The presumed image of a meeting of business leaders, country representatives and heads of governments is a room filled with people aged 50-70, even 80 years old, discussing the narratives that will shape the world. Sadly, decisions from such a meeting will not impact their generation, they will impact young people who are not present in such engagement.
Let’s face it, over 50% of the world’s population is under the age of 27. So if someone is going to decide to shape the future, the youth, have to be part of that dialogue; a bigger part of this narrative of co-creating the future.
Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, realized this early on and founded the Global Shapers Community to empower young people to play an active role in shaping local, regional and global agendas.
With the largest youth population in history, there is an unprecedented opportunity for young people to take an active role in shaping the future. This generation has inherited enormous global challenges but has the ability to confront the status quo and offer youth-led solutions for change. They are today’s leaders.
To amplify the need for meaningful youth participation at all levels of government Pleasures Magazine presents the theme of the July / August issue of your deluxe Pan-African Entrepreneurial and Luxury magazine: “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”, a special edition to celebrate two young estimable personalities who are changing our world in no small ways, these two keeps moving the needle especially in the area of entrepreneurship. They are taking more risks than ever before and building phenomenal businesses and taking decisions that are tackling problems and creating lots of jobs in the process. They are real change agents.
Seyi Tinubu, CEO of advertising giant, Loatsad Promomedia andNoella Tinubu Foundation, a non-profit organization in the interview with Pleasures magazine, highlighted his entrepreneurial journey and the impact of his Noella Tinubu Foundation, an initiative to empower and encourage youths to become change-makers in society by helping them to identify their passion and use that passion to create solutions that empower Nigerian communities and drive greater economic growth.
Correspondingly, the young Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohamed bin Salman, a relentless driver of change. Just aged 32, the Saudi Prince is a phenomenon! Within two years in office, he has inspired unprecedented reforms starting from his home country Saudi and spreading across the world. Through his Misk Foundation, he has empowered over 100,000 startups in 100 countries.
The Making of Seyi Tinubu
One of the refreshing aspects of the founder of Noella Tinubu Foundation, Seyi Tinubu’s interview with Pleasures Magazine was the conviction with which he talks about his enterprise and what it has achieved so far, or his refusal to accept the status quo just because of a that’s-the-way-it-has-always-been-done sort of mentality. This Nigerian entrepreneur and the son of one of the leading Nigerian politicians, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu seems to be charged up with a vision of a better future for the world at large.
The Noella Tinubu Foundation, founded by Seyi and his wife Layal started out, as a result of the yearnings of people who always ask the couple for support and help in one area or another. So they both thought it would be best to set up a foundation where they can use a platform to empower people. The duos who are prolific entrepreneurs harnessed their startup businesses as well as other areas requiring support to keep their initiatives running. It has since grown into becoming “a global millennial startup movement for social good,” with Seyi and his team essentially developing entrepreneurial pipelines across Africa that transform business minds into change agents for sustainable impact.
“I love innovations and I see the future being tech-driven. With that said, the Noella Tinubu Foundation is not limited to creating programs for tech entrepreneurs.” Seyi said in the interview.
“Noella Tinubu Foundation was set up as a platform to empower and encourage youths to become change-makers in society by helping them identify their passion to create solutions.”
With this being the case, Pleasures Magazine beamed the impact of the foundation and in his response to the question, Seyi said: “We’ve come up with initiatives such as scholarships to deserving students, empowering kids and youths with educational materials, training and skills empowerment, and other outreach programs to orphans, widows, and children.”
The NoellaTinubu Foundation has grown to a full-blown movement which is leading an entire generation to change the world,” he declares. “By 2050, the population in Africa is set to double to two billion with nearly half of that being under 25 years old. I believe that a rise in the younger population alongside entrepreneurship is significant to stir up a job creation wave. The reason why the NoellaTinubu Foundation was set up as a platform to empower and encourage youths to become change-makers in society by helping them identify their passion to create solutions that empower Nigerian communities and drive greater economic growth. We give help to various individuals, bodies, groups, etc as a way to increase not just their livelihood, career, business, interests, etc.
We run workshops, training, invest, scale; all for the purpose of changing the trajectory of students on college campuses across Africa. Our aim is to provide a risk-free opportunity and then back it up with the support required to have change.
We are distinguished in that we are a pipeline creator, the most fundamental piece of the startup funnel. We turn ordinary students into impact entrepreneurs, because we start with people, not ideas.”
As Seyi rightly notes, the NTF has transformed from what it was in its initial days- but it’s a change that has been for the better. “The objective of our foundation is to shortcut the entrepreneurial journey for young people, and get them to realize that you can build a billion-dollar business by creatively thinking about some of our world’s toughest challenges.”
According to him, “We pick an exciting area of impact that can be addressed and then we write a detailed opportunity map, outlining where billion dollar companies could be generated. By focusing our entire network on one topic, it changes the paradigm of a generation and exposes market inefficiencies in the current development space, which can be solved through business approaches. This year’s challenge is on rethinking how to harness the power of energy to transform 10 million lives. We used to focus on the bottom of the pyramid, but I have shifted our focus on empowering more people to reach the middle class. Tackling poverty is not enough; we must move the lower third into economic independence.”
“The Noella Tinubu Foundation has grown to a full-blown movement which is leading an entire generation to change the world”
Another sector Seyi is making marks is the advertising sector. Although he is trained as a lawyer, his entry into the lucrative advertising industry has rewritten how the industry is run in Nigeria. His company Loatsad Promomedia is the rave of the industry now. With Seyi at the helm, Loatsad Promomedia has provided services for various clients in Telecommunications, Energy, Banking, Food and Beverages, Pharmaceuticals, Media, Real Estate, Education and Government, including Lagos State Advertising Agency (LASAA).
