Stephanie Obi is popularly referred to as the Queen of Online Courses, as she helps women entrepreneurs create, launch and sell online courses. She has an online business school, Steph B-School, that teaches women entrepreneurs how to get more customers online.
Growing up, all the women entrepreneurs she saw owned mom and pop shops. They never grew to be CEOs of big companies and so Stephanie didn’t even know that women could be CEOs. It was not on the cards for her and she thought the best she could be was to rise up the career ladder in a good job, get married, have children and be satisfied.
Her perception started to change when she started to see other women who were mothers and wives and had founded successful businesses. She started to see that it was possible for her. What made their stories so profound was that they were just like her. African Women.
Representation matters. If young girls see other women who look and sound like them founding companies, it helps to build a pipeline of women founders.
This for Stephanie, is why she believes that the biggest hindrance to women founding companies is the lack of representation. If women see women who are just like them founding companies, they will be inspired to start.
To empower women to become founders, Stephanie’s company has helped thousands of women to start an online course business using their different training programs.
In the course of the trainings, she also noticed that a lot of women were not tech inclined and this stopped them from really growing. In order to resolve this challenge, they built an easy to use online business platform, TrainQuarters which makes it easy for women to create and sell all their training products online.
Stephanie believes that female entrepreneurship will go a long way to alleviate the effect of poverty in African households. With more disposable income in the household, children can be exposed to more opportunities.
Stephanie is particular about women empowerment because she believes that when women are empowered, communities become empowered.
She also believes that there are problems that women are in a better position to solve just because of their feminine nature. If women become founders, they will be able to contribute their innovative ideas to solving problems that society has.
Stephanie mentioned practical ways that women can be empowered and in her own words, “One powerful way to empower more women to become women founders is just by showcasing the stories of diverse women entrepreneurs from different backgrounds. Women should be exposed to more female founders as they grow up, and as much as possible, entrepreneurship should be a part of the curriculum in schools.”
“Access to funding will help a lot of women to become founders however a lot of women struggle to access the available funds because they cannot pitch themselves. There should be training programs focused on teaching women how to pitch and to access funds. It will also help if women can become investors because investors tend to invest in people who look like them.”
Through her website, www.stephanieobi.com, she has reached over 82,000 people in over 10 countries.
She has also been recognised as one of the 100 most inspiring women in Nigeria, and won First Prize at the Wimbiz Impact Investment Competition.