Campus entrepreneurship has witness a great leap with the effort of people like Ajah Excel and others.
For few years, the campus has witnessed large number of student entrepreneurs, courtesy of some young fellows who despised all odds and caused a revolution. Prior to this time, students have the mentality that campus is only for your books and study and then nothing more. But few young chaps has broken the jinx to prove the system entirely wrong. Ajah Excel is one of them.
Campus Entrepreneurship has witnessed a high leap for few years now, seeing the fire that has been sparked. From Infoducation’s rating, Ajah Excel is the greatest entrepreneur that has ever risen in any south eastern higher institution in the past decade. This conclusion was drawn from the following consideration (parameters).
1) Nature of business
2) Campus Environment
3) Number of people who benefited from your service
4) Your influence
5) Achievements while in school
6) Your financial strength etc.
Ajah Excel, born on 25th October 1989 is a native of Ivo local Government Area of Ebonyi state but resides in Owerri Imo state. He has proven that the young ones can also be successful and even involved in the societal affair. Federal university of Technology Owerri in imo state Nigeria is one of the institutions with the highest number of students involved in campus entrepreneurship.
This is because Mr. Ajah Excel proved to all that it is possible to be a successful student business man. He graduated with a second class upper division from the department of Information Management Technology in the year 2016. He was a committed member of Christ Ambassador Student Outreach (CASOR). At the point of graduation he was the owner of a multi-million Naira business empire.
While in FUTO, he founded an association known as Campus CEOs. This organization had in membership, all the students who were involved in campus entrepreneurship and in turn owned a business. With this group, the number of CEOs grew rapidly because everyone wanted to be a part of the campus entrepreneurship cycle.
The impact of Campus CEOs led to the birth of FUTO business club by Bella Victor (another astonishing student entrepreneur).
On his birthday which took place on 25th October, 2018, Mr. Bella Victor had this to say about him.
I remember how I will always pass old registry just to make sure I see and greet Excel. Then, any seminar or training I heard that Excel is coming, I would avail myself to be there.
To God be the glory, I didn’t just end up getting close to him, I have even worked for him.
Excel-galaxy Ajah is one of the few people that inspired me to be where I am today.
You are indeed a pacesetter.
Your level of FOCUS is out of this world.
Happy birthday to you DADDY.
You are one of a kind and the glory of the Lord in your life shall never be cut off.
Much love from Bella Victor”
In response, he said, “Thanks Dear Bella Victor, for taking up the candle we lighted and igniting the forest with Entrepreneurship.”
Ajah Excel is the owner and founder of the following business concerns.
1) Excel’s place: Excel’s place is one of the most patronized business centres in FUTO. Here, he helps students with lots of jobs like typing, scanning, printing, scholarship applications and many more services.
2) World Scholarship Forum: World scholarship forum is one of the biggest scholarship portals on the internet with thousands of visitors daily. Formally known as nigerianuniversityschorlaship.com, this website has helped lots of students at all levels of learning to acquire both local and international scholarships. For more details, visit the website on www.worldscholarshipforum.com
3) Find A Scholarship: His business acumen is matchless that he has 2 websites doing almost the same thing. One of the secret of successful business men and companies is that they run two or more company doing the same thing. An example is Toyota which owns lexus, facebook which owns whatsapp and instagram, Techno which owns infinix and much more. For more information, visit www.findascholarship.com
4) Job Finder Africa: This is one of the largest job portals in Africa. Visit the site for available job opportunities with any African country. For more information, visit http://jobfinderafrica.com/
5) Discuss Nigerian Group: In addition to all his businesses, Ajah Excel boasts of owning on of the biggest forums for Nigerians. For more information, visit www.discuss.ng
6) BlogingSchool: This is a free online institution and consultancy firm for upcoming bloggers. Here, he provides relevant tips on SEO, traffic generation and other blogging tips. To enrol, visit Blogingschool
Though it is very impossible to ascertain his net-worth, yet we can have an insight through the valuation of his websites.
According to worthofweb, worldscholarshipforum is worth $73,000 with a monthly revenue of $6,000, findascholarship is worth $20,000 with a monthly revenue of $2,000, jobfinderafrica is worth $1,500 with a monthly revenue of $117, discuss.ng is worth $13,500 with a monthly revenue of $1,000
Excel, who is married to his heartthrob, Mrs. Amarachi Ajah Excel (also a blogger) is a proud husband and father. In 2016, for world youth leadership as the only representative from Nigeria. Fortunately, he is one of those guys with a very humble beginning as he has proven to us all that we are without excuse.
Below is a brief interview section we had with him
Infoducation: Some of us have heard a lot about you but we will like to hear from the horse’s mouth. Tell us a little about your humble beginning.
