Chibuikem Agbaegbu is all about empowerment. Not only does he strive for developing a Nigeria with plenty of access to clean, decentralized, renewable energy together with Power For All, but he is a true advocate of a brighter tomorrow. Chibuikem is also going to be part of the speakers and mentors at Sprinters’ first 3-day FEMPRENEURSHIP WORKSHOP in Abuja on August 4th to 6th, 2017 to share his international insights and know-how to support teams of female entrepreneurs on their business development during the workshop. His focus areas lie with entrepreneurship, and energy policy, research, market development, innovation, project design and development.
Chibuikem shares his drive behind striving for excellence, why he chose an entrepreneurial path, his thoughts on Female Empowerment, and why he lives for renewable energy, a topic that is high on the agenda of the Nigerian government.
Why did you choose your current career path?
My goal to make a key impact in my community on a national level, my love for sustainability, and ambition to be a globally recognized professional in my chosen field. At first it started out as wanting to be a pollution expert when I found out my interest in energy and environmental sustainability, but gradually shaped up over time to primarily being focused on renewable energy and innovative entrepreneurship.
What was your first Entrepreneurial Experience
In my third year in university, I started a waste management company with two friends called Bargeld Enterprise. The goal was to introduce a sustainable and innovative waste management model in Owerri which is the city I was primarily based then, and reward people for good waste management practice. The business model involved encouraging homes to quit public dumping of refuse which was very common then and still is, by introducing a door-to-door waste service system where homes segregate their waste and get rewarded with points based on the amount of recyclable materials they have. The non-recyclable waste will then be properly disposed off, the recyclables sold to recyclers and part of the profit given back to these homes as some form of incentive when they accumulate certain level of points. We were part of a university competition then - the YOUWIN All University Business Competition - and emerged as finalists but did not win though. However we had no form of training nor mentoring and were unable to pull-off the project or get the capital/asset required. The lesson from this experience was learnt.
What is your opinion of Female Empowerment in Nigeria.
I am an advocate of female empowerment. I have sisters for example, and refuse to accept they should be limited or prevented from aspiring to any height they want to because they are female. I have come across women with great ideas who hide them because they felt disadvantaged as women. On the other hand, I have come across successful and accomplished women doing great work. Nigeria needs more of them. My current and most impactful mentor professionally is a female. I just believe there should be a balance in everything, professional and personal.
What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
My first and biggest challenge was overcoming the fear and obstacle in my mindset to becoming an entrepreneur even though it was the only thing I wanted. You see we are mentally programmed especially if you come from a reasonably comfortable home and did not have to 'hustle' , not to take chances and to play it safe. So that was my biggest challenge and I overcame it by reading motivational books, bibliographies of people I admire, and just not wanting to have regrets later in life.
What is your most important entrepreneurship advice for young women?
Believe in yourself, believe in your purpose, put it down in writing, set SMART goals, get a mentor who is willing to invest capacity resources in you, then execute. Also try to strike a good balance between your professional life and your personal life.
We believe for a better future for the world - What would your ideal world look like?
Clean energy, healthy environment, equal opportunities, less poverty and stronger increased belief in humankind. Lots and lots of renewable energy.
What do you think have been the key factors to your high-level success in this field?
Prayer, self-confidence, understanding of delayed gratification, support from family, support from mentors, faith, desire, focus and persistence.
What do you hope your legacy will be, in dedicating your life to your personal mission and vision for the future?
Globally recognized for driving the transformation of Africa's energy sector, incubating reputable innovative companies, and philanthropy.
And it is not just hoping, that is what I know.
They will share knowledge in excellence, funding possibilities for your future business, business plan development insights and much more. But not only will your brain get nurtured with insights. You will also receive wellness activities and healthy food during the 3 days of the workshop.
Co-Founder of Sprinters loves motivating and inspiring people to become a better self. She lives in Berlin and loves to dance throughout the day.
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