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For Olakeyede, passion has turned into work

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Olakeyede Olayinka

I have always been passionate about the environment and climate change as it is without any doubt one of the greatest challenges we face in our world today. In my final year at the University of Manchester, I took up a research project on renewable energy potential in developing countries. After I graduated, I decided to move back to Nigeria and Wecyclers seemed like an excellent fit for me. I have been an intern at Wecyclers since the beginning of the year. As Wecyclers is a startup, my roles here are very flexible. My roles vary from technology analysis to business development and sometimes, public relations.

Working at Wecyclers has been a very exciting and eye opening experience. I have learnt that running a business in Nigeria could be quite daunting given the dearth of social infrastructure in the country. Sometimes, we come up with novel ideas to improve our business operations but the process of implementing them here could be convoluted. For example, one major challenge we face is the epileptic power supply. This slows us down and reduces our productivity drastically. Working here makes me think outside the box to come up with creative solutions for some of issues we face on a daily basis. Working at Wecyclers is fun, particularly because I get along pretty well with my colleagues, which keeps all of us going even on a very busy and stressful day.

My time here, although short, has also unwittingly piqued my interest in the business development of various startups in Nigeria. Specifically, improving businesses by integrating technology. After my internship, I am going to pursue my masters degree at Columbia University in New York.  I hope to move back home again to help small to medium sized businesses in Nigeria to thrive and create more sustainable jobs for the teeming youth population.

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