Dr (Mrs) Olajumoke Adeosun Familoni is the Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Lead City University Consultancy Services. A facilitator mentor of entrepreneurs of small businesses, she has strengths in developing and implementation that allows for alleviation of poverty among grassroots. She speaks with TOLUWANI OLAMITOKE on her activities, challenges and marriage. Excerpts:
What does your background look like?
I grew up in Ibadan and had my elementary education at Maryhill Convent School, Ibadan. I later attended St Theresa’s College also in Ibadan. I had my Higher School Certificate (HSC) at Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, Lagos and first degree at the University of Lagos where I bagged a BSc in Economics. I had my Masters degree in Public Administration at the University of Memphis, Tennesee,United States and Ph.D in Management and Organisational Leadership from the University of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. I’m also an associate of Chartered Administrators of the University of Toronto, Ontario,Canada. My parents are late Pa Adeboye and Madam Molake Adeosun. My father was one of the foremost bankers with Barclays Bank.
From your experience, why is it important to have a dedicated business school for business training ?
Business schools are important because they offer practical training. Universities focus on theories but we work on case studies, role plays and exercises. We are out to offer versatile skills and training for our students and those who choose to pass through us.
Why in spite of high level of training do we have high mortality rate among start ups?
If the kind of training they get doesn’t focus properly on management of an organisation, it will be shaky. There’s a difference between running an organisation and executing deals.When talking of deals, it’s a one-time opportunity. You get an opportunity and you do it. Business takes time to nurture, but people want fast money. If you want to build something that lasts, it needs good management.
How would you compare students attitude to learning in the United States and Nigeria?
In the United States, lots of students use to work while in school and this gives them exposure and independence. despite the support of their parents, they are also into knowing how their school fees are paid. Their level of independence can’t be compared with that of Nigerian students. Students in the United States have matured mind and mature fast. All these build character over there. If a child is made to go through that in Nigeria, it is like you are killing him or her. In Nigeria, it’s not possible to find a child of a senator washing plates in a place like MacDonalds. He is taken to school in a posh car and treated to what the parents believe are good things of life. In the United States, a child knows he or she has to get up early and plan his or her day, put in his or her best at work and use his or her pay as pocket money. This will make you know the value of money and help you to manage it well. For such a person, he or she will be able to manage a business because it has become part of him or her. And this is why parenting is essential. If you take time to nurture your children, you will have value instilled in them.
You had a flourishing business in the United States. Why come back to Nigeria?
Overseas is a place to develop self. A friend of mine, a professor who fought in the first world War, said to me one day, “You are putting in water in an already filled pot. won’t they appreciate you more in Nigeria?” That actually sowed the seed. As an entrepreneur in the United States, I built a full-fledged apparel design and manufacturing company. I designed and sold to fortune’ 500 companies like JC Penny, Holiday Fashions, Delta Airlines, Darden Group of Restaurants in Florida, United Airlines, Federal Express and many others.
In this part of the world, sometimes women have to contend with the issue of sexual harassment to rise. What was your experience like ?
It’s not like that there. As a woman, you are into a race. You share your talent with everyone and you will always get someone to groom you. As you are directed from one address to another, you get information on how to sell to big organisations, enlightened on need to be registered, taken through the process of information and synergy. The United States is focused systematically on the survival of small and medium enterprises. If you don’t want to do a short-cut, there is the possibility of making it because the system is there. SEE MORE ON PAGE2