Tobias and Titus Igwe, the chief executive officers of Speedmeals LTD, are two entrepreneurs on a mission to create 20 million with 10 years and empower young people across Nigeria.
In an exclusive interview with YNaija #Impact365 series, the twin brothers spoke about their different empowerment projects and the journey so far.
- Can you tell us more about the Yeast Project?
Yeast Project is a sustainable job creation strategy we developed since 2011 to create 20million jobs in Nigeria within 10 years.
- How did people receive the project? Did it make any impact?
We have organized two different job fairs and we recorded a turnout of over 1500 job seekers. We invited a guest a friend based in Boston and he was shocked by the large turnout. The issue of unemployment is very critical for the future of Nigeria.
The more unemployment numbers are surging the more instability Nigeria will experience. If you trace all the agitations in Nigeria it is linked with unemployment. We will be lunching the yeast project on Friday 2nd September, 2016 during our 30th birthday celebration.
- The Yeast project intends to create 20 million jobs in 10 years. Do you think its achievable? If yes, how?
We strongly believe that the yeast project target of 20 million jobs within 10years is achievable. We are starting the pilot scheme with 200 people and after that each participant will be mandated to train 10 others.
The model of yeast project is very simple from empowering 200 people to 2000 to 20,000 to 200,000 to 2,000,000 and then 20,000,000. We will train job seekers on different skills, they will undergo the Yeast Test (a true yeast will always rise) thereafter they will proceed to the job centers which we will establish at different locations in partnership with public, private sectors and NGOs.
Everybody has a role to play in accelerating job creation. We need collaborations, synergy and partnerships this is key to ensure the sustainability of the Yeast project.
- You have received several awards for entrepreneurship and development, what has been your guiding principle and motivation all this years?
Most of the awards we have received have come from customers who patronize us or from young people inspired by our story. Most times we don’t know who they are, its amazing to us sometimes but it shows that we are doing something right though we know we still have a long way to go.
- Let’s talk about Feed Along Food Bank, which we gather is a social meal program. Can you tell us more about that?
Feed along Food Bank is a community welfare program aimed at delivering food relieve to the poor and those who don’t have what to eat. Its an irony that in developed countries we have food relieve programs for those who loose their jobs or those affected by disaster but here in Nigeria we have nothing of such.
Its more than just cooking food to share to people its also a strategy to assist young farmers to create an already market for them. Over 40% of foods we produce are wasted because of lack of storage facility while so many people have nothing to eat.
When this project will be fully operational we will be giving out food tickets to those that are really in need for food.
- What is the mission of Feed Along Food Bank?
The mission for feed along is to restore hope by delivering food to those who has nothing to eat; a proper channel to distribute food to the less privilege. We are also planning on what we call Feed an officer initiative.
- You went from grass to grace, and have become youth leaders in your own right. Can you tell us about your beginning?
We started off as office cleaners in 2006 and 2009 after the death of our Dad we were saddled the responsibility to take care of our Mum and seven siblings. We then decided to approach life differently; Titus dropped out of school will Tobias deferred his admission with additional one year.
We set out and acquired a skill in cake baking and also a brief entrepreneurship program from Fate Foundation. But selling became a challenge so we decided to be giving children free cakes on Sunday to share with their parents with the message that the twins makes cakes.. we started getting orders from the kids parents, from their classmates also.
We later ventured into wedding classes and at a time people started advising to also do their catering.. we went for a short training on cooking and established Speedmeals Mobile Kitchen with a mission to deliver fresh and healthy meals on time to busy workers in their offices and also offer catering to outdoor events such as wedding, corporate meetings, AGMs etc and today the company has evolved with two office branches and healthy meal package for all events.
- Soon you’ll celebrate your 30th birthday, what does the future hold?
The future holds so much hope for us. We have tagged this new era of 30 “the acceleration era, we want to accelerate all that we have established before life will start at 40 as they say.