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Information is power, equip yourself with all the necessary knowledge needed to grow your brand. Develop yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses, focus on your strengths and work on your weaknesses. While you work on your weaknesses, employ capable people to fill in those positions where you consider your weakness. You honestly can’t be everything to your business. For instance, if your strength lies in customer relationship and PR service and you have little or no sewing skills, Focus on your customer relationship and PR skills and work on your sewing skills. This way, the business does not suffer and your skills are effectively and efficiently utilized. — Eki Okubanjo.

Eki Oris is a fashion company that specializes in both custom made and ready to wear (RTW) clothing for the fashion-conscious woman who appreciates finely constructed pieces of impeccable quality, targeted at females 15 years and above. Eki Oris designs are influenced by simplicity, individuality and comfort of their customers.
The Eki Oris Kidswear is a clothing and accessories brand for kids (male & female) aged 0 months – 12 years. It’s a bespoke & ready-to-wear brand which has found its niche in using unique African prints and other fabrics to tailor exquisite and comfortable outfits for children.

Eki worked full time in a private company as the customer relationship manager and also did a bit of business development. During this time she was running the Eki Oris brand as a side hustle. She wore her designs to the office and got a lot of pleasing comments. She made pieces for some of her colleagues and got lots of referrals through them.
In her quest for more, she decided to quite her 9-5 job and give her fashion business the time it requires.

The Eki Oris brand has successfully maintained its integrity over four years by putting customers first, keeping to deadlines, being dependable and also giving out quality products and services. These are some of the things that make the Eki Oris brand special.

I understand the importance of having a conducive and happy working environment for your staff, because once your staff are happy and comfortable, they’ll definitely deliver their best and I have implemented this principle into my business.

Eki Okubanjo learned the basics of fashion designing from her mother who had a tailoring shop while growing up. She launched “Prints by Kira and Eki” with her friend during their National Youth Service (NYSC) year but they parted ways.

Eki Oris was founded in 2015 as a home-based business, and also a side hustle which she ran alongside her corporate job.
In July 2017 she resigned from her corporate job to focus on her business. She had saved up some money, and got some funds from her dad and boyfriend (now husband) to set up.

In her own words, “I had no prior knowledge of running a business, I didn’t know how to calculate my cost, the overheads were a lot, I didn’t know the best salary method to use for paying my tailors. I made mistakes with designs, fabric etc and I have had to refund money back to some customers, but all these experiences helped shape me into becoming a better fashion entrepreneur. Having worked in a corporate environment before venturing into full time entrepreneurship, I have also brought in a lot of knowledge I learnt while I was with my previous employer into my business. I, more than anyone understand the importance of customer management. I brought in my negotiation skills, marketing skills etc into my business and I understand how important it is for a business to keep their business data as this is what will help you make better decisions. I have implemented all of this in my business.  In retrospect, when I think of my entrepreneurial journey, I’m honestly glad for how far I have grown. I have learnt from all my mistakes, challenges and also my customers. Experience is something that cannot be bought and my experiences so far have helped me put in proper structures and policies in place that are currently helping my business.”

As an entrepreneur, Eki finds the most satisfaction in IMPACTING lives. She loves that she is able to impact lives through beautiful clothes. An Eki Oris woman is bold, and confident and I love that my designs automatically instil confidence in my customers. An Eki Oris woman goes about her daily activities with her head up and ready to conquer the world because she’s confident in herself.
“I also love that I can positively impact the lives of my staff through the jobs I have provided for them, they in turn can impact their own lives and fend for their families.”

There’s no better time to start than now! Just start. You don’t have to wait till you have everything sorted out to start your business, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t rush the process as well, allow yourself to grow and learn and celebrate the small wins.

Eki Okubanjo sums up all her experiences, including successes and failures in this powerful piece of advice: Importantly information is power, equip yourself with all the necessary knowledge needed to grow your brand. Develop yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses, focus on your strengths and work on your weaknesses. While you work on your weaknesses, employ capable people to fill in those positions where you consider your weakness. You honestly can’t be everything to your business. For instance, if your strength lies in customer relationship and PR service and you have little or no sewing skills, Focus on your customer relationship and PR skills and work on your sewing skills. This way, the business does not suffer and your skills are effectively and efficiently utilized. Also, you honestly need a trailer load of patience and hard work to survive in the fashion industry. Finally, please always remember the God factor. Always pray to him for wisdom to help you run your business, pray for your staff and also your customers.

