This year’s edition of the High Growth Coaching Program promises to be very exciting for our founders. The SLA team sifted through over a 1000 applications and after a rigorous application process we selected our top 20 participants. We are so proud of how far they have come.
On a weekly basis we will introduce you to our participants, their story and their business.
On today’s feature we sat down with Christianah Imole-Ayo Owoeye, co-founder of Trash Monger to share her story on coming from a humble background and rising up through tenacity to build a business that would empower women.
“Always be ready to learn, unlearn and relearn.” – Christianah Imole-Ayo Owoeye
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Agege Local Government Area in Lagos. I am the second child of six and the first female child in my family. My primary education was in Lagos while my Secondary Education and Tertiary Education were in Ogun State. I am a graduate of Business Administration.
Growing up wasn’t fun until I found my Identity in Christ which gave my life a new meaning and purpose.
Apart from running Trash Monger. I am a soulful gospel minister, artist, and scriptwriter. During my National Youth Service, I participated in several advocacies through the Community Development Service (CDS). I was an active member of the Federal Road Safety Corp CDS group and often engaged in sensitization projects among women and girls on personal hygiene through the reproductive health CDS group. My work with the Reproductive Health CDS group increased my passion for an impactful life which made me volunteer in a recycling organization where I built my knowledge about the Waste Management sector where I now fully operate and lead.
I would say one of the best gifts received growing up was education.
What was your favourite subject at school and why?
Psychology; I like being able to understand human feelings through what they are saying or not saying.
What was your dream job or career path when growing up?
Growing up I wanted to be a cosmetologist, but I was not sure if I could study this as a course in a university. I remember that as a secondary student in Nigeria, you had to choose between two or three pathways that determine the subjects you will learn as a senior secondary school student, I decided to choose the “art” pathway because I thought that it would have some connection to cosmetics. I didn’t realize how wrong I was until I was in my second year of high school. I remember crying when I realized my mistake.
However, it did not turn out all bad, I realized that I had a knack for writing, acting and playing musical instruments.
Tell us a bit about your family and the relationship you have with them?
I am married to my friend of over 7 years and it’s being over a year of beautiful communion and friendship.
Tell us about the legacy you want to leave in this world? What you would to be remembered for?
That I gave hope, that I lived a life that would inspire you to take life as a gift.
Have you always been entrepreneurial, what led you to taking that first step and setting up your own business?
Right from when I was a teenager, I had always loved proffering solutions and rendering services. When I was younger I helped manage my dad’s pepper soup business. I loved seeing the joy on our customer’s faces after serving them. I also sold jewellery and clothes in school to support myself. Ah! I also had a failed business, it was a recharge card business.
As a new entry in the waste management sector the ability to impact the local communities mostly women and youths while contributing to achieving a sustainable environment makes being a social entrepreneur interesting and inspiring.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The ability to impact the lives of local women and youths while contributing to achieving a sustainable environment makes entrepreneurship a journey worth being a part of.
Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer?
Trash Monger Limited is a waste collection and recycling social enterprise that is into the collection and recycling of waste into sustainable raw material for manufacturing processes. Since we started the business we have been able to create over 300 green job opportunities for internally displaced women and youths from underserved communities. Also, through our initiative we have carried out sensitizations within local communities on the importance of recycling and how to achieve a sustainable environment.
What’s been the most significant thing you’ve done to grow your business?
Continually learning through courses, mentorships and growing my network.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Management [money, time, leadership] skills,
- Strategic thinking skills and
- A good communication skills
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our community?
Always be ready to learn, unlearn and relearn.
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