Some people get into business with high expectations only to back out when threatened by challenges but an uprising entrepreneur, Chinweike Nwankwo has a word for them, “Consistency is the key to rise to the top”.
Nwankwo, chief executive officer of Chinwinx Farms located in Ibuza, near Asaba the Delta State Capital, said his fish enterprise has risen from three ponds to 13 ponds because of consistency. The fish in the ponds have also increased from 2,000 to 12,000 within a period of four years, he said.
The young CEO, who disclosed that he employed six staff to work in his farm within the period, said he also engages in consultancy services in fish production and processing.
“I’ve also trained about 100 Deltans as a feedback to the state, for the training I received as a beneficiary of its Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) under the Job and Wealth Creation Programme 2015/2016 Cycle. Out of the 100 persons, 60 were trained free of charge while the rest paid to receive the training,” he said.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with BDSUNDAY in Asaba, Chinweike said: “At the end of the YAGEP training in 2016, I was empowered with three fish ponds at the Delta State Agricultural Development Programme located at Ibuza. Each YAGEP beneficiary was also given 2,000 fishes and 145 bags of feeds (super), to start fishery enterprises. From then, the growth process started and as part of the growth process, I acquired additional 10 fish ponds.
“Every now and then, the fishes are harvested when they mature. Early August this year, over 7,000 fishes were harvested out the 12,000 fishes, leaving only little fingerlings which I placed there.”
According to him, “The 12,000 is the benchmark for the 13 ponds because going beyond that would mean to stress the fishes.”
He explained that “If fishes have enough space, they can grow, shoot faster and get bigger. That’s why we give them enough space.”
“The growth has been continuous because amidst challenges, many individuals now see us as Grand Masters thereby consulting us for trainings. Sometimes, I could only request a fish pond from their (trainees’) fish farms and that’s how I’ve acquired the additional 10 ponds I earlier mentioned. Those fish ponds are not in the same location but scattered within the state, especially in Asaba where I can have an eye on them, he explained.
On the number of persons trained within the four years, Chinweike, said “Every year we train 15 persons free of charge. I train free of charge and I also charge money. We just place an advert announcing that we are going to be having free training and that those interested should show up. People would start to indicate interest and once we got the 15th person, we stop. Any other person pays for the training. Both those trained free of charge and those who paid are about 100.”
“The yearly free training is my sacrifice to Delta State for the training given to me. It’s a kind of feedback. It’s random and based on first come first serve. We did that of year 2020 early in the year.
He however disclosed that he doesn’t give Starter Packs to those he trained the way the state government gives. It’s just training and in support of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s dream of raising a generation of entrepreneurs that would help drive the economic diversification of the state, said the CEO who also added, “We were trained to train others”.
While admitting the fact that harsh economy has negatively impacted on businesses in the country, he advised young people against thinking that entrepreneurship is not a fun. They must develop the habit to be consistent in what they are doing because God has a way of helping those who are diligent in what they are doing.
He advised those that are discouraged not to be in a hurry but be passionate about what they are doing. “We did not get here in a hurry. We were just passionate. We love what we are doing. There were periods when there was really nothing but we just held on, working consistently. This is what we are doing and will continue doing it”, he said.
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