The challenges facing many women in Africa of how to manage and care for their natural hair is one that entrepreneur Farida Yahya is all too familiar with. It was the inspiration for the launch of her business Lumo Naturals, which today creates a range of specialist hair products that both cleanse and treat the hair gently. Today, the brand is winning scores of fans who are looking for a natural solution for their natural hair.

Lumo Naturals is an award-winning haircare solutions brand. With over 6 years in operation and a team of professional hair consultants and stylists, they offer a wide range of hair services and products. They provide quality hair services, along with top lines of our well formulated natural hair products.

As a naturalista, growing up, Farida saw her mother try to tame her hair with tons of relaxers. Farida’s mother tried various products and used tons of strategies but none ever worked. And just like other natural hair owners, she had problems with her own hair ranging from breakage to dry hair, breaking the piggy bank to get premium products to maintain the hair, as well as shrinkage. Additionally, Farida would spend so much time watching tons of videos on YouTube and natural hair blogs looking for tips and inspirations. In 2008, Farida resorted to making DIY products for her hair because there were no big shops that sold natural hair care products in her location. Interestingly, her experiments worked and people began to buy them.

As a female founder, you should never feel pressured to “lead like the boys”. There is nothing wrong in leading with empathy, and you should know that the world of entrepreneurship is tough, and so, don’t demand things from the angle of a victim, instead work hard and smart enough to have those doors open for you. When you do succeed, look back and lift others, mentorship and support is crucial for female founders, if we want to go far, and build the mass we need to change things for good. — Farida Yahya.

Lumo Naturals was birthed in 2012. It started with the production of the first set of natural hair care products – hair butter. And with Farida’s over nine years of experience in biochemistry and a diverse range of complementary skill sets, she has been able to create an extensive offering of affordable natural hair care products designed to benefit naturalistas.


For Farida, running her own business has pushed her to grow. Being responsible for her team and customers has challenged her to learn about how money works, what is required from a leader, and why it is important to deliver quality service consistently.
Farida says she is happiest when she solves a client’s hair challenge, and when she gets feedback about their formulations. In her words, “it gives me such a thrill to know that I am doing my quota to help make the world a better place, and reduce social inequalities.”

Lumo Naturals fill a unique niche in the beauty space. Their product line includes everything from hair cleansers to hair treatments and hair scrums, with a focus on multi-functional products. Additionally, all their products showcase clean, locally sourced ingredients that are cruelty-free, animal-free, and free of harmful irritants and additions such as parabens, benzene, and formaldehyde.

We all love snacks, something we can munch on when we are watching our favourite TV show or we just need something healthy to munch on. There is a demand for snacks, especially healthy nuts. This is one reason why Ashley das Rosas Massingue decided to start her cashew nuts business. Her business involves packing appetizing flavours into a range of snack cashew nuts which are winning over fans of these tasty treats.

Ashley Massingue is the owner and CEO of a family brand of appetizers, Shez Snacks, in Mozambique. She started her business in August 2020 to process and sell high quality nuts in different flavours. The company is the first in Mozambique using glass jar packaging for this kind of product. With more than 5 years experience in Communication and Marketing, Ashley decided to embrace her passion for oilseed fruits mainly cashew nuts and start the business.

Ashley was inspired to start the business by a conversation she had with a friend about the term “rat race,” which means working to pay bills. she was sad to realize that her life was already in the rat race and her friend advised her to think of some extra business, something she liked a lot. And then Ashley thought about food.
“I’m not a cook and honestly I don’t like to cook, but I love to eat, especially snacks (of all kinds). As a result, I came to the idea of selling chestnuts, but for that I needed to add value to the product and not do what all chestnut sellers do. I did a market study about what I needed on the products offered and I created, with the help of my relatives, the Shez Snacks brand of flavoured cashew nuts.” She said.

For Ashley, the entrepreneurial journey has been a challenge every day, mainly because the Shez Snacks product is a gourmet product and consequently is expensive in relation to what is found on the market. However, at the beginning of this journey she already expected this, and that’s why she segmented the business’ target group, being focused on mainly the middle – high class market segment.

Four years ago, Ashley co-founded a marketing and billboard rental consulting agency (Lash Agency, Lda – Mozambique), through which she learned and improved her skills in negotiation, market studies, market variations, production of media material, brand activations, etc. The business provided services to several companies and organizations of national and international reputation. Unfortunately, at the end of the 3rd year she had to close down due to a disagreement with her former partner.

