Oreoluwa Osoba, 26-year-old graduate of Computer Science, creative director of Coz Designs and celebrity bag maker, has urged youths in the country to rise above current challenges and develop their entrepreneurial spirit.
According to him, the greatest asset of any nation is a well-educated and empowered youth.
He said: “The youths are enthusiastic, curious, creative and innovative. At this stage, they have the capacity and tenacity to pursue their dreams and attain great heights, however, guidance is important to how this creativity is unlocked.
“In Africa, young people face a number of challenges, including high levels of youth unemployment. Youth unemployment has contributed immensely to a rise in poverty, terrorism, insecurity, banditry, kidnappings, political thuggery, civil unrest, cyber-crime and many social vices we witness today.
“However, entrepreneurship has been shown to be the only sustainable path to resolving this situation. Young people, mostly operate within the micro to small business space and entrepreneurship provides young people with the necessary skills and experiences to thrive economically and contribute to development of the country.”
Speaking on his experience, he said he has been able to grow a household name in the fashion industry from the brand he started at age 20.
“How I have stayed at the top is by studying my customers and studying the economy; business shouldn’t be about just making money it should be about creating a good name and image for your brand. Many young entrepreneurs forget why they started what they do, they get carried away and don’t focus on their goals anymore. As a businessman, I always keep myself in check, I set goals and with the help of GOD and hard work I achieve them,” he said.
In 2020, he created the Coz Leather Mask to keep his customers stylish and safe. Today, Coz mask has sold over 5,000 pieces of which 20 per cent of the profit was given to charity to help families during the covid 19 lock down.
Ore said: “During the lock down no one needed bags anymore and I had to think of something, I studied my environment, did a research and I found a solution, Coz Mask. I didn’t just want to keep Nigerians safe but I wanted to keep them stylish. I created something exciting and unique for my customers; I remember going out and seeing people wear Coz masks and the confidence it gave them made me so happy.”
But how does Ore keep it all together being young and successful? “For me being successful is my way of helping people, I get to be an employer of labor; I get to put smiles on peoples’ faces and I know I have a lot of people counting on me so I really don’t get carried away. I stay close to GOD and with the help of close friends I just take one step at a time. I always advise people to keep a small circle and put GOD first In everything”.
Today, Coz has sold over 10,000 bags worldwide, exports to several countries and Ore has no plans of stopping now. He has won numerous awards for his creativity and his passion for business. His charity movement “Omo Ijebu ni mi” helps the children of his home town Ijebu Ode and encourages them to believe in themselves. “There is nothing better than giving back and helping out, I find happiness and joy in helping out”.
According to Ore, being successful is the easy part but staying successful is the hard part. A lot of businesses don’t last long in the game because they do not study the Market and are not flexible enough. I didn’t study business management, I’m a first class graduate of computer science but I have always had a passion for business. I have learnt from past mistakes and do a lot of research.
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