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7-Eleven Foundation: Driving Economic Empowerment And Sustainability, One Entrepreneur At A Time

7-Eleven foundation is a non-profit, based in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, in the south-western part of Nigeria, founded in 2017 with one goal – Nation building through the actualization of an economically viable and a financially balanced populace. It is known from research that the economy of a nation thrives when small businesses find it easy to grow, and businesses grow when the business owner has all the tools and prerequisites for growth at his/her fingertips. These ideals are what has driven the foundation these past years and has informed the choice and direction of projects embarked upon.

7-Eleven foundation is focused on young, outstanding entrepreneurs who own small businesses and who are willing to give it all it takes to see their businesses thrive regardless of the harsh economic environment prevalent in the country. The foundation has identified 4 cardinal areas that need to be top-notch for any entrepreneur to succeed, and these are the areas of focus:

  • Business/financial management skills
  • Technical skills
  • Character building
  • Access to finance

These four areas drive the foundation’s projects.

Over the past years, the foundation has embarked on three projects. The first, an entrepreneurship incubator program (Empowering Young Entrepreneurs E.Y.E) where 7 entrepreneurs were selected through a rigorous selection process, then trained in several aspects of business, such as marketing, sales, strategy, customer service, financial accounting etc., over a one-year period by top practitioners who are members of the foundation’s faculty and also double as mentors to these entrepreneurs. At the end of the training sessions, the entrepreneurs received grants to the tune of N250,000 each. As at today, some of the awardees have gone ahead to achieve bigger feats in business, applied for, and won bigger grants outside the shores of Nigeria. These entrepreneurs encountered the foundation as small, struggling business owners, but are now doing way better than they would have done without the input of the foundation. Below is a picture of one of the training sessions with Lolade Oresanwo, the COO of WestAfricaENRG, a top tier waste disposal company in Nigeria.

The foundation has enjoyed immense support from faculty members:

  • Paul O’Callaghan (CEO, WestAfricaENRG)
  • Tolu Aderemi (Senior Partner, Perchstone and Graeys)
  • Ayo Alex-Alao (CEO, Jetheights Services)
  • Lolade Oresanwo (COO, WestAfricaENRG)
  • Temi Oseni (Founder M.A.D Nigeria)
  • Debola Williams (Co-founder, RED Media)
  • Ife Adeagbo (CEO, BridgePalmers Solutions)
  • Kolawole Abiodun (Tax Expert)
  • Olufemi Ojosu LLM. (Associate, Tunde and Adisa LP)

The second project embarked upon was a skill acquisition and startup assistance scheme targeted at youths in Afijio local government area of Oyo state. 100 youths were trained in 5 different vocations, Shoe making, pasteries, paint making, fisheries/snail farming and tie and dye. At the end of the training, each trainee was supported with basic equipment and some funding needed to startup their businesses.

The third project was a sequel to the first one (Empowering Young Entrepreneurs E.Y.E 2.0). 5 young entrepreneurs were selected and trained in business management, financial accounting, Human resource, sales, marketing/social media marketing, customer service, branding/PR, Networking, Business law and Taxation/tax matters, over a period of 9 months. At the end of the training period, each trainee was awarded a grant of N200,000 to support their business. As of today, selection is ongoing for the third diet (E.Y.E 3.0).

Although funding has been a major barrier, since all projects have been privately funded. Nevertheless, the foundation has continued to follow its goal of nation building through economic empowerment of small and medium scale entrepreneurs.

Follow us on Instagram @7elevenfoundation to see details of our past projects and success stories.

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Written by PH

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