EXCEL: I came from a humble home and things were not really fine. I was one of my dad’s children that my uncle picked when he came around. With them, I was able to go to primary and secondary school. But after my secondary school, things were not so much okay with my uncle and there was no more money to push me further to higher institution. But I heard the passion to continue because I knew I was very good as the best student in WAEC and the third best in NECO in my secondary school in 2008.
I did not write JAMB that year because I was not sure how I will go about school if I got the admission. Also, I needed to settle down, prepare and write JAMB the next year because I knew that if I beat the record, people might be interested in me. After my secondary school, in September 2008, I started teaching in a school. With my little savings, I was buying and reading books. So, that was how my motivation and inspiration started.
I later wrote JAMB in 2009 and made it, then I wrote FUTO post UTME but never had ₦2,000 to check my result and I never knew who to collect from. So I don’t know if I passed or not. The next year I did not write again because I was scared and never wanted a repeat of what happened the previous year.
In 2011, I had already started teaching in JAMB centers where I was paid ₦200 per hour and by then, I had written my first book titled “NO BOUNDRIES” because I discovered that things were trying to limit me. I taught about 5 different lesson centers. I saved some amount of money and then coupled with the little proceeds I had from my book, I gathered money and applied for JAMB and by God’s grace I got admission on merit but there was still no money to continue.
So one day, I decided to go to FUTO, not that I had money but I just wanted to see how things happened over there. My reason was that you have to move for things to move for you. If not that I moved, the miracle that happened that day would not have happened. So, fortunately enough, when I got there, I saw one of my secondary school boys and told him that I have gotten admission but there was no money to process it. He asked me if I had paid my acceptance fee and I told him NO. He immediately took me to Futo diamond bank and paid my acceptance fee of ₦25,000. That was how I started school. Then I had to struggle and gradually do other clearance.
The option I was left with was to start looking for scholarships because I knew that was the only way out for me. I wrote about 6 different scholarship examinations but none of them favoured me. In my year one, I was always in the front row with only one pair of up and down.
Back then, it was not easy for me at all, I never had a place to stay so I squatted with a friend who was my secondary school class mate and we also wrote post UTME together, applied for the same course and got admission together. I came on matric day but was not able to matriculate because I did not have money for matriculation gown and for that reason, I came late.
Infoducation: You said one of the things you did while teaching was reading books. What type of books did you read?
EXCEL: I attended a programme after my secondary school, the speaker spoke about reading books and that he read up to 4 books every month. Therefore, after the programme, the same day, I borrowed a book by John Mason titled “the impossible is possible”. After reading the book, I discovered that life was not all about physics and chemistry but that something was packed up in me. So I started spending money on books, I read about 7 other books by John Mason. I also bought many other books but mainly motivational books and with that, I gave my life a direction. Anybody who is on the average needs to read books, a foam cannot give out what it has not absorbed.
Infoducation: So after writing the 6 scholarship examinations in year one, did you finally get any?
EXCEL: In my year one, I almost gave up, and that gave rise to my business. Since I could not get any scholarship, I had to help students get. I did bulk sms because I was trying everything possible to get money. I was sending bulksms for organizations like schools and fellowships. So I got an idea that since I did bulksms, I could also use that platform to send bulksms to students informing them about available scholarships.
So that day, I had only ₦500 which was not enough to travel home with and if I kept it with me, I will spend it. So I left my room that day around 4pm and around 4:30pm, the idea was on printed copy. That was one of the things I learnt in the books I read, that no matter how nice your ideas and plans are, if you do not act, you are just day dreaming. The next day, I went out to talk to students about it and I made ₦8,000 from it and the next day, I made more than ₦4,000. That was how my scholarship business started.
Students love the idea and more ideas kept on coming. So I got another idea that instead of just sending scholarship sms to students, I could help them apply for it. Back then, I had no laptop, but I had a friend who had a laptop. So what I did was to print the scholarship forms and give to students to fill for ₦500. So I took ₦200 and gave my friend ₦300 to do the application. So in my year 2 second semester, I applied for MTN Foundation scholarship and by God’s grace, it favoured me. The scholarship was for ₦200,000 which justifies one of the things I read in a book that “the hand that brings roses must have some little roses in it” and “the bringer of sunshine can never walk in darkness”.
Infoducation: How were you able to combine your academics and your business, making A’s in your academics and also millions in your business?
EXCEL: The truth is that I was good, (I am not boasting). God gave me that grace. It’s all by grace. My year one and two were not too hard for me because my mind was already opened and some of the things we learnt then were what I taught my lesson students. My biggest dream was to make a first class which was realizable. When my business started growing, I started reading financial books which taught me that it is not only the grace that matters, but at the end, you must have something that puts food on your table.
