Flutterwave Co-founder Iyin Aboyeji on Tuesday said his attendance at a youth entrepreneurship boot-camp in 2005 greatly shaped his ability to build successful companies.
Aboyeji, regarded as one of Nigeria’s most successful young entrepreneurs, co-founded educational startup Andela before working on Flutterwave which recently achieved a $1 billion valuation.
He is currently the CEO of Future Africa, a venture capital vehicle that has invested in about “45 companies”.
“We live in a society where things are still very, very early, particularly in the sense that there is a lot of things still yet to be built,” Aboyeji said at a Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) Stakeholders Engagement session on Tuesday.
“And my mind-frame is that every challenge in a society is really an opportunity for people to build things.
“And so the most valuable skill that we can give our children – skills which I learned from Junior Achievement – is the skill of being able to create value.
“And that’s really what entrepreneurship is about. And that’s what Junior Achievement gives you the ability to get on the ground and do. And learning how to do it in a very structured way.”
JAN is part of Junior Achievement Worldwide, one of the world’s oldest and largest non-profit economic education organisations operating in 120 countries.
It runs “experiential, hands-on programs” that teach young people “financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship” according to a page on its website.
“I remember when I was part of the company program at JA back in 2005/2006, the core of the program was about how a company works, how it is structured, how it is financed and what you do with the money and how you account for it,” Aboyeji said.
“And in learning through those steps, which have now become a habit for me, we’ve backed about 45 companies in my current fund and probably advised and worked for close to 100 companies at this point in my career.
“Being taught those principles early – about company formation and value creation and how to capture the value you’ve created – really does open your mind. And I think the ability for our kids to start early is extremely important.”