Ashley describes her greatest satisfaction as the acceptance and feedback of the product by consumers and the loyalty of partners who resell her products.

Ashley’s advice to women who would like to undertake their own entrepreneurial journey is “Don’t allow yourselves to continue in the ‘rat race’. Start doing something you like. Start today, start now”

The journey into the world of entrepreneurship begins with a single step. For some, that single step can be passion to meet a need, quest to solve a problem or just the need to have an extra source of income. For Chipo Aaron, a Botswanan entrepreneur, frustration was her own push into the world of entrepreneurship.

Constantly frustrated by the chemical-intensive, highly synthetic formulas which have dominated the skincare market for too long, Chipo Aaron felt it was time to change the situation by launching her own skincare company, Cutikles to create high quality spa products that harness the healing power of Africa’s indigenous oils.

Chipo Aaron is the founder of Cutikles, a cosmetic manufacturing brand located in Gaborone, Botswana. She  also doubles as an interior designer at Ca Concepts, an interior design firm that designs bespoke residential and corporate spaces.
Cutikles brand produces high quality spa products blended with raw African indigenous oils for both the African and international market. The business also has a spa that serves as a research and development centre that gives clients a foretaste of Cutikles products before release to the general public. Cutikles cosmetic brand exists to help the users of the products improve the overall health of their skin and their general appearance as a whole.

Some days are better than others but we cannot give up because the dreams that we have are valid.

Chipo believes quality and safety must not be compromised at any point which is why she ensures Cutikles spa products are locally produced using natural plant extracts and pure essential oils that have been well researched, packaged and delivered.


Chipo has an entrepreneurial background that has helped her succeed in her business. She was raised by two entrepreneurs who owners clothing retail stores and a logistics company. She learned from an early age that building a brand requires patience, hard work and resilience. She started cutikles after the birth of her first son and in her words, “I have always known that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and once I found the cosmetic world, I knew that is where I belong. I continued with interior design side jobs as I needed the funds to be pushed into Cutikles. The business continues to surprise me every day by the way we are changing lives through our products and services. Some days are better than others but we cannot give up because the dreams that we have are valid.”

She describes her journey so far using these words “being an entrepreneur has given me liberty in following and building my dreams and also providing others with better work environments. I have worked in harsh environments and I don’t wish for anyone to experience such. It is liberating to see someone smile because of the way you respect them and that makes me happy. The freedom of being an entrepreneur is for me a winner and sometimes the several wins and lessons that come with the package are also a game changer.”

Chipo Aaron is a firm believer that women are diamonds that can just change the world. Which is why she enjoins women to follow the idea in that has been lingering in their head.
Imagine the lives that you could change by just developing what you think would have never worked, the jobs you could create, and the happiness that you could create in a household!

Believe in yourself and jump! Go for it.

 

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.

Bukky Asehinde

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.

From a young age, Divine had always told herself and everyone around her that she would be an entrepreneur and run her own large business in the future.

This was driven by her recognition of the need to create a decent and secure livelihood for her family. Her quest to start and run her own business stayed with her throughout her formative years when she was studying and working to build her career. 

She set out to learn all the critical elements needed to run a successful business, undertaking various development programmes along the way, enrolling on an Entrepreneurial Development Programme in 1995.

“I have never really been a half-measure kind of person and this period of my life was characterised by me trying to take on everything — all at once — even when this meant swimming against the stream”

At the same time, she started researching and tracking various entrepreneurial opportunities in the local marketplace, eventually in 1998 seeing a potential business opportunity in the security services sector.

Divine had identified what she saw as glaring service delivery and professionalism gaps in the private security sector, inspiring her to create and build a new type of security company with a difference.

She was also motivated by a desire to empower previously disadvantaged women in Zimbabwe who were not able to access opportunities for formal employment, recognizing that the security sector had the potential to be a large-scale employer.

Divine is a true champion of women’s empowerment in Zimbabwe and is currently the largest employer of women in the country outside the government sector, with 900 women employees on her payroll.

Never try to cut corners. Your business and personal life should be anchored on a firm ethical foundation. From the first day you establish the business, even an informal hustle, you should establish a culture founded on ethics and good corporate governance principles.

