Seyi Tinubu is the son of APC Chieftain and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, but he does not carry this pedigree in his head like a silver spoon kid. He has been shooting out in other forays in business and philanthropy. As the CEO and Founder of Loatsad Promomedia, he has made considerable contributions in the marketing and outdoor advertising industry. To boot, he has an NGO, Noella Foundation, which specifically addresses the mentoring young millennials in the information technology sector and other inspiring empowerment programs to ensure greater economic growth. He spoke on this foundation and its initiatives. Excerpts….
You executed some rare initiatives to empower some critical sectors of the economy. What really inspired these programs?
Well, I think we are in an era like no other, where individuals with innovative ideas need to be empowered so that they can add value and more sense to the society. I feel individuals who demonstrate winning spirits, despite the challenges they face, should also be empowered; and so giving back to the community through various programs and initiatives would help us achieve greater economic growth, which eventually leads to achieving the Millinieum Development Goals (MDGs.)
Tell us about some of these initiatives?
My wife and I came up with the Noella Foundation idea, which originated from the sole idea of giving back to humanity. We both thought about what we could do to empower people, children and adults alike. Invariably, the Noella Foundation is the umbrella body of these initiatives. The maiden initiative of the foundation is the STEP initiative, where my passion actually lies, developing the technological space, so that we can develop and play on a global scale through technology. In order words, the STEP initiative is to fuel innovative technological start-ups with mentorship and seed funding of five million Naira, so that these young businesses can grow with the knowledge and capital provided for them. We are also going further to ensure that we keep tabs with these start-ups to ensure that the required growth and expansion is achieved. We have other initiatives like scholarship schemes, empowering the disabled, welfare schemes, equipping schools with facilities etc… These initiatives are being carried out by the foundation and directly supported and financed by Loatsad Promomedia.
Is there any partnership with another body or organization to ensure these initiatives are realized?
Of course, as a matter of fact, for the STEP initiative, I am bringing together some of the top players in various sectors to help coach and mentor the young millennial entrepreneurs, guiding them on how to grow their business, making the right business decisions, co-partnering with other businesses and other best practices they require to build, nurture and expand their businesses. For other forms of empowerment which Noella Foundation embarks on, Loatsad Promomedia stands as a sponsor and partner to these initiatives, because the Noella Foundation is solely a non-profit organization.
Can you identify any specific goal the foundation has achieved?
We have impacted tremendously on the technological sector through the disbursement of a seed fund of five million Naira to the eventual winner, to enable them grow and expand their operations. In addition, we monitor the tech startup closely to ensure that growth is achieved after providing the winner with money and mentorship. We are not just interested in giving these start-ups money, but we want to particularly achieve a significant growth and expansion through our impact and initiative. In addition, one of our goals is to ensure that we see 10 students through university, 20 pupils through secondary school with the disbursement of scholarships. We also want to ensure that certain schools in certain communities within Lagos State get materials to better equip their pupils and increase their education standards. Recently, we donated six inverter batteries to Pacelli School for the Blind in Surulere, Lagos, while Eagle Wings School at Ilaje, Bariga, got substantial classroom chairs and tables and renovation of a flooded area within the school. Consequently, our goal is in giving back in key areas that would help achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
You have carved a niche for yourself in advertising, outdoor to be specific. How did you come about this uniqueness vis-a-viz mentoring young minds?
It has taken a great deal of hard work, commitment to adding value and dedication to achieving our goals. Most importantly, it has been about having the right team who buy into your vision of empowerment and innovation. We are a young workforce, gradually driven, and with a great deal of passion and focus. Everyone in our company is involved in decision-making and location-finding. We sit as a group and try to find out what is missing in the country or where we could have a presence or impact. We are persistent and tenacious and we believe we offer real value. Our aim is to let brands thrive in the best possible way and we see our services as a unique medium to facilitate that process. As for mentoring young minds, I would say, at some point in your hustling and bustling, you have to share your journey with people, to inspire them and let them know that they can also achieve considerable success as well. So I have to let young people see the brighter future ahead of them, by teaching them the tricks, not forgetting that the process requires a lot of efforts from them.
2019 is around the corner, what are your plans for the ensuing year?
We want to empower more people. Several initiatives that would be executed to create opportunities for people to excel. We envision a new year of growth and greater empowerment. For Loatsad, 2019 will be a better year than the last four, we expect to create more iconic sites and to expand on our digital offerings as well. We hope to give more brands better locations for advertising opportunities; also, to have more strategic partnerships. We want to light Lagos up. In all, we are optimistic we will conquer new grounds in business and empower more people for greater economic growth.