“I love innovations and I see the future being tech-driven. With that said, the Noella Tinubu Foundation is not limited to creating programs for tech entrepreneurs.”
In 2017, his innovative impute into the industry earned him a prestigious Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award. In recognizing and rewarding excellence in Nigeria’s Entrepreneurs, Advertising and Marketing Communications sectors. Seyi’s giant strides are even more appreciated by many, in his effort to live off the illustrious name of his father. He remains one of the most inventive and energetic minds in Nigerian technology today.
On the Crowning Achievement of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from June 2017 to June 2019, Saudi Arabia’s progressive crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman has clocked two years as the country’s second in command. At such a young age of 31, not many people would have already earned their place in the history of their countries. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (or MBS as he is known) is an exception.
But not only did he push aside an entire generation of much older royal princes who seemed assured of ascending the throne, but he has also transformed his nation; the historic decision to allow Saudi women to drive is attributed to him, as are countless economic reforms now sweeping the kingdom with the speed of a proverbial desert storm. And of course, his Misk Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic foundation the young prince established to discover, develop and empower young people in Saudi Arabia, and beyond to become active participants in the future economy.
Like all radical reformers, MBS’s actions attract both praise and criticism. Some regard him as Saudi Arabia’s greatest hope, while others dismiss the new crown prince as just an inexperienced youngster in a hurry but, he never fails to prove his critic wrong with his landslide achievements.
A Progressive Prince
When Mohammad bin Salman, first announced his ambitious, nationwide reform program – bearing the rather theatrical title, Vision 2030 – targets included diversifying the economy, improving public services such as health and education, and, front and centre, drastically reducing dependence on oil. Two years on – and now Crown Prince – bin Salman’s reforms continue apace. It may seem surprising that such an oil-rich state – 16% of global oil reserves; 13% of global oil supply – should be trying to turn its back on the commodity that took it from poor desert kingdom to wealthy world player. But with 87% of state revenue coming from oil, reform has been in the pipeline for some time. Over the years, there have been improvements to economic infrastructure, and some development of a previously poor transport system – but no major movement on the kingdom’s oil addiction. Most members of the country’s ruling elite have been noncommittal on reform, and have refused to address structural problems in both the economy and the government.
So, when the young bin Salman ascended from deputy to Crown Prince in June 2017, there was an expectation of real change.
In order to achieve his goals, bin Salman quickly introduced a liberalizing agenda for both the economy and society. Perhaps his grandest project is NEOM, a planned megacity expected to cost US$500 billion dollars, take between 30 and 50 years to complete, and, it is hoped, attract vast sums of foreign investment. Located in Tabuk, a northern border region near Egypt, Jordan, and Israel, the idea is to construct an ultra-modern, futuristic hub of international business, commerce, and digital tech. The government expects to fund the enterprise by privatizing parts of state-run industrial programs – including 5% of the world’s largest oil company, Saudi Aramco. At the same time, bin Salman has made efforts to cut back the bureaucracy and restrictive legislation that has strangled the Saudi private sector. He has curtailed the power of the religious police, allowed women to drive and open their own businesses without the permission of a male guardian.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, right, with Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, on his visit to Silicon Valley in April.
A Prince of Development and Youth Empowerment
Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s impact is not limited to the Kingdom. On the foreign scene, he has already written his name in gold. He set up Misk Global Forum, a platform he is using to discover, develop and empower young people in Saudi Arabia, and beyond to become active participants in the future economy. The forum furthers the foundation’s mission internationally through engagement, partnerships, and events. In 2018 alone, MISK received 2,900 Entries from 148 Countries and paid $100,000 grant for each of the entries.
As if that’s not enough! Another platform the Crown Prince is using to ‘wow’ the world is the Entrepreneurship World Cup. According to the apt project description, this initiative is more than just a global pitch competition with a shot at life-changing prizes as much as $5.million. Already 100,000 entries have been received from around the world. What an impact!
His Misk Media Forum
The Misk Media Forum is Saudi Arabia’s premier event connecting rising media pioneers with visionary leaders and content creators. Its main goal is to build the skills of Saudi youth by encouraging the exchange of ideas through innovative and collaborative formats.
It was launched as annual events in 2013, Tweeps and Shoof Forums have explored possibilities for using new media for social impact and inspired thousands of young people to unleash their creative potential.
Some of the topics explored in the past include new opportunities in visual digital media, the impact of social media on government services, sports fanaticism, and the rise of new creativity in social media channels. Both events have empowered Saudi youth to build their professional and intellectual networks while learning about today’s most pressing social issues.
It was hosted by the Initiative Center of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation ‘Misk’. The Misk Media Forum focuses on the role social media has come to play in our lives. It creates a fast-paced, high-voltage environment designed to engage directly with social media leaders and influencers.
This issue also includes a look at the numerous positive initiatives of the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development, founded by Queen Rania Al Abdulahi of Jordan. And on the 5 key sectors Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Kastina state, North-West Nigeria prioritized in other to achieve the Restoration Agenda for his state, including the eight points agenda for the next four years.
Plus, special profiling of 50 African Women Entrepreneurs to watch out for on the global stage
And as usual, the magazine is incomplete without your usual light stories and other human interest narratives such as the heart touching grass to grace story of Joana Gyan, Ghana’s queen of Gold export. Read the interesting tourist sites in Africa, these and many more reports combine in making the magazine a collector’s item and reading pleasure for all and sundry.
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Seyi’s Photography by | @georgeokoro
MsB’s Photography by | Misk Foundation