Yetunde A. Odugbesan-Omede
Young, beautiful, vibrant, intelligent and taking the world by storm.
Whoot Africa talks to Yetunde Odugbesan- Omede, a young business leader who has become a pacesetter and an inspiration to many.
Yetunde Odugbesan-Omede is the CEO of Yetunde Global Consulting, a consulting firm that specializes in leadership development and training, organizational management and business branding for professionals and firms. She is also the founder of the “Young Women’s Guide Inc.” an organisation which equips young women with leadership skills, personal development and career guidance through seminars,workshops and more.
How it all began
Charting the course of excellence should never be left to chance. A concept Yetunde Odugbesan-Omede practices and preaches. Having always wanted to be a business owner,Yetunde had no idea just how far that dream was going to take her. With a determination to achieve her dreams, good mentors and God’s grace, she has surpassed her own expectations. As one who seeks to empower others, especially young women who also want to turn their passion into a form of service – Hence the Young Woman’s Guide was birthed – www.youngwomansguide.com
On the African business scene
Whoot Africa went on to inquire on how she plans to inspire the present generation of African business entrepreneurs and her thoughts on the current African business scene.
The current African business scene, she explains has seen tremendous and undeniable growth.
African business entrepreneurs have done such an impressive job in creating businesses that offer valuable solutions and services in the field of technology, medicine, entertainment and finance. From Kenya to Nigeria, some of the most innovative start-ups have been incubated in these countries.
During one of her numerous workshops on Entrepreneurship that took place in Lagos Nigeria recently, she was able to experience first-hand, the drive and zeal for advancement, from an amazing set of young people ranging from law students, to medical students who were interested in all forms of business ventures that had little to do with their field of expertise. This shows that there is in fact an energetic generation of young people who are willing and ready to think outside of the box.
Mrs Odugbesan-Omede, advocates value and interpersonal skills – people must see value in their ideas and dreams and not just in academics. The drive to succeed is one we must all imbibe and just like the proverbial “make hay while the sun shines”, we all get the same 24-hour days irrespective of gender, background or societal status.
“As an entrepreneur, you will encounter myriad of people, and you have to be able to speak publicly and effectively communicate who you are, as well as your business. Getting people to buy into your ideas solely depends on you” she says.
With numerous accomplishments already in her kitty and many more to come, one fact remains undeniable; Yetunde is a business and leadership force to be reckoned with. She recently shared a podium with Former US President Bill Clinton, named as one of the 13 Young Global Economic/Business Leaders to watch in 2013 by Ventures Africa Magazine and was described by BusinessDay Nigeria as “dynamic, exceptional, beautiful, and powerful and an ambassador for positive change, youth and women empowerment.”
Through it all, she remains grateful for the opportunities she has received and understands the continuous need to be consistent and forward thinking as she ventures into new projects in Nigeria and the US.
What drives her?
What is it about her life that she wants that young girl or woman to know about chasing their dreams?
“Her PASSION and PURPOSE”
She is adamant that young people should not sit idly and expect things to fall on their laps. They must take control of their journey and accept responsibility for their actions. A truly inspiring personality – Yetunde is grounded, a trait she credits to her parents. She describes them as great mentors, who have instilled in her the confidence and the assurance to pursue her dreams. And the self-esteem to know and feel from a very young age that she is indeed worthy of living life to the fullest, with no regrets.
On Women in Business, Rivalry and Unfair Representation
Yetunde Odugbesan- Omede believes that women are under-represented in leadership positions; whether in elected offices, civil services, the private sector or academia. This occurs despite their proven abilities as leaders and agents of change, and their right to participate equally in democratic governance.
On the concept of women, being their own worst enemies, Yetunde strongly disagrees, but somehow understands that women can sometimes be hard on each other. Women must realize that it starts from within and need to ensure that the next generation of women has the confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills to soar and to be an asset in their given field. This way they will be able to pay it forward and empower other young women.
Education is extremely important.
Yetunde does not share the sentiments of forgoing education for entrepreneurship, as both education and entrepreneurship complement each other. She uses her life as an example and is currently completing her doctorate in Global Affairs from Rutgers University in New Jersey USA. She has two first degrees and certificates in leadership and research fellowships.
She doesn’t discount the fact that there are some achievers in the world, who have had little to no college education and have gone on to change the world in their various fields. However, she believes young people in the world today can combine both their entrepreneurial pursuit with their educational background. It is all about the extra-added advantage; an education will give your more choices.
On her Legacy
Changing the world with passion and being able to make it a better place than she met it, one life at a time not only fuels her passion, but keeps her on her feet and more determined than ever.
In conclusion, Yetunde Odugbesan-Omede is an unfinished story. Just when you think, she is comfortable with being a young leader and pioneer, she is changing more lives and inspiring more young people especially women to think outside the box.
She shares a line from Beyonce Knowles- Carter’s “I was here”, a song that she loves so much and whose lyrics resonates with her vision to be the best she could ever be;
I just want them to know | That I gave my all, did my best| Brought someone some happiness|
Left this world a little better just because | I was here | I lived, I loved | I did, I’ve done everything that I wanted | And it was more than I thought it would be.
That sums it up. I want people to know that I gave my best. That everything I did, everything I accomplished and will accomplish is to ensure that other people are empowered and inspired to be their best and pay it forward.