By Ushang Ewa
Ten young entrepreneurs of Cross River origin Saturday, were presented awards in recognition for their contributions to the business profile of the state and her economy with the organizers describing it as a deliberate effort to ensure more Cross Riverians venture into business and become self employed as a panacea for alleviating poverty.
The awardees who had their business profiles published for public scrutiny and electronic voting presented their story to participants at the 2015 Young Business Icons Summit and Awards held at the Cultural Center complex in Calabar as a form of inspiration and motivation for them to toe the part of self-employment.
The awardees Geraldine Itoe of Nova Rosta Ltd, Henry Njar Nsan of Topglass Wardrobe, Queensley Offiong Bassey of Queeniez Eateries, Godwin Utubakwu of Goddy Best Shops, Anwakang Charity Emmanuel of Sash Fashion, Paul Ingiona Adie of De CraftMasters Lyceum, Manfom Felix Anyan of Manny Royal Resources and Hope Obeten of CalabarBlog, narrated how their experiences and shortcomings in life shaped their decisions to become entrepreneurs.
For Geraldine who operates a double decker tour business in Calabar, she was driven by the need to offer a value added service in the tourism sector” to start Nova Rosta Ltd where at some stage she was duped by a lawyer.
Henry of Topglass, however began as a mobile salesman of fashion wears after he was delayed for the National Youth Service Scheme and now owns two fashion shops in Calabar.
Queensley was also duped by “a close person” and began by serving at friends occasions till she began her food business which according to her “is now a household name”.
In a rather solemn note, Godwin Utubakwu of Goddy Best Shops, presented a photo album titled “From Motorcycles Washer to Machine Spare Parts and Building Materials Distributor” which summarized the story of the young man with only an SSCE, who says he has over 30 people working under him.
For Charity Anwakang Emmanuel of Sash Fashion who says “there was a time I had only two clothes, and they were not mine, they were my sister’s clothes and you can imagine, they did not fit me”, she now own her own fashion business, sews and wear whatever she likes and has three apprentices she is tutoring of which one is getting the training for free.
“We are trying to sell the state’s potentials to the world through our art” says Paul Adie of the CraftMaster Lyceum, who says capital was his hindrance but is happy with the level of progress so far.
The founder of CalabarBlog, Hope Obeten said the decision to build the site was borne out of his desire to “Let people know what is happening in the state in terms of events, gist and even gossip”.
Presenting the awards to them, Special Adviser, Office of the Wifre of the Governor, Mrs. Rose Eneji who represented the Dr. Linda Ayade and a Media Assistant to Governor Benedict Ayade, Mr. Solomon Asha charged them to continue “blazing the trail” which has made them unique.
Two of the selected awardees however did not attend the event which drew people from across the socio-political divides of the society.
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