My business took a little of my time but I tried all my best to make sure that I was not losing focus. Because of that, I was intentional and deliberate. I knew what I wanted and so cannot be pushed around by anything or anybody. I never attended any party throughout my stay in school. My principle was “academic first before business”. Most of the time, I stayed up late to write updates on my website and also do some scholarship applications when I had gotten a laptop.
So when I come to class the next day, I will be seriously battling with sleep. So the secret I used to curb the sleep was that anytime I come to the lecture hall, I will always sit in the front because I knew that if I stayed at the back, I will have the chance to sleep very well. Sometimes, I came late to class because I went early in the morning from one lecture hall to the other telling them about scholarships. That made some students began to wonder if I was actually a serious student or not? Yes I was serious because what I had done in a day, some students never did half of it.
I believe that any person who wants to be better than others must do what others have not done. Every morning, I go to teach tutorials, after that, I go for awareness for the scholarships and lots more. Sometimes, I wonder how I am able to do all these things without ever breaking down. But the truth is that it’s not me, it’s all about God who has been helping me. Sometimes, I will be awake till 4am before going to bed, yet I will still have to wake up around 6:30am to go for tutorials. I don’t teach in the afternoon, I teach in the morning and the students responded well because the tutorials were always free.
Infoducation: Did you go into blogging because you were IT inclined.
EXCEL: When I started the scholarship business, students were always flooding my place. I learnt blogging before I came to FUTO. When I was doing the scholarship application offline, I saw my same friend with a cheque of £89, I was like wooow, this is what I learnt and I did not make any dime from it. So that was how I considered going online. I did a combination of names and got nigerianuniversityscholarships.com, I opened a Facebook page the same day and designed a website that was how I started. Since I ran the scholarship program offline in FUTO, other schools will be interested in it when they hear of it and the only way to get across to them is through the internet.
Infoducation: If you meet anybody who is not IT inclined but is passionate to make it, what other business line do you think he/she could venture into and still have focus on his/her studies without distractions?
EXCEL: Everything is possible. There is nothing that cannot be done. It takes someone who is intentional and who knows what he wants to be able to schedule his time properly. It’s all about time management. If you can manage your time very well, you can do a lot and achieve a lot of things. The campus is the best place to grow your business because the campus is a compressed community.
In FUTO, we have about 20,000 students compressed in a small environment, therefore, somebody must need your product. If you are passionate about anything, just go develop yourself. That extra time of sleeping, playing, partying etc. invest it into developing yourself. The internet has made it possible, just purchase your data and stream videos to aid you develop yourself.
Infoducation: Before coming online, those days that you still go from one lecture hall to another lecture hall, did you in anyway go to another campus to promote your business.
EXCEL: The only campus I attempted going to was university of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), but we had a little challenge. The person I partnered with did not have the tenacity of doing the application. Students applied for one particular scholarship so they had to bring the forms from UNN to FUTO for us to do the application. So before we finished and sent their application to them, it was really a tough job actually. We were interested in protecting our image and integrity so immediately we finished that application, we ended the project, although I have a lot of fans in UNN.
For example, when I was invited to be a guest speaker, but due to my busy schedule, I had to send someone to speak on my behalf, he went, came back and told me that I have to look for a way of going to see those students myself because over there, they see me as a god. That was the only campus I attempted getting to. Any other campus I have fans was from the internet.
Infoducation: If you come across someone who is about to give up or is finding life just too hard, what do you have to say to the person?
EXCEL: It is always too early to quit. Someone said, “It is never too late to be what you want to be”. So anybody who is at the edge of giving up should know that it is too early to quit. Try again until you have tried again and when you have tried again then just try again till you have tried again. The last thing you do before you quit is to try again. Most people who have achieved something in this life failed at one point in their life but never gave up.
The guy who is a winner was once a loser who failed but never gave up. Anybody who is about giving up should not. There is a miracle somewhere. One thing in life is that to make any achievement in life, you have to move. Someone out there wants to help you out but you might not know. Until you show up, he would not help us. It might not be a human being. It might be an idea or a situation or a condition. But when you give up, those situations will not come up. There is no need giving up. Just try one more time and after that try again until it is done.
Infoducation: Ok sir thanks for your time.
The life, story and effort of Mr. Ajah Excel Anayo has sparked up the fire of campus entrepreneurship in the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) and many other institutions. As a result of his efforts, FUTO currently have an entrepreneurial population of not less than 30% of the whole students.
Excel, the top-notch motivational speaker invests much resources yearly in helping other students start up their business successfully. He has mentored and coached lots of people to success.
Campus entrepreneurship has become sweeter and highly competitive in FUTO. Any student who newly gains admission also pays rapt attention in seeking business and investment opportunities in the campus.
Thus, I will boldly conclude this article by reaffirming what I stated earlier, “AJAH EXCEL has Caused a serious Revolution in Campus Entrepreneurship”