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Kemi Olomola-Sijuwade (KoS) emerges as a distinguished professional, pioneering excellence at the intersection of real estate and law. With over two decades of experience and a relentless commitment to innovation, KoS has carved a unique path in both Canada and Nigeria.

A Journey of Excellence

Armed with a degree in law from a prestigious institution in the United Kingdom, KoS’s journey began with a firm foundation in legal practice. Over the years, she has seamlessly woven her legal expertise into the intricate realm of real estate, navigating diverse cultural and regulatory landscapes with finesse.

Kemi Olomola-Sijuwade
Kemi Olomola-Sijuwade (L) and Greenland Concept associate (R)

Entrepreneurial Vision

As the visionary Founder of Greenland Concepts Nigeria Limited, KoS embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and people empowerment. Her recent expansion into Canada with the opening of another Greenland Concepts office signifies her dedication to global growth and the pursuit of excellence in real estate.

Leadership and Impact

Beyond her corporate endeavors, KoS is deeply committed to community development and holds active memberships in prominent professional associations. Her leadership as the Managing Director of Nigeria Police Force Property Development and Construction Company Limited continues to shape the legal and business landscape, leaving an indelible mark on the professional community.

Inspiring Others

KoS’s journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs alike. Her resilience, adaptability, and unwavering commitment to excellence stand as a testament to the power of visionary leadership in driving societal change and fostering growth.

Conclusion

In a world where borders are transcended by expertise, Kemi Olomola-Sijuwade (KoS) stands as a beacon of inspiration—a woman seamlessly integrating legal finesse and real estate proficiency on an international stage. As she continues to shape the landscapes of both Canada and Nigeria, she remains dedicated to fostering growth, navigating complexities, and contributing to the vibrant tapestry of real estate and law in both nations.

Amidst the ever-evolving landscape of professional success and entrepreneurial ventures is a figure whose journey epitomizes dedication, innovation, and unwavering commitment – Chichi Okiche. With a fervent passion for shaping exceptional talent and driving organizational success, Chichi’s story is one of resilience, determination, and remarkable achievements.

A Journey of Expertise and Excellence

Armed with a degree in Human Resource Management, Chichi embarked on her professional odyssey over 13 years ago. Currently serving as a Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition and Development, she has carved a niche for herself in building high-performing teams and implementing strategic recruitment initiatives that seamlessly align with organizational goals. Her prowess in identifying and nurturing top-tier talent has been instrumental in fostering a culture of continuous growth within her organizations.

Beyond the Corporate Realm

Yet, Chichi’s narrative extends far beyond the confines of corporate success. A visionary entrepreneur at heart, she is the Founder of Sokiche Consulting – a dynamic firm specializing in Social Media Management and HR Consulting. With an astute understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape and human resource dynamics, Chichi leads her team in crafting compelling strategies for brands, guiding them through the intricacies of the modern business landscape.

Entrepreneurial Spirit and Innovation

Further showcasing her entrepreneurial spirit, Chichi is also the driving force behind Kokahair – a thriving human hair wig company. Through Kokahair, she empowers individuals to embrace self-expression and confidence, offering quality hair products that redefine beauty standards.

Making an Impact Beyond Business

Yet, Chichi’s impact transcends mere business ventures. As a socially conscious leader, she actively participates in non-profit projects supporting black businesses in Canada. Her unwavering commitment to fostering inclusivity and diversity underscores her dedication to making a positive impact beyond professional realms.

As she continues to trailblaze across industries, Chichi remains a beacon of inspiration to aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs worldwide.

Join us in celebrating the remarkable journey of Chichi Okiche – a true testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the pursuit of excellence.

Cherice Williams, a driven individual with a knack for math during high school, naturally gravitated towards pursuing an accounting degree in university, setting her sights on becoming a Financial Analyst. “That was my passion,” Williams affirms.

However, life took an unexpected turn. Financial constraints forced her to halt her studies in her home country of Jamaica. Determined to reclaim her education, she ventured to the US in 2016 in search of work.

