Ezenwa, who hails from Achina, Anambra State. He is the chairman/chief executive officer of the GSS Group of companies. GSS stands for General Site Solutions, which includes subsidiaries like GSS Real Estate and Investments, GSS Security (Private Security), GSS Production and GSS Construction.
The 27-year-old Nnamdi Azikiwe University trained architect is a serial entrepreneur who is currently repositioning the real estate business and private security in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria.
However, he did not just get to this point smoothly; he had set up some businesses in Anambra State and Abuja, which all crumbled after a period of time. But just as Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”, the seeming failures served as a springboard that has made the GSS Group to grow in leaps and bounds.
Speaking in an interview, Ezenwa had this to say as he chronicled his ordeals while starting off as an entrepreneur, “Many people are always quick to comment on one’s success stories and wish they were already successful.
Well, it is one good thing to admire success or wish to become a successful entrepreneur, but one thing many fail to understand is that things were never like this from the outset.
There was a time I was so broke but hungry to succeed and I remained focused and never “slept”. There were strings of shortfalls, ups and downs, disappointments, and several discomforts but what stood out was my ability to fixate my eyes on the goal.
“I started a security outfit in Abuja in 2013 that failed; I started a Bar Villa V in Ifite-Awka, Anambra State in 2013 and it failed; I had betting outlets in 2014 that failed;
I started Carfeeds, a car sales e-commerce site in 2015 and it still failed. Furthermore, I started a movie production company in 2016 that failed but each time I failed, I gained experience. I am never ashamed of failing, I only fall forward”.
The story of Ezenwa is one that needs to be told repeatedly. Here is a young man that has ‘failed’ in more than five different businesses that many others are flourishing in.
Perhaps, many would have concluded that business is not their calling having failed countless number of times but instead this young man did not let his fai8lures deny his is dream. I’m sure he would always tell himself, “Remember why you started”. Many have lost track or given up simply because they were not firm and resolute in consistently remembering why they started.
Ezenwa is one of the tough entrepreneurial maestros presently. If not for his tough nature, he would have killed and buried the GSS dream; a company that has given succour to his fellow young people, put smiles on the faces of 1,000 families whose relatives are employees of the fastest growing company East of the Niger. If he was not tough, probably many young Nigerians would still be roaming the streets and looking for jobs but he never allowed his back to remain on the ground after falling several times.
On the 25th of August 2020, Ezenwa reflected the words of Mandy Hale, “There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others”.
The serial entrepreneur who understands funding as the major challenge of young entrepreneurs went out of his way to support young businesses as he gave the sum of N2.7 million to 20 young entrepreneurs from Anambra State.
This singular gesture was to ameliorate the plight of the young business people during the lockdown of 2020. His words at the presentation of the cash grant were, “I’ve been through this hurdle and perfectly understand how funding can make or mar businesses, hence my decision to empower my fellow young entrepreneurs to thrive”.
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