She Leads Africa

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Gabrielle Godwin is the 9 year old CEO and president of Gabby Bows. She also hosts “Gabby Play Dates” for young girls in shelters where she teaches them about entrepreneurship. Imagine that! I know most of us weren’t thinking about entrepreneurship when we were in primary school.

Gabrielle is in the fourth grade and recently raised $28,000 to fund her accessories business. I say she has quite a few things to teach us, like…

1.  Age is only a number

Gabrielle started the hair accessories business at the tender age of 7 with her mother. Having always had trouble finding hair accessories that would work for natural hair, she came up with the idea of “Gabby’s double-face double-snap barrette”.

Most entrepreneurs use age as an excuse, claiming that it hinders them from making the necessary moves. Think of Gabrielle next time you think you’re too old or too young to get started in business. You’re not.

2. Crowd funding

The need for better designed barrettes with wide colour ranges, as well as more products to meet rising demands, prompted Gabrielle to use crowd funding.  The young business woman received support from numerous backers and raised $28,000 using Kickstarter.

Her business idea raised a lot of interested backers who were ready to fund the project, not just based on her age but also on the viability of the business.

3. Identify a need

Gabrielle’s own personal experience with the inadequacy of the available accessories for natural hair led her to think up a design the will solve the problem. Statistics show the the feedback on the product —which provides services in over 48 states in the U.S. and 8 countries worldwide— are encouraging.

Gabrielle tapped into this gap and made some serious business out of it. With the rising awareness of natural hair, more families are on the look out for  products designed specifically to suit our hair.

4. The importance of support

Gabrielle constantly gushes over the support she receives from her family and others. This has enabled her to grow her business. She has indicated that the fact that her family believe in her business going to the next level has been very encouraging.

The need for a strong support team cannot be overemphasised in business. Family members, friends and peers make for a good support.

5. Giving  back

Heard of writing personal thank you notes to clients? This helps to keep the clients happy and make them feel special. It’s also one way of giving back to the people who have helped your business.

Gabby gives back to the community by teaching young girls in shelters about entrepreneurship. She encourages them on starting easy by using herself as an example.

Since launching her business, Gabrielle has had the opportunity to speak at business events and was awarded the South Carolina Young Entrepreneur award in 2015. It is really never too early to start!

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