As you know the first ever She Leads Africa Accelerator Program is currently ongoing. Out of the 120 startups from across Nigeria who applied for the program, we identified 10 as the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest female entrepreneurs.
These 10 selected businesses are now benefitting from our intense accelerator training. One of them is Koko’s Kitchen, a brand that makes baking easier for Nigerians. From cakes to cookies, Koko’s Kitchen answers the demand for locally made easy-to-bake mixes.
Sifa Asani Gowon and Oluwatosin Olaseinde started the brand to build an indigenous brand within Nigeria. They hope the Accelerator program will help take them there.
Why did you decide to apply to the SLA Accelerator program?
While I, Sifa Asani, was busy fiddling with cake mix formula, trying to tweak it to perfection, Tosin was working tirelessly to build a strong foundation for the business in terms of accounting, mentoring and the like.
Tosin has been tracking the She Leads Africa voraciously and when the accelerator opportunity came up, we seized the opportunity. We decided to apply for it because we know it will help us to strategise and position the company to achieve critical pace. It would also help us to network and expose Koko’s Kitchen to potential investors.
What do you intend to take back home after the Accelerator program?
As a preamble, let me say that I had actually attended a SheLeads program earlier this year, in April: SheHive Abuja. I really liked what I saw and was so impressed with the organization, the speakers and the overall ambience.
There were women from all over the nation with one thing in common; ambitious dreams and the drive to succeed while adding to their communities and families. I liked that women were being encouraged to bring out the best in themselves as well as be considerate and help other business women when and how they could.
When we applied for the Accelerator program I expected no less from SheLeads. I anticipated a learning environment especially suited to African female entrepreneurs in terms of advice, tools and mentoring. We intend to take back home a stronger company in terms of controls achieving KPIs and also a stronger network that we can leverage on.
How do you intend to stand out and improve your business after the mentorship programme?
Considering Koko’s Kitchen is a really young company, we have been fortunate to have reliable collaborations. This ranges from that of the co-founders to the ecosystem such as She Leads Africa, amongst others.
We plan to execute all the key decisions that we have taken from to SLA accelerator programme. To glean knowledge from the outstanding entrepreneurs who have walked the road before us and have shared their stories and give us advice. We’ve been taught the value of time and of discipline. We are also accountable to our SheLeads mentors, which goes a long way in keeping us in line and focused.
After this program, we intend to take all we have learned and all the contacts we have made and utilize it to our advantage. We intend to streamline and stretch our ideas to build a strong and reliable business that is here to stand the test of time.