Whether they choose to admit it or not, the goal of every business or product owner is to be noticed and patronised by people outside the shores of their country.
One problem business owners have faced for years is making their products noticed by other consumers apart from those within their vicinity.
Getting products noticed by global consumers is always difficult for Africa’s creative women entrepreneurs, but this challenge represented an opportunity for Bukky Asehinde, founder of Bellafricana. Her platform is giving visibility to Nigeria’s creative business owners and their quality products.
Bellafricana, is a platform that empowers, supports and connects quality, talented and creative indigenous businesses to their local and global consumers.
Starting with Nigeria, their goal is to take it one African Country at a time.
Bukky created a platform to enable creative MSMEs to thrive, whilst doing all it takes to bring the quality products to the forefront of the market. She believes very much that a support group/community for these businesses will enhance the non-oil export in the African economy.
Bukky was inspired to start this up when she noticed a rise in the number of creative indigenous (made in Nigeria, Africa) brands that have great quality, yet are struggling to grow their business with little or no financing from both the government and bigger institutions.
She wondered for a long time, “Why should we wait on financial backing from the government and big institutions to help this industry, when we can create a platform to connect these Indigenous businesses who are maximising raw materials in Nigeria (Africa), providing employment for local talents within the country and creating wealth for the Nation?”. And so she conducted a research, which made her realize that one of the major challenges these businesses were facing majorly has to do with marketing and understanding the trade, which is the heart of any business.
This birthed Bellafricana, a community that showcases the products of local entrepreneurs to a wider audience, both locally and globally.
Bukky finds satisfaction as an entrepreneur because she is able to contribute to the growth of the economy, making an impact that will outlive her, and touching lives.
Her counsel to women who are trying to start a business is simple:
“SURROUND YOURSELF WITH WISE & POSITIVE PEOPLE: This is so vital especially when you know your personality type. I am an extrovert and a positive person, so having negative people around me was a no no. This I know has certainly helped my journey. Another key one is surrounding yourself with wise people, as the bible says also “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed”.
GET MENTORS: It’s important to have mentors who key into the vision of what you do and are thought leaders in their various sectors not necessarily celebrities. How? (you might ask) by keeping a relationship with them and striking a mutually beneficial balance of what they do, they will give you more than their time when you show you care.”
Bellafricana is that “support system” every creative business owner needs to be globally accessible.