Entrepreneurship is assuming a critical role in the Nigerian political economy because of widespread unemployment, which has led many young people to start a business.
While many have failed and lost hope, others have continued to make progress regardless of the difficulties and government inconsistencies.
However, many young people have refused to be deterred by harsh economic policies. One young entrepreneur who has braced the odds and made a name for himself is Chukwudi Ezenwa, who hails from Achina, Anambra State.
He is the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of GSS Group of companies. GSS which stands for General Site Solutions, include subsidiaries like GSS Real Estate and Investments, GSS Security (Private Security), GSS Production and GSS Construction.
The 27-year-old Nnamdi Azikiwe University-trained architect is a serial entrepreneur who is currently repositioning the real estate business and private security in the Southeastern part of the country.
However, he did not just get to this point; he had set up some businesses in Anambra State and Abuja, which all crumbled after a period of time. But just as Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”, the seeming failures served as springboard that has made the GSS Group grow in leaps and bounds.
Speaking in an interview, Ezenwa, who chronicled his ordeals while starting off as an entrepreneur said, “Many people are always quick to comment on one’s success stories and wish they were already successful. Well, it is one good thing to admire success or wish to become a successful entrepreneur, but one thing many fail to understand is that things were never like this from the outset. There was a time I was so broke but hungry to succeed and I remained focused and never ‘slept’. There were strings of shortfalls, ups and downs, disappointments, and several discomforts, but what stood out was my ability to fixate my eyes on the goal.
“I started a security outfit in Abuja in 2013 that failed; I started a Bar Villa V in Ifite-Awka, Anambra State in 2013 and it failed; I had betting outlets in 2014 that failed; I started Carfeeds, a car sales e-commerce site in 2015 and it still failed. Furthermore, I started a movie production company in 2016 that failed but each time I failed, I gained experience. I am never ashamed of failing, I only fall forward.”
Ezenwa’s story is one of motivation, persistence and perseverance. It is a story that needs to be told repeatedly.
He is a young man that has ‘failed’ in more than five different businesses that many others are flourishing in. Perhaps, many would have concluded that business is not their calling having failed countless number of times, but instead, he did not let his failure deny his dream.
Many have lost track or given up simply because they were not firm and resolute in consistently remembering why they started.
Ezenwa is one of the tough entrepreneurial maestros presently. If not for his tough nature, he would have killed and buried the GSS dream; a company that has given succour to his fellow young people put smiles on the faces of 1,000 families whose relatives are employees of one of the fastest-growing company East of the Niger.
If he was not tough, probably many young Nigerians would still be roaming the streets and looking for jobs but he never allowed his back to remain on the ground after falling several times.
On August 25, 2020, Ezenwa reflected the words of Mandy Hale, “There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others”. The serial entrepreneur who understands funding as the major challenge of young entrepreneurs went out of his way to support young businesses as he gave the sum of N2.7million to 20 young entrepreneurs from Anambra State.
This singular gesture was to ameliorate the plight of the young entrepreneurs during the lockdown in 2020.
Speaking at the occasion, he said: “I’ve been through this hurdle and perfectly understand how funding can make or mar businesses, hence my decision to empower my fellow young entrepreneurs to thrive.”