Popcorn, A Gainful And Lucrative Small-Scale Business
A popcorn seller, Mr Success Toluwalade, on Thursday advised youths to embrace small scale business such as producing and selling of popcorn rather than waiting fruitlessly for white-collar jobs.
Toluwalade, who markets the popcorn he was personally producing at Ijegun, a suburb of Lagos, said that there were many opportunities that could be harnessed from the small scale businesses.
Forty-year-old Toluwalade disclosed that he started his popcorn business seven years ago in front of a church with one bowl of dry corn.
He said that he had been able to expand his business from the profits he had been making over the years from the initial one bowl of popcorn.
It was reported that some other small scale businesses include: soap making, making of air fresheners, and frying of groundnuts for sales in bottles.
Toluwalade said, “I started my employment adventure as a security guard in a school before serving under a bricklayer. However, I was not fulfilled and stressed up by the job, so I left it.
“Seven year ago, I thought of what I could do for a living.
“I remembered that I had a popcorn machine wasting away at home. On that faithful day, I decided to buy one bowl of corn to produce popcorn.
“The business started seven years ago and by the special grace of God, I got married from it.
“I have also been paying my house rent from it, opened a shop for my business with the support of my wife,’’ he said.
The Ogun state-born Toluwalade said that his unique selling point was entertaining customers with songs and his native Yoruba regalia.
“Both the young and the old are my clients. People do laugh at me and see me as not being serious but I ignore them and continue my selling.
“It has paid off for me,’’ he said.
He urged the three tiers of government to encourage entrepreneurship studies in primary and secondary schools to boost the establishment of small-scale businesses.
He added that government should also provide an enabling environment for small-scale businesses to grow, as well as provide funding for youths interested in it.
Toluwalade said that he had not found banks friendly enough where he could access loan.
“Imagine, I went to a micro-finance bank to borrow N100, 000 but the bank was asking me to bring my land’s documents as collateral,’’ he said.