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Meet the Women

Detoun

Lagos, Nigeria

Profession
Human Resources
Business
AGDC Employability & Enterprise Development Ltd/GTE
Country
Nigeria
partner school
Pan-Atlantic University
Investing in others has far reaching rewards. I believe we can transform our nation.

Business Overview

I run a social enterprise called Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC).Our focus is to increase employability amongst the Nigerian workforce. AGDC seeks to achieve national rebirth and social change by investing in the entrepreneurial capacity of Nigeria's youth.

AGDC is positioned as a "transformational vehicle" by helping graduates become more productive and better able to achieve rewarding career paths for themselves. We work to find and fill skill gaps in our economy using need-driven solutions that will drastically reduce high levels of graduate unemployment, currently standing at 60% in a nation with over 60 million youth.

Challenges

Our challenges have been typical of a small start up business in Nigeria. These challenges include power, high operating costs, and infrastructure problems.

We have had trouble educating the market because there are currently no other career centers in Nigeria; this has been costly in terms of time and resources. Currently, our market is still largely unaware of our offerings and programs due to budgetary constraints.

Our fundraising efforts were also negatively affected by the global financial meltdown. Some previously interested international funding organizations put our proposals on hold until further notice.

Results

Investing in others has far reaching rewards; I have benefited from Goldman Sachs' and EDS' investment and can now invest in Nigerian youth. The 10,000 Women program provided me with core learnings, which have tremendously impacted my work.

The Operations, Strategy & Financial management modules, including coaching sessions with my Goldman Sachs mentor, helped me to create an effective cost structure.

During our Human Resources class, I realized how dissatisfied business owners are with the employable quality of our current generation of Nigerian graduates. I also observed during our class conversations that there appeared to be a stereotype about the average Nigerian graduate. I used this new knowledge to create an employability development curriculum.

My most treasured lesson from the program is that "Strategy is Everything." The strategy class gave direction to our efforts and created a roadmap for the future we strongly believe in, for the organization and for the youth of our nation.

Since the training, my company has made several strides. We received funding from two international foundations on three--month and one-year renewable projects. AGDC's revenue from its facility management service has quadrupled post 10,000 Women. Other sources of AGDC revenue include the sale of books and CDs.

We have also improved our staffing system. Our current staff strength includes 11 young interns. Working with my Goldman Sachs mentor and one of the facilitators from the CEM class, our organizational structure was redefined and we have a structured recruitment process in place.

AGDC's goal to increase employability amongst the Nigerian workforce is primarily social in nature. We have recorded a 95% success rate in our internship placement program, including seven permanent job opportunities.

Future Goals

I hope that AGDC will outlive its female founders. My short term goal is to establish an employability council that will engage stakeholders in resolving Nigeria's youth employability problems at a national level.

AGDC's long term goal is to be the premier social enterprise with measurable transformative impact on the lives of Nigeria's youth and workforce through human capital development, career management, research and advocacy interventions. Contrary to what currently exists in our nation, we envision and will actively participate in the creation of a Nigeria where our youth obtain necessary career direction and a pathway to productive and focused living.

AGDC allows people to interface with the world of work before they exit universities. I am trying to partner with the Ministry of Youth Development, hoping to go nationwide and I want to provide employability training on a national scale. It's a big goal, but it's possible.