In April 2019, we hosted the first ever Entrepreneurship Event in Boki LGA of Cross River State tagged; 'Boki Business Conference (BBCON)’ with theme; ’Starting A Business With No Money’ which was to build basic knowledge on the key segments of starting, running and growing a Business. 

We spiced up the event with a skill Acquisition programme as a way of backing up our young participants with lucrative skills that are in a very much high demand in the society.

Well, I'm not writing a full report of the 2019 Boki Business Conference (See report here), rather I wish to reveal secrets, challenges, lessons, and our experiences, then pass a very simple message.

Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, Yes! But in my case, I understand that life is made of small things too. And the only way I can possibly accomplish something big is to begin the little the way I can. 

After identifying a problem our people were facing even in the midst of plenty, we decided to start ‘Boki Blog’ In October 2017 with the dream of promoting the Boki people and culture, the huge economic and Agricultural potential, as well as Changing the world's perspective about our people. Even though we're now going statewide.

The ideas of Boki Business Conference (BBCON) event was in line with our commitment to transform, readdress and repackage the well-being of our communities and youths to portray Creativity rather than Crime or Violence. (Read more about BBCON here).

While the 2020 event remains hanging due to the COVID-19 Lockdown, we are looking forward to host 1000 participants in this year's BBCON event, with Ten (10) speakers and 20 skills to be acquired.


So when we finally decided to begin with plans to host the 2019 Boki Business conference, I and my team came together to budget and share different ideas on how we could go about the event. Our budget for the event was N245,000, even though I had a secret budget of N500,000 I never presented to my team till today. Some of them will be suprised they're knowing about this now 😊

Sincerely, I never wanted them to feel I was putting them to an impossible task of finding strategies to actually get such an amount! We are all students trying to make societal impact, we are not Rich. So, how do we raise N500,000? I asked myself same question repeatedly (inside of me)

I'm one of those person's who believe in setting my goals high enough to inspire me and not low enough to encourage me. Cuz I prefer to be inspired than encouraged.

So we settled for N245,000 as Budget for the 2019 Boki Business Conference and drafted strategies on how to raise funds to meet up with the Budget. Our goal was majorly to host at least 200 participants which made us also develop good mobilization strategies to ensure that we meet up with our Initial plans.

We started mobilizing participants from social media, Social and religious gatherings and to the streets on a one-on-one approach with flyers and other materials. The Registration for the event was just N1,000. It was so encouraging to get young people very interested in the event, but quite devastating most of them were finding it very difficult to pay N1,000 for such a quality event. The registration turnup was so low that it made me begin to rethink.

Have you ever Started something and getting to the middle of it all, you feel like quitting? That's how I felt!

Okay! We targeted six speakers, three of which we need to compensate and another three who are from Boki. Our trainers for Cake design, pizza and shawarma making, decorations and others in the skill acquisition session and other resource Persons from outside the State, materials we hired and many other things kept dropping questions in my mind.

We never thought about quitting! We kept putting efforts Even though it seemed our hopes were gone.

In everything you do, always remember, JUST BEGIN.

Just begin, no matter how difficult it seems to be.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

Continue going and don't bother if you end up failing.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again. This time more intelligently.

Some people want it to happen, Some people wish it would happen, YOU can make it happen.

Two (2) weeks to the event, we were still not sure of 50 participants, we didn't even have up to 30k at hand for an event we budgeted nearly N250,000. Although we had already printed billboards, posters, tags and sent some Money to some of our resource persons coming from distant locations as well as the skill trainers to get materials they'll be needing for the skill acquisition session.

We were still needing up to N150,000 to settle other expenses of the 2-day event happening in two weeks. Our goal was not to benefit from the BBCON event in anyway, we only wanted to make an impact in the society.

We then put in more efforts to gain Registered participants because no matter how much money we raise for the event, it will still be useless without the people. We didn't want everyone to attend, rather we wanted people who had value for the conference. That's why we needed every participant to register and even subsidizing the fee to N500.

10 Days to the event, seeing that we still had less than 50 participants when we initially planned 200 participants, we were devastated. We resolved to get few persons to attend the event for free including senior secondary school students and used the remaining few days to run around for financial support from Boki people of which we realized close to nothing 😏

We had to forget about the situation we were facing and focus on the big event instead. Indeed, we kept the fate. 

On a Tuesday morning, three days to the event, I received a call from a Young Boki Man resident in Abuja; according to him “I just saw a flyer about Boki Business Conference on Facebook, are you the one Organizing it?” he asked. I said Yes, then he continued “wow. This is good initiative, we have been waiting for something like this for a long time and I'm happy it's happening with our young people and I'll love to support the dream” he added, then asked for my account details and transferred N20,000. I smiled. That afternoon, two young men called again, one of them sent N10,000 and the other N5000. I smiled again.

Same day at about 8pm, I was lying down Inside the room, thinking and asking myself silly questions;
What if our resource persons don't show up? What if Registered participants just have to forget about their money and refuse to come? I thought like a mad man and even started feeling sick! 😏🤔

It was then I received another call from a   US phone number, I quickly cleared my throat, added bass to my voice, and answered immediately 😊. It was a lady's voice. She first greeted in Bokyi Language and I responded, then she asked me few questions; Are you Pospi? Which part of Boki are you from? And so on. I responded respectfully. Then she began to tell me about herself. She's from Boki, resident in US, a novelist.

She continued speaking “ I got your phone number from Boki Blog, I love what you guys are doing, promoting our  people and culture. I commend your efforts” she said. “I just published a new work and I need you to help promote it to Boki people and Cross Riverians on your blog, also I want to make a donation to Boki Blog, call your account for me”. She transferred N50,000 to my account. This time, I smiled repeatedly.

Supports just kept coming... 🙃

But why is the support coming now? I asked myself.

You know, sometimes you just have to take that bold step, you just have to begin and you'll be surprised that it will Only get better and easier as you approach your goals.

Just begin.

If your a planning an event, just begin.

If you are building a house, just begin.

If you're planning to get married, just begin.

If you want to go further with your education, just begin.

Dear fellow Young people, We just need to begin.

Do not be defeated before you begin. 

So, we got something good enough to continue with. Our resources persons started arriving and the day of the event came. We made it happen! We did it! We achieved it!

We got many participants who registered on the day of the event at N1000 against our expectations. We glued the first day with up to 100 participants and the second day respectively.

We were able to achieve the 2019 Boki Business Conference Event because we kept pushing and continuing despite the challenges we faced. 

We did it...

Please, just Begin...

Sometimes it looks so big from afar, but when you get close, it's actually achievable.

Never to allow yourself to be threatened by the size of your problem.

Just Begin

Just Begin

Yes! Just Begin...

I'm Pospi Otuson

Publisher, Boki Blog
CEO, Possibility Desk
Convener, Boki Business Conference (BBCON)

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About Author

Hi, I,m Pospi Otuson. A Nigerian Blogger, Social Entrepreneur and Convener of the renowned Boki Business Conference. CEO/Founder of Possibility Desk, the largest online consulting platform for possibilities in the world. Lets connect today.

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