After two years of working as a housekeeper and waitress, Cherice found herself unable to afford her return to school. Not only was her situation stagnant, but her health was deteriorating as well. “I was experiencing hair thinning. I put on a lot of weight in my stomach area, and my menstrual cycles were not regular.”

In 2018, a medical diagnosis revealed she had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder with various implications. Despite the setback, Cherice decided to address her manageable symptoms, like her hair loss. This small act inadvertently paved the way for her to establish a thriving multi-million-dollar hair business—Blaq Luxury.

Taking the Initiative Cherice delved into research to find solutions for her hair concerns. Drawing from the popularity of Jamaican Black Castor Oil in the West Indies, she began concocting mixtures of various oils and ingredients renowned for promoting hair growth. Soon, she noticed a significant reduction in hair shedding.

Motivated to assist other women facing similar challenges, Cherice started offering her elixir to fellow sufferers. Sharing her product within a Facebook group dedicated to PCOS-related discussions garnered steady interest. This marked the turning point as Cherice inadvertently embarked on her entrepreneurial journey.

From Concoction to Commerce As her product gained traction within the Facebook group, Cherice recognized the potential for business growth. Despite financial constraints, she took the risk of investing more time and effort into her venture. A crucial step was reaching a wider audience, which led her to explore collaboration with influencers.

The Shade Room, a prominent social media account, responded positively to her request for promotion. Cherice, believing in her product’s market potential, invested her rent money into a promotion with them. In an incredible twist of fate, she recouped her investment within 24 hours of the post going live.

Cherice’s resourcefulness continued to propel her business. She repeatedly invested in promotions and steadily gained organic growth through word of mouth and returning customers.

Navigating Challenges and Expansion

Cherice’s determination to expand her business led her to approach local beauty supply stores. Although many attempts yielded no success, her tenacity paid off when a fellow businesswoman expressed interest in featuring Blaq Luxury in her store.

This experience taught Cherice the complexities of entering stores, including adhering to packaging regulations and revising formulas to meet industry standards. After significant effort, Blaq Luxury now graces the shelves of over 500 beauty supply stores, with forthcoming launches in well-known retailers.

Lessons in Patience and Perseverance

Cherice’s entrepreneurial journey taught her patience and the importance of maintaining a positive outlook. “Everything is a process,” she reflects. The experience of growing Blaq Luxury has imbued her with the ability to look beyond challenging days and focus on a brighter future. She believes that despite industry giants, small companies can also thrive with dedication and hard work.

Future Ventures and Encouragement

Looking ahead, Cherice envisions expanding into the mass retail market, making Blaq Luxury accessible to a wider audience. She also plans to donate a portion of her company’s profits to PCOS organizations. Although her career trajectory shifted away from becoming a Financial Analyst, Cherice still intends to complete her degree once her business stabilizes.

Cherice’s journey is a testament to the unpredictable yet rewarding path of entrepreneurship. Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is resounding: “If you believe that you have a great product or service to offer and you think it is in demand, and you can make a difference, my advice is to go for it. Put your all into it because you never know where it will take you until you try.”

Source: Bauce Mag

An Nisais an online taxi-hailing service in Kenya run by women that serves female passengers and young children only.

Mehnaz Sarwar (Photo: An Nisa)

An Nisa was founded by Mehnaz Sarwar and she inspired by how she and many women who used cabs in Nairobi were uncomfortable getting into vehicles with unfamiliar men. She said:

“I was always uncomfortable being in a car with someone I didn’t know, especially if it was a male. So I was always in search of a female driver. I realized that a lot of ladies are still in that position.”

Mehnaz started An Nisa to cater to women not just as passengers, but also behind the wheel. Susan Cherotich, one of over 50 female drivers who has signed up on the platform, says it is different from other platforms she has worked for:

“It is long overdue. Now that we have our own app, we run it and especially for us, it is more empowering.”

