Twenty-seven per cent. This is one of the statistics keeping many Nigerians up at night. It refers to the twenty-seven per cent unemployment rate in the country but what it really means is that more than a quarter of Nigeria’s 200 million people do not have the means to merely get by.
For Rotimi Bankole, CEO of SBI Media Group and founder, SBI Media Workshop, the current global situation doesn’t help matters either. “These numbers are staggering,” he says, “and on top of that, the global pandemic has resulted in more significant job losses and a reduction in revenue for millions of Nigerian youths.”
As an entrepreneur who leads a top media agency in Lagos, dealing with such statistics as average revenues, socio-economic classifications and disposable incomes is a daily requirement. He needs to have a deep insight into the figures if he is to effectively advise his clients, chief of whom operate in banking, telecoms, tech, and hospitality, believed to be the key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Bankole, who launched the SBI Media Workshop on September 26 — his 40th birthday, says the more he has scrutinised the findings, the more his hunch is proven correct about the need for immediate corporate intervention. “This is why we are launching the SBI Media Academy,” he says. One of the silver linings in the Nigerian sky, especially for the youth, is that mobile internet penetration is okay. According to data from Statista, the rate is currently at 41.4 per cent. This means tens of millions of Nigerians do not only have mobile phones; they also have an internet connection.
According to data from the GSMA (the GSM Association), almost 500 million Africans will be connected to the internet on their mobiles by 2025, and smartphone penetration in sub-Saharan Africa will reach 65% by that time.
“So,” Bankole asks, “how can we help many youths become creators and employ themselves with the tools they already have in their hands? SBI Media Workshop is the answer. As professionals in the media, creative, and communication sector, this is the answer that perfectly matches our expertise.”
The SBI Media Workshop is a completely free training programme, designed to help young Nigerian content creators learn how to leverage the current business opportunities available within the sector.
“Despite the unemployment challenges facing youths in Nigeria, a majority have or are able to access a mobile device. This is where SBI Media Workshops is looking to tap into and take the devices in the hands of youths and turn them into tools for creating value and business opportunities for themselves while solving a crucial need for brands and businesses,” Bankole says.
Bankole and his team say this programme is different from other media academies. While the others merely train new media planners and buyers or help update existing ones, the SBI Media Workshop offers a robust manual and insightful case studies from leading media entrepreneurs and strategists. These trainers have made a commitment to help as many young individuals as possible find employment or become entrepreneurs who possess the capacity to benefit from the modern media market. Beyond that, the programme will present a cheque of N200,000 to each of the trainees who present the most viable ideas after their sessions. Ultimately, all of this should serve two overarching goals: make media accessible to more youths and help reduce unemployment in Nigeria.
The SBI Media Workshops is focused on providing training, mentorship and funding to young professionals and creators, equipping them with resources required to take advantage of growth opportunities to work and create value for brands and businesses, and also earn a living in the process.
Bankole says the website to accept applications and get notifications for the SBI Media Workshop is now live at sbimediaworkshop.com/apply.