Divine Ndhlukula founded SECURICO Security Services from humble beginnings in Zimbabwe in 1998. Divine identified a need in the market for a quality oriented security company and she has driven SECURICO to become the market leader in Zimbabwe.

She has tackled a previously male-dominated industry head on and her business success story is nothing short of remarkable – marking her as one of Africa’s most tenacious and inspiring women entrepreneurs.

SECURICO today provides its clients with a complete security solution – uniformed armed officers, armoured vehicles for transportation of valuables, onsite banking, trained guard dogs, and electronic security systems. The company also does private investigations, employee vetting, and security consulting.

Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro is a Computer Scientist turned Social Entrepreneur. She is also the Founder and CEO of MitiMeth, an award-winning Social Enterprise transforming waste and building livelihoods through the transformation of water hyacinth, typha grass, banana bark, coconut shells and bamboo culms into useful,  aesthetic products.

Her passion lies in rethinking, designing and producing unique home décor, art décor, gifts, stationery, baskets, fashion accessories, dining-ware and rope from these environmental menaces and agricultural residues.

Achenyo discovered water hyacinth which has been a persistent aquatic weed infestation problem in Nigeria and saw that as an opportunity to practically express her message on converting waste into something beneficial. It wasn’t difficult for her to choose crafts because it requires less capital to start and the technicalities involved are minimal. She thought it was a wise move to start small, have physical, marketable products and have economic proof that would serve as motivation to people who want to learn how to transform the waste in their environment to substantial and beneficial products.

Along the entrepreneurial journey, set realistic expectations. Disappointment is a given and so are detours. Being resilient and agile are essential attributes to have as an entrepreneur.

With over NGN17M in wages transferred to 100+ home-based Artisans, MitiMeth is impacting lives and the environment for good and has  received recognition and favourable coverage from organizations

They have received accolades including the 2015 Tony Elumelu Foundation Award, the 2014 Cartier Women’s Initiative Award, the 2013 YouWIN Award, the 2013 Local Raw Materials Content Award.

As an entrepreneur, Achenyo has learned several valuable lessons on the journey to significance and impact at MitiMeth. Here are some of the valuable lessons:

  1. For those who want to embark on the entrepreneurial journey or who are already on the journey, weigh your options carefully. Think through them, reach a decision and stick with it. Know your risk tolerance levels and take a calculated risk. Be confident and just do it! You do not want to look back several years down the line and wish regretfully that you should have done it.
  2. Prepare for the journey. Research the idea, solicit advice as to the potential of your business idea from as many sources as possible: friends, family, colleagues, business associates, or any industry specialists you may have access to. Map the trip (write a business plan, apply to incubators, join network organizations and events, embark on professional development and training, “give-away” services and sample products, form partnerships, assemble the right team).
  3. Enjoy the journey. Pace your business and don’t run ahead of yourself either due to peer pressure or ill-informed advice. Don’t drive more miles than your business is capable of handling.
  4. Refuel along the way and don’t allow your tank to get dangerously low. Retreat every now and then to rejuvenate. Self-care is important. Make stops along the way to make sure you are still on the right track (take stock and evaluate the business to ensure you are meeting objectives and you are working towards the vision and mission of the business).
  5. Celebrate your achievements.
  6. Know that there’ll be unanticipated diversions along the way (like a change in government policy, a recession, a pandemic etc). Identify those potential threats to your business (your SWOT analysis) and devise ways to mitigate the impacts. Don’t panic or get overworked about the diversions. Make the most of the “distractions”. Focus on the positives by making lemonade out of lemons!
  7. Take it all in.

From inception to date, MitiMeth has trained over 400 women from communities across Nigeria and Ghana to make eco-friendly home décor and lifestyle products from these natural fibres. She is passionate about creating employment opportunities through sustainable textiles and accessories from renewable materials.

As an entrepreneur or startup owner, you will agree that a major concern you face is financing your business.

With minimal experience and no business background, entrepreneurs find it very hard to get the money at the initial level. Be it working capital or provision for the troubled times, you need money to run and grow your business.

Here are some ways you can raise funds to fund your business/ideas.

Generally, there are two known ways you can fund your business – Equity and Debt.

The equity option enable entrepreneurs to fund their business by providing an ownership stake to an investor. Here, there is no obligation of repayment. But then, you need to give up a part of your ownership in the business. And you can also make you lose control over the company in the long run.