(Photo: An-Nisa)

And it is, because An Nisa only takes a 10% commission, compared to the 15% to 25% taken by other platforms like Uber and Taxify.

Susan adds:

“Now that the commissions are lower, we’ll be able to earn a bit more. And because most of the riders are ladies, should they all embrace this app, we’ll be able to earn more out of it.”

 

(Photo: An Nisa)

 

Credit: konbini.com

GreenHouse Capital opens application for female tech programme

The Venture Garden Group, GreenHouse Capital, has opened 2018 application for the first-female-focused tech accelerator program in Nigeria. The three-month accelerator programme begins mid-August and will run through mid-November.
According to the Director of GreenHouse Lab, Tosin Durotoye: “To tap into the vast brainpower and opportunity for innovation necessary to propel Nigeria and Africa as a whole forward, our mission at GreenHouse Lab is to level the playing field by providing early‑stage, women-led, high‑ growth technology start‑ups with investments and support infrastructure within the range of 250, 000 USD.
“We also provide exceptional teams with the resources and mentorship network they need to drive growth and scale their companies both in emerging and international markets.”
Durotoye noted that the program is residential and will be hosted at Vibranium Valley tech campus in Lagos. The accelerator ends with a demo day where companies get to pitch their businesses to a wider network of local and international investors.
In a research conducted by Disrupt Africa, $195.1 million in venture capital funding was invested in African start‑ups compared to $129.1million in 2016, an increase of 51 per cent. With $63.3 million in startup investments in 2017, Nigeria was the top investment destination in Africa followed by South Africa and Kenya. As Nigeria continues to emerge as a technology hub, one thing is clear, women are missing on the playing field.
The research further revealed that of the 25 per cent of women in tech, only 21 per cent are tech executives and of these, only 11 per cent are African technology officers. Currently, more than half of global executives report a shortfall of tech workers, which slows or prevents businesses from growing.
“In addition to being under-represented in the tech space, women are also severely under-funded. In 2017, women-led start-ups received just 2.2 per cent of all available venture capital dollars although women-led startups have been found to produce over 30 per cent higher return on equity.”
The first-of-its-kind in Nigeria, GreenHouse Lab is a three-month accelerator focused solely on early stage, women-led technology start-ups in sub‑Saharan Africa, as well as African-run startups domiciled in the US or UK with products that are scalable in African markets. GreenHouse Capital will also invest a minimum of 100, 000 USD in companies that qualify and reach specific milestones at the end of the program. For additional information, contact GreenHouse Lab at lab@greenhouse.capital or visit www.greenhouse.capital/greenhouselab.

 Funke Talabi is the innovator of CityHires, Nigeria’s first video recruitment portal. According to her , the concept for CityHires was born after various interactions with the human resource department of firms she worked with. She shares her story in this interview.

Growing Up

Growing up as a child, I was always inquisitive and innovative, and trying to find better ways of doing things. City Hires was somewhat designed out of my curiosity to challenge the existing process of recruitment in place.  I believed that with the traditional paper resumes, recruitment procedures took longer, so I started working on highly categorized resume portal with video hosting since June 2015.

Meet Me!

My name is AdefunkeTalabi; I am the CEO of City Hires, the premier video resume portal in Nigeria. I am a proud alumna of Queens College Lagos, where I completed my Secondary school education and Oxbridge College in Ikeja GRA where I completed my A Levels preparatory lessons.  As life would have it, I was opportune to travel outside of my comfort zone (of Lagos) for my Bachelors degree; I attended Igbinedion University  for my undergraduate degree in International Relations; this experience certainly exposed me to the diverse and interesting cultures we have in Nigeria and I believe I am a better  informed Nigerian for it. Following my graduation from Igbinedion, I was fortunate to attend a leading and prestigious Business school in the UK, the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow for a Masters degree in Business Information Technology Systems.  Since the completion of my Postgraduate degree, I have acquired a wealth of experience in Brand Management, Client Services Management and Technical Support from working with leading companies in Scotland and Nigeria including Virgin Media and VConnect.

