GRACE INIOBONG EKA is an Entrepreneur who holds a BSC in Marketing and OND in Accounting.
Being raised as a Christian and a lover of God, She is a worker in the church serving God in the Choir department as a Praise leader and Treasurer, In the drama department she displays her acting skill by ministering through drama and also the department Treasurer. As a Youth in the Church, She handles the welfare as an Executive.
Having gathered experience in Events and Experiential marketing as a coordinator, coordinating Event Staffs and training brand representatives.; She founded her own company named *QG* _*AGENCY* . QG Agency is a company that trains and provides professional marketers/brand representatives, Event Staffs and Models., Also into Real Estate and Telecommunication services.
She holds certificate of training in Fashion design crafts , Catering services, Intensive training in Business from BSC Brand Consult.
As an *Entrepreneur* , She is a member of Neca’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW).
*GRACE INIOBONG EKA* is an ex beauty queen of Miss Akwa Ibom Lagos through which she made her way into modelling and Entertainment industry and she joined the Association of Beauty Queens and Kings and Currently the Deputy Coordinator of Lagos State branch
She believes in giving and impacting lives and this has made her known as an humanitarian and given her the joy to launch THE GRACE HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION.
She Shared her Ruby Girl story with the team.
1. Tell us about your childhood. What was growing up like for you?
Firstly, I would like to appreciate this platform for having me.
My childhood was an exciting one as both of my parents were disciplinarians. I wasn’t allowed to keep friends and being the first child I had to learn how to consider my siblings first before myself. It was quite interesting! The very first female friend I tried to keep after my secondary school education my Dad instructed me never to bring her home again. The only friends I had then were my colleagues at work and people in church and they mustn’t visit and I don’t visit too. Yea! My secondary education was quite fast and I started working at age 14 the day after having my last paper for WAEC.
The part I enjoyed more in my childhood is falling in love with God at a young age. I spent most of my time being in God’s presence and my parents were very supportive. I think it is what they wanted because they would prefer that I go to church rather than visiting anyone.
One thing I learnt from my parents while growing up was the attribute of “giving and caring for others”. I can recall how my dad would pay rents for people and help people with money to start up businesses then. Each time my mom buys foodstuffs she will call some women and share amongst them. This happened during my childhood and I adapted, I could recall sharing my food allowance with friends in school that didn’t have. This happened when I was 8 years old and at age 15 when I started working I had started sharing my salary with some people in church.
My childhood taught me the principle of sharing.
I’ll say I really enjoyed my childhood.
2. Any childhood ambition or aspiration nursed by you?
I have always wanted to be an independent woman and a great leader. I believe so much in giving and I’ve always prayed to be a giver and the grace to touch the lives of everyone that deserves to be happy.
3. What motivated the launch of THE GRACE HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION?
The feelings was just too strong that I couldn’t resist it. Even while I was a reigning beauty queen and I knew I could have used the platform but fear of Funds and supports didn’t allow me.
But God allowed the launch of THE GRACE HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION happen because it was just the right time!.
4. Was your decision to pursue modelling and being a Beauty Queen supported by your close contacts?
(Smiles) Not at all. I had no contacts and supports. My dad didn’t even support my decision to venture into the industry because he was scared I would lose focus. Only God can tell how I became the winner of MISS AKWA IBOM LAGOS 2015/16 because I only know I got the form for #5000 then and the rest I can’t explain. All outfits I used during the competition were given. Though I was working but I couldn’t have sponsored myself if not by His grace.
5. What are the challenges young entrepreneurs in the real estate, fashion and modelling world face and is there any specific one you encountered?
There are so many challenges that if you aren’t strong enough and determined in your career you could give up easily so, I’ll advise that whatever the challenge may be just stay put, believe you can and pray.
Some of the challenges I’m facing as an entrepreneur are:
Mental stress: Being a young entrepreneur and managing a growing business is hardwork. It is not really easy coping financially and employing people to relieve you stress of managing social media, attending to people calling for enquiries, graphic designing, etc so do all these myself…Yes, I do everything myself for now and it’s really stressful you know.
Office space: This is a major challenge that I really need to sort as soon as possible because it’s affecting my business growth. Most people appreciate you more and feel safer to do business with you when they are able to meet you at a physical place that is comfortable and not just online meeting.
6. What are the requirements or qualifications of a beauty queen?
For you to qualify as beauty queen you need to be bold, beautiful, intelligent, smart and self confident.
7. What are the services QC Agency provides?
QG_Agency is CAC Certified and we offer the following services:
Providing of well trained professional models for brands, video shoot and adverts.
Providing of well trained Event Staff i.e Ushers, Escorts, Bottle girls, party starters.
Handling of Experiential marketing for brands for creating awareness and increase in sales making.
Real Estates and property management.
8. Business principles life has taught you?
We are in the time where business has really changed compare to the 1990’s. It takes a passionate and determined person to do business now because of the number of competitors in all businesses and so I’ve learnt to carve my business on quality service which is “Professionalism,” take advantage of every opportunity in promoting my business and build a great team.
9. If you were to be the President of Nigeria, what are the changes you would effect?
10. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?
Mrs Hannah Iniobong, that’s my mom. She is a virtuous woman, if you meet my mom you can’t help but call her mother because she will treat you like her own child. She is a mother that every child would want to have.
Second woman that inspires me is Mrs Funmilayo Awoogun. She is a kind of Leader you will appreciate to have. I admire her so much as she is the President of NNEW, a Pastor, a wife, a mother and a mentor and yet so humble and she manages these roles excellently.
The third woman that inspires me is a famous popular Actor, Aunty Kate Henshaw. I love her from the first time I saw her movie when I was about 10 years old. She is the realest Actor I have known and I learnt to be a Humanitarian through her. So many things to talk about Aunty Kate but I can’t say it all now.
11. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
(Laughs) In the next five years, I see myself fulfilled.
12. If you were given the opportunity to address a group of girls five years younger than you, what will be your advice to them?
Ladies, don’t be desperate, take one step at a time, seek God first in everything and work hard to be an independent woman.