The debt option is likened to taking a loan for a specific period. You have to pay interest on the amount. Here, the ownership of your company is not at stake. But, if for some reason, you fail to repay the loan, the lender can take your company into liquidation. In such a scenario, you lose your company. The debt option is worth only when you have a strong financial backup.

Let’s get into the different funds available.

Equity-based Funding

  • Self-funding

This is the safest way of funding for your startup. You can either use savings, personal debt, or both for your business. Also, you can consider selling assets like a second home or a property to generate cash for your company.

  • Friends and family

This is a source of both equity and debt funding. Though this seems a handy source of funding, you need to remain cautious while assigning part of your business among friends and family members. Many businesses fail because key parts of business go into the wrong hands. Also, when the capital erodes, it hurts feelings and ruins friendships.

  • Angel investors and Crowdfunding

Affluent investors can bring capital in the startups. They are known as angel investors as they are always willing to invest in ideas they find lucrative in the future. Angel investors can also form a group of investors to spread risks and assist you to do extensive research. Local angels and the Chamber of Commerce are also good sources for funding your business at the initial stage.

Crowdfunding is also a concept similar to angel investors. The only difference here is that there is a large number of people or investors who contribute to your startup idea as per their wish. Crowdfunding has certain norms and its success rate is lower than that of angel investment. Crowdfunding is based either on equity, debt, or rewards. You can select the most suitable platform from hundreds of crowdfunding platforms.

  • Partnership

This is one of the strongest sources of funding for your business. Strategic partners can not only bring investment but also give new thoughts to take the business to the next level. Partners can also help your business by managing key processes. Let’s take the example of a property management company. A strategic partnership with a property maintenance company can help this company to provide 360-degree solutions.

Debt-related Funding

  • Lenders

Many lenders and organizations lend money to small businesses and startups. They lend money either at higher interest rates or ask for assets as security. Here, the interest rate is a bit tricky. For example, if the interest rate is 3% and the term is one month, then the actual annual interest rate is 36%. This is quite high as compared to a 3% rate.

Lenders are of two types- Traditional and Government lenders.

Traditional lenders can be the first choice. Banks and credit unions are included in this type. This type of lenders, however, do not fund any innovative or experimental ideas.

Government lenders work with the government arms to get more funds with some risks.

  • 7a Loans

It is a type of loan that assists startups or businesses that have no collateral. Entrepreneurs with no personal or business assets are the most eligible candidates for this type of loan. However, a common man may not get this type of loan. What makes this loan attractive for entrepreneurs is the fact that the 7a loan has simple T&Cs. Entrepreneurs need to give a repayment guarantee of 85% to take this loan.

  • Banks

Both government and private banks lend SMEs and startups. But they need a track record and want to secure their loans by some of your assets. Banks are, however, not much friendly for SMEs and startups. Many entrepreneurs tend to stay away from banks at the initial stage because they have issues of both working capital and initial funding. In today’s time, banks have quickly become out of focus for entrepreneurs.

  • Venture Capitalists

They are basically the innovators of the business world. They’re constantly in search of entrepreneurs with lucrative ideas. If your idea is capable of working at a small level, you can easily convince a VC (Venture Capitalist) to support your business. VCs provide funds in two ways — equity or debt. Venture capitalists can lead your business to succeed at the international level.

Some venture capitalist companies invest in businesses by offering scholarships to entrepreneurs. Techpreneurs can leverage the benefits of these scholarships and become owners of small companies or startups at a young age. What’s more, your company can get money along with qualified business mentors through such venture capitalist companies. Simply put, VCs can assist you to launch your products while guiding your company at the initial level.

The SBA (Small Business Administration) is also a considerable debt option. It has many options but these options need a guarantee of repayment.

In Conclusion

Many options are available to fund your business at the initial level. If you have a unique idea that you think it is worth investing, you can certainly explore various options and find the ideal one for your startup. But first, be sure you have a solid business plan in place and you have done all to be sure your business is profitable and will scale.

 

Ogechi Ofurum-Omeike is an alumna of Upper Iowa University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Afe Babalola University where she was awarded a Bachelor of Science

in Communication, Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and Masters of Science in Communication (Distinction) degrees respectively. She is the founder of Techie and Savvy, the convener of the Future Business Leaders Conference and the author of Raising Smarter Kids. Before founding Techie and Savvy, she has worked in various organizations in the Education Sector, rising from the position of a class as Teacher and Sectional Head Teacher in Silversands Hall School to a short stint at Mindscapes Children’s Museum as the Program Coordinator. Also, she worked at ActivEdge Technologies Limited as the Marketing and Communication Manager where she collaborated with international brands

The beautiful and Teacher  shares her inspiring story with me in this interview.