Inspiration behind City Hires?

As a jobseeker, I longed for non-conventional ways to convince potential employers that I was the ideal candidate for the job. Interestingly, from my interactions with human resources departments of various organizations I worked for, they sought creative ways to improve their ability to pre-screen candidates for jobs quickly. In July 2015, I started City Hires to fulfil this apparent need in recruitment.

City Hires is a video resume portal that enables job seekers to upload their video pitches – short, persuasive speeches to convey their communication skills, charisma, and personality within 60 seconds. It is often said that “First impressions lasts long”. City hires gives you an opportunity to audition before prospective employers and put a voice and persona behind your resumes. By uploading your best video pitch on  www.cityhires.com.ng , and using our video resume platform, the suspense which is created with the traditional paper resume is removed, you are better able to convey attributes of your personality that cannot be conveyed using the conventional hard-copy resume; as such, you can stand out from among a multitude of applicants.

For the recruiter, it provides a platform to query a comprehensive database to retrieve the profiles and video resumes of job seekers and thereby enhancing the recruitment process thus making it more cost effective.

Expanding City Hires with the competition of existing job portal?

 I believe in life, change is constant, and with a new way of doing things which makes the process seamless, job seekers will be willing to go a step further to connect with their prospective employers and vice versa.

Being  a recipient of Etisalat Prize for innovation scheme.

Since the year 2012, Etisalat prize for innovation has unveiled a wealth of innovative products that have improved lives and businesses. I was part of the top 5 finalist for the year 2016 for the creation of City Hires. We were five finalists, and I happened to be the only female amongst the lot. It was an eye opening experience, though I believe we need more women to step forward and be at the forefront of technological innovations in Nigeria. I was really proud that out of the hundreds of applications across 36 states, my brainchild City Hires was at the top 5 in Nigeria.

What and who inspires me!

I am inspired by hardworking and creative individuals; as creativity sets the pace for innovative solutions for the next generation. As the saying goes, the apple does not fall far from the tree, hence the individual that inspires me most is my mother.  My mother is a very hardworking and creative woman, always seeking new and innovative ways to excel in her business, I believe I got my zeal for innovation and creativity from her and she has always supported all projects I have worked on.

Other projects and activities:

I am involved in the race for life scheme which seeks to raise funds for cancer research. I believe it remains one of the biggest threats to our generation and finding a cure has become imperative. Hence, I am passionate about participating in activities that will lead to fund raising for cancer research.

Reward

I believe one of the major rewards has to be commendation from various recruiters stating that city hires has made the recruitment process in their organisations seamless. The call of gratitude from job seekers who have got jobs from the portal. Lastly, is the recognition by the telecoms giant, Etisalat.

How  Job Seekers can come on board City Hires?

An average job seeker can come on board City Hires for free by registering their details on www.cityhires.com.ng and uploading their video resumes which is a 60 seconds pitch. There is a “How it works” tab on the site which gives a detailed explanation on how to upload your video resume.

5 years Vision

We seek to become the major platform transiting Nigerian professionals to the video resume system countrywide.  We courage all working class professionals to register on City Hires to be discovered at any point in time by recruiters across the country.

Challenges of Running  City Hires

The major challenge faced was the difficulty of most job seekers to do a video resume as most people are not accustomed to it. Providing a perfect pitch for the employer via video is a relatively new innovation, though with the right guidance we have been able to overcome this challenge.

Another major challenge was holding a full time job whilst trying to expand the scope and awareness of City Hires. Eventually, I found a way to balance my dual roles before deciding to give up full time employment to concentrate on expanding the outreach of City Hires.

Being a woman of Rubies?

I believe I am a woman of rubies because I have been at the forefront of technological disruption by pioneering video resume technology for the Nigerian Populace to make recruitment seamless.

Final word

 In response to the world’s needs, young women should participate in science and technology from early school years to university. In addition, women in technology should mentor young girls about the benefits of a career in science and technology.