Programs and Events
U.S. Speaker Saul Garlick Encourages Nigerian Youth to Become Successful Entrepreneurs (August 13, 2012)
August 13, 2012
“To succeed as an entrepreneur, you must be ready to work hard, take risks, develop a ’can-do-mentality,’ and be ready to fail, and fail often,” said Saul Garlick while addressing several dozen Nigerian business people in Abuja on August 13 . Garlick is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Thinkimpact, a global social entrepreneurship program that provides U.S. students with opportunities in Africa to apply market-based solutions to fight poverty.
He said: “What makes the rich different from everyone else is the readiness to fail and fail fast. They learn from their risks and failures, and this mindset makes them successful business people.”
More than 100 young entrepreneurs, including the Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) Muhammad Nadada Umar, and members of the press attended Garlick’s interactive session on business development and job creation. The session was organized by the U.S. Embassy in collaboration with SMEDAN.
Garlick is not new to business start-ups. At age 17, he founded Student Movement for Real Change and through his new outfit Thinkimpact, he is attributed to have led more than 200 people in the last four years to live and work in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa; an effort that earned him the endorsement of former President Nelson Mendela of South Africa.
Speaking to his audience in Abuja, Garlick emphasized that money or capital should not be the starting point of any new business. “Entrepreneurship starts with people as resources. When you bring people together, opportunities arise and this leads you to the road to success. Do not look for money, look for opportunities and money will come,” said Garlick.
He also listed having a strong character profile, good time management skills and a willingness to share your knowledge as good indicators for successful business development. Garlick encouraged the audience to avoid making government the “source” of their business. “Do not depend or wait for government to make you successful; depend on yourself and you will succeed,” said Garlick.
The second part of the interactive session will continue on August 14, at the National Center for Women Development (NCWD), where the U.S. Entrepreneur Speaker will hold a workshop with another NGO--Youngstars Development Initiative (YDI)--and women entrepreneurs on job creation and business development. Garlick will also be speaking to groups in lagos and Calabar.