 Childhood Influence

 Growing up was very interesting and exciting. Most likely because of the special bond I shared with my late dad. Also, I was pampered and loved by my brothers beyond measures. My mum was the disciplinarian of the house and as such, she was always quick to the address my excesses. I had a balanced childhood, one filled with love, care, attention and just the right amount of discipline.

That said, my childhood definitely played a role in preparing me for what I am currently doing. Growing up in a neighbourhood where the rate of illiteracy was strikingly high with domestic violence, substance abuse and teenage pregnancies being acceptable norms, I knew I wanted something different for my life. I recognized I was made for more.In a bid to be more, create and offer value, I chose to follow a path that was less travelled by people in that environment: I pursued education. Little or no wonder even though I started my tertiary education with an OND I proceeded to bag an HND, BSc, MBA, MSC and I am still counting.

Inspiration behind Techie and Savvy

Techie & Savvy is a Social Enterprise in Nigeria; primarily focused on capacity building for children aged 5 to 16years (Primary and Secondary School Pupils). We are committed to developing and empowering young minds to become Entrepreneurial by positioning the younger generation to become problem solvers, value creators and consequently, future business leaders. To achieve the aforementioned we have established the following platforms: School Entrepreneurship Club, Future Business Leaders Conference and, One on One session and Open Trainings.To give meaning to our essence, we collaborate with Parents, Schools, Companies, NGOs, Governments, and Individuals to empower the younger generation.

My book “Raising Smarter Kids”

With the current innovations in the technological space and the role of artificial intelligence in making the world smarter, it becomes unsustainable to raise our kids with moribund principles that do not adequately prepare children for the future. It is therefore vital to review these out-dated parental principles and come up with new strategies in raising our kids to become indispensable in a smart world.

These thoughts birthed the need to write the book ‘Raising Smarter Kids’. In reality, no child is born unintelligent; therefore, raising a smarter kid is totally dependent on the strategies deployed by parents, guardians and teachers in engaging their children.  A solid foundation is essential to the growth and development of a child. Hence, in the book ‘Raising Smarter Kids’, I clearly spelt out the roles parents may play from the womb and preschool days of a child in creating a safe haven for the child. Articulately stating the key principles parents, guardians, teachers and the school management may implement in raising smarter kids.

 Being a  motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur

God has blessed humans with several inherent potential, abilities and he expects us to create value with each of them. The parable of the talents in the bible buttresses this. However, to make the best use of our talents, there is need for good understanding of time management and the ability to pay attention to those things that truly matter.

My Inspiration

I am usually inspired by women that thrive in male dominated industries. I am also greatly motivated by the likes of Afe Babalola who didn’t allow his age to hinder him from pursuing his passion and establishing Afe Babalola University at the age he did; and, by those that have deliberately and consistently turned the stones thrown at them into stepping stones towards the path of greatness.

Challenges

 Regardless of the type of business, there are usually unique challenges at every stage of business growth. For instance, when we started Techie and savvy, it was challenging convincing some school owners about the essence of the program and our expertise. However, I guess I can say we are gradually making substantial progress in sensitizing the relevant stakeholders. Also, building structures and getting the right crop of people to work with are major challenges. This is why we are deliberate about recruiting graduates, committed to the training and development of our people and most importantly, ensuring that our team members are passionate about developing and empowering young minds to become Entrepreneurs.

On giving up

Like David in the bible, I have consistently encouraged myself to keep pursing my dream even in the face of challenges because the essence of Techie and Savvy is core to the fulfilment of my purpose.

Being a Woman of Rubies

 In all humility, I am a woman that has endured the challenges of life in a bid to achieve and create value. That is what makes me the woman that I am.

Dear Parents….

To a very large extent, you may not have physical control over the sex, structures, features and other genetic compositions of your offsprings but as parents, we can consciously play a role towards the outcome of our kids in life.

There are specific processes and actions we can deploy as parents to ensure our kids have a secured future in a world that is getting smarter by the day. Some of these principles are stated in my recently published book ‘Raising Smarter Kids’. I would advise every parent interested in the future of their children to get a copy of the book.

 

Someone once said the happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything, This is what Lamidi Opeyemi’s life journey is all about. When you meet her you would think she has it all going well for her till you hear her story. Her zeal and optimism seems to be her secret weapon.

At the age of 10, she sold pepper alongside her mum in their small community in Osun state, Nigeria, this in no little way set her entrepreneurial life journey;  from washing clothes for people to making coconut oil, starting a mini importation business and selling Newspaper on Sundays. Opeyemi has refused to stay down, she rose  from the ashes of adversity to take responsibility of  her life.

In this interview, she reveals how she is balancing her role as an entrepreneur,  wife and mother to a brilliant cerebral palsy child and still keep her head above water.

 

Growing up

My childhood prepared me for what I do, I was born and brought up in Kuta Ayedire local government in Osun state. My late mother was a pepper seller, she introduced me to the business when I was 10 years old i did it till i finish secondary school.

Being a newspaper vendor

After my son treatment in 2015, my husband business crashed, he became a full-time newspaper vendor, I was also forced to stay at home because my first son is living with a medical condition called cerebral palsy (a neurological disorder that affects movement, muscles tone, motor skills, and posture caused by brain damage that occurs during childbirth or early years of life) he’s fully depending on us to do everything, my husband doesn’t earn much and we have a lot of bills to pay. I started the mini importation business but noticed that I need a business that can bring money every day, I added shea butter business to it, I told my husband that I also want to start selling paper at Ppl bus stop on Sunday since the owner of the paper stand doesn’t sell on Sunday. My mother in law,  sister in law and neighbors daughters are always at home on Sunday and help with my special need child while I go and make ends meet.

Managing my business and motherhood

It is very tough i spent most of my time in my mother in law house since she is the only one i can trust with my special needs son, i also make sure my business doesn’t affect my Kids and marriage in any way.

Being a mom to an amazing special needs child.

Yes, I have a 4 years old son(DEMILADE) Living with cerebral palsy fully depending on others to do simple things. Alhamdulillah, I thank God for His mercy upon us, I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone , Thanks to my ever supportive mother in law, who often times take care of him when I go about my business.

My Inspiration

 My special needs kid and Mothers of special needs kids who are thriving in their chosen career Inspire me .I am most Inspired by several philanthropist whom I’ve never met but play important roles in my life from a distance, it has also encouraged me to give back In my own little way.

Challenges

Lack of funding for  my business is my biggest challenge as my I  need good capital to be successful in all my business ventures, not to mention epileptic power supply and the challenge of moving my coconut products.

Giving up

I have felt like giving up countless times because I feel I’m too young for what I’m facing . However, I always encourage myself that giving up is not the best option.

Being a woman of rubies

I am a Woman of rubies because against all odds, I am making something out of my life regardless of the balls life has thrown at me. I joggling so many business to be a good mom and support system for my husband, whom I respect and honour so much. I am not ashamed of my hustle, i thank God for “nothing can stop me spirit in me” i refused to be a burden to someone else. I am someone’s role model.

Word of advice to who want to go into the coconut oil business

My advice to them is to value their integrity more than money, if you value your integrity you won’t dilute your oil, be resilient and love what you do.

Advice for special needs parents

I will advise them not to be so desperate in looking for a miracle, love your child, focus on his or her ability, talk to your child’s doctor on how you can help you, child. Remember you are not alone in this journey, social media could be helpful if you use it wisely search for support groups for your child diagnosis, seek for help when you need it most, empowerment is important to have a legit source of income. Take care of yourself take a break when you need it most.

The society and reception of Special needs kids

Our society is not well sensitized about special needs children. We need an inclusive society where people with disabilities will have access to what people without disability have access too, some people still believe that disability is contagious which is not true, we need wheelchair accessible motors in our roads, school owners need to learn more about disability so the can give chance for our children with disabilities to have quality education, our leaders need to intervene in our children well being,

Cerebral Palsy

October 6 is World cerebral palsy day, wear green in honor of children and adult living with cerebral palsy , remember cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, motor skills and posture as a result of brain-damaged that occurred at birth or the first 3 years of life. Cerebral Palsy has no cure but therapies such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy e.t.c. could improve their lives. There are so many people living with cerebral palsy who are  lawyers, doctors, and serial entrepreneur.