Oduwa Agboneni is an entrepreneur in a seemingly male-dominated field. By the way, she doesn’t believe that crap of “male dominated” anything. Oh yes, we love that kick-ass spirit.
She had her first degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Benin before proceeding to the University of Lagos for a Masters degree in Geoinformatics. She worked previously in the mechanical industry but since she’s always had a flair for business, she knew it was a matter of time before launching hers.
Oduwa is the founder of Neni’s Auto Care. Her services range from car wash and detailing (odour removal, polishing, washing, fumigating) to auto-repair (auto diagnosis, body work, panel beating, electrical) and home based repairs.
Presently, her employees are 80% male. Although her male staff are fine with her leadership, most times they tell her that she is the first woman they have worked with. They love Oduwa’s leadership skills so much that they no longer see her as a woman. To Oduwa, this shows that success has no gender neither does leadership in the “male-dominated” field.
Her goal is to be the richest black woman in Africa. Oduwa would also love to see her business represented in all states in Nigeria and all countries in Africa. She plans to set up an NGO to empower young ladies in STEM, all while being the best wife and mother.
Here are four things SLA contributor Ugochi learned after a chat with Oduwa:
1. The most difficult part of being an entrepreneur isn’t funding but coming up with a sustainable idea
Motherland Moguls, you need to get in here. Contrary to perception that funding is the major challenge for business owners, Oduwa believes this is not the case. A good idea will always bring in the money eventually. So dream big, start small and grow steadily.
She started from a car wash to developing a garage and now Neni’s Auto Care has evolved to perform other services. Good ideas would eventually attract funds as Oduwa is a 2015 recipient of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) grant.A good idea will always bring in the money eventually - Oduwa Agboneni Click To Tweet
2. There is nothing like “male-dominated” field
Oduwa believes that this is a thing of the mind in this part of the world.
So, know what you want and go for it. Motherland Moguls, what are you waiting for?
3. It’s a fallacy that you can’t be feminine in a “male dominated” field
Now, there’s that phrase again “male-dominated” but this line of thought is absolutely bullocks. According to Oduwa, it’s all about time management.
You can still look good, make your hair and be girly irrespective of the industry you operate in.
4. You can ace marriage and career
Even though she has always been a career person, Oduwa knew she had to blend it with her marriage. She has learned to create a balance between her work and her home.
Ugochi and Oduwa are currently undergoing a training programme together and Oduwa brought her baby along. But you’d never know there is a baby there because Oduwa is so coordinated and still contributes meaningfully in class. Talk about doing well in all areas.#MotherlandMoguls need to dream big and be open to partnerships Click To Tweet
Final words to the Motherland Mogul
You need to dream big and be open to partnerships. Pay attention to your customers and your employees because you need them to grow your business. Be focused, hard-working, determined and prepared at all times.
Live your dreams.
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