Since its inception, LEAD Resources has unequivocally expressed its dedication to the development of innovation in Nigeria. History has taught us that the journey of a thousand miles begins and continues with steps of progress and on the 22nd of November, 2021, LEAD Resources continued on this journey with a giant step. The management of LEAD Resources signed a Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Innovative Enterprise Development with the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) through its Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS).
The collaboration is an offshoot of LEAD Resources’ belief that an abundance of innovative solutions in a country such as Nigeria can turn that nation’s fortunes around for good; a belief shared by the distinguished Principal Officers of FUNAAB. The collaboration is primed to identify and groom the next cohort of Nigerian innovators right from their University.
According to the MOU, specifically, Lead Resources will support FUNAAB-CENTS to:
- Co-develop activities to increase traction to facilitate the participation of active industrialists and entrepreneurs, technologists, organizations as well as angels, ventures and impact investors to dialogue series and related initiatives and engagements of FUNAAB.
- Design program support structures and interventions as a follow up to initiatives and engagements in a bid to ensure effectiveness and achieve sustainability.
- Provide advisory and partnership towards improving revenue streams and reducing cost structure in as many as possible ways to enhance a sustainability revenue for the Centre.
- Encourage and support the development of innovative projects that are marketable, scalable and fundable
- Develop structures for sustainable enterprise development through effective coaching, mentoring, incubation and acceleration
- Facilitate grants and fund-raising proposals for various joint engagements and initiatives in CENTS.
Present at the event were Principal Officers of FUNAAB and CENTS; the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Felix K. Salako, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Prof O. B. Kehinde, the Registrar, Dr Bola Adekola, the Director of CENTS, Prof. Adeosun and Dr Egbeyale, the Deputy Director, CENTS. LEAD Resources was ably represented by the Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Highland Energy Solutions Services Limited (HESSL), Engr. Akinpelu Shogunle, the Chief Solutions Architect, Mr Kehinde Sogunle, and Associate Solutions Architects Obot Essiet Jr., Francis Edobor and Mathias Adewole. We also had in special attendance, our Chief Advisor Prof. Ademola Ariyo, the former Chairman of the Governing Board, University of Ibadan School of Business.
Speaking at the MOU signing event, Mr Kehinde Sogunle said, “LEAD Resources will be instrumental in equipping the students of FUNAAB with the prerequisite knowledge for life after formal education through accelerated capacity building in entrepreneurship, business development, innovation management. With this effort, we would build a strong pipeline of competent and confident contributors to grow a vibrant employability, entrepreneurial and technology ecosystem as the partnership blossoms.”
Furthermore, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Felix K. Salako expressed his confidence in the partnership. He asserted that, “Our evaluations of LEAD Resources assure us of a fruitful collaboration and we look forward to what we will achieve together”.
Our Chairman, Engr. Shogunle also congratulated the FUNAAB Community for being the first higher institution of learning in Nigeria to enter into this kind of partnership with LEAD Resources. He lauded the Vice-Chancellor, whose administration will not be forgotten by generations to come because it embraced innovation. “We know that in as little as six years, FUNAAB will be a reference point for many other Universities in the country”, Prof. Ariyo added.
Why is this Collaboration Important?
This collaboration is important because it signals the beginning of a public-private partnership (PPP) initiative of a federal university to stimulate innovation and build a “town and gown” relationship in Abeokuta.
Among several other identified results, it is expected that this collaboration will provide the FUNAAB CENTS the enabling to achieve the following expected outcomes:
✓ Be the critical go to facility by the student population, the university and the adjoining community for the translation of ideas/endeavours to meaningful economic opportunities.
✓ Provide opportunities for the acquisition of accelerated and concerted competence development on contemporary in demand globally relevant skills for employability and entrepreneurship.
✓ Be a curator and receptacle for the development of the entrepreneurial opportunities inherent in the various academic disciplines of the institution.
✓ Foster a convergence and robust engagement platform that explores entrepreneurial and wealth creation opportunities between the university and the business community.
✓ Be a nurturing, facilitative and conducive environment for the development of viable ideas to scalable business through workspace, business support services, incubation and acceleration activities and funding.
In essence, we seek to replicate the Silicon Valley – Stanford University Entrepreneurship and Technology Ecosystem here in Abeokuta, Ogun State. This is the beginning of a new dawn for curbing graduate unemployment in Nigeria by tackling the challenge at the root.
What are your thoughts on the prospects of this great collaboration? Kindly share in the comments section below.
The article was written by Victor Ogunsesan, Graduate Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources.