HGCP 2021 Participants: Akpevweoghene Erica Ogodo talks about her vision to enable people to consume healthy, natural foods through Spyce Republic by Erica

I sat down with Akpevweoghene Erica Ogodo of Spyce Republic by Erica to talk about how her passion for creating recipes and new spice blends inspired Spyce Republic.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Akpevweoghene Erica Ogodo. I was born and raised in Warri, Delta state. I’m a graduate of English and Literary studies, a mother of two cuties and an avid foodie. I am passionate about creating recipes and new spice blends.

When I’m not busy with Spyce Republic, I host events and engage in creative writing. I’m an introverted extrovert (lol). One minute I’m the bookworm, the other I’m the party girl. I enjoy working in an environment that thrives on individual creativity.

What is your ‘why’ i.e. bottom line, and how do you stay motivated?

I stay motivated by the fact that everyday is a new day to do something better and be someone better. I see the rate of food fraud in urban communities and how much the urban population rely on others for their foods and I believe that creating an opportunity to consume healthy, natural foods that are free of adulteration is the best way to go. The fact that we are able to serve consumers through our healthy food brand and also make the rigorous process of preparing African meals easier is all the motivation I need to keep doing more.

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

Setting up my business late in 2019 was the biggest decision for me and I consider it my biggest achievement. Since we launched, we have been fortunate to serve lots of households through our products, we have offered free mentorship programs on spice production and how best to set up a food business and we have been able to educate lots of people on the importance of healthy food consumption. Through my business, I have been exposed to mentorship programs, including She Leads Africa’s High Growth Coaching Program, that has helped me understand the concept of entrepreneurship and in the long run, we want our business to be an all woman organization that would create gender equality and empowerment.

If you had to write a book, what would it be on what and why?

As a matter of fact, I just started the first chapter of my autobiography. A lot of people who know me personally always ask me to write a book about myself. I think my story would be worth reading as it centers on what a lot of women silently go through , the chains of society, developing your voice and breaking free.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

The 5 star part of being an entrepreneur is the fact that I’m doing something I’m very passionate about. A lot of people eat just for satisfaction. For me, when I have a bite, I love to analyse the flavour and spices that went into preparing the delicacy. I love what I do. I’m also ecstatic about the satisfaction I give my customers when they use our products.

Another aspect I love about being an entrepreneur is being able to set the pace and be responsible for my business. It has helped me think in and out of the box and also helped me become a people person.

Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer.

At Spyce Republic, we offer consumers top quality indigenous spice blends, food condiments, beverage mix and natural sweeteners in order to promote healthy food consumption. We believe that Nigerian traditional meals can easily and conveniently be prepared no matter how busy our daily lives may be. Our products are crafted to make home cooking easy, enjoyable and stress free.

Our services include customizing our products to suit our customers diversity and demands, sourcing, processing and packaging products for clients and also private labels.

Experience the magic of African flavour today by letting us cater to your taste buds.

You can get in touch on the streets of Instagram and Facebook at www.instagram.com/spycerepublic and www.facebook.com/spycerepublic. We just recently launched our website and although it is still under construction, you can check us out on www.spycerepublic.com.

How have you carved a niche for yourself in your industry?

In my kind of business, consistency is key. We have been able to retain the quality of our products despite economic threats like inflation and this has helped us retain our customers. We also believe in the diversity of our customers. That is why when a customer approaches us and demands a customized spice mix, we happily oblige them. Consistency, diversity and customer satisfaction remain our guiding principles.

If you were given $1m to invest in Spyce Republic, where would it go?

If I’m given a million dollars I’m definitely going to invest 50% of the money in Spyce Republic. Aside from producing African product ranges we plan to eventually branch out into producing what we call healthy snacks made with organic ingredients. Also, I’d invest in setting up a dates palm plantation to promote date farming in the country.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

In the next five years we hope to become a household brand with our products seen in the shelves of top supermarkets within and outside the continent and in the pantries of the majority of Nigerian homes. We also hope to serve Africans in the diaspora to give them the feeling of home away from home.

What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule?

Hmm, I wouldn’t call it a trick exactly but I can say I have learnt to think more critically. I am naturally a liberal and artistic person, but being an entrepreneur has improved my problem solving skills and has helped me view situations from different perspectives.

Are you a reader, what is your favorite book?

My favourite book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’m in love with the classical era of arts and literature.

Erica is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program working to ensure that Spyce Republic becomes a household brand with products in the shelves of top supermarkets within and outside Africa and in the pantries of the majority of Nigerian homes.

HGCP 2021 Participants: Oghenetega Gbadagri, the wellbeing entrepreneur who founded Nigeria’s foremost on-demand spa: The Mobile Spa

I sat down with Oghenetega Gbadagri, the founder The Mobile Spa to get to know her and her journey as a wellbeing entrepreneur managing one of Nigeria’s most on-demand spa.

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.

I’m Tega, I am a wellbeing entrepreneur and the founder of Nigeria’s foremost on-demand Spa: The Mobile Spa. I am certified by the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC UK). I am also trained and hold certificates in various therapies including – Massage, Facials, Collagen Induction, Electrocautery and Advanced Dermapeeling.

What is your ‘why’ i.e. bottom line and how do you stay motivated?

I am committed to helping people improve their skincare and wellbeing by making spa services easily accessible to them in their personal space.  

I stay motivated by surrounding myself with positive and supportive people, practicing gratitude, regularly reviewing my goals and progress, celebrating my wins no matter how little, and investing in my self-care & well-being.

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

Growing The Mobile Spa brand to include other team members is my biggest achievement. The Mobile Spa travels to our client’s location to deliver spa  & wellbeing services.  In the past, the cost of transportation from our primary location to different parts of Lagos was a huge challenge. Some areas were farther and the cost of travel sometimes matched the cost of the service which left us unprofitable. 

 In 2019, I was able to decentralize our take off points and set a flat rate for transportation, exclusive of the service charge which covers for the cost of travel to and fro the client’s location.  

Currently, most of our therapists are equipped to fulfil appointments taking off directly from their residence across 12 different parts of Lagos Mainland and Island respectively. We make use of the Uber & Bolt Car Hire system.  This has helped us reduce cost and have a predictable transportation cost per location. Thus scaling up and increasing profit.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?

I enjoy watching romantic movies and spending time with my family

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

 Creating solutions that improve people’s wellbeing!!

Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer.

The Mobile Spa delivers massages, face and body treatments to clients in the comfort and privacy of their space – home, office or event.

We believe that customers should not encounter the stress of commuting to and fro different locations in order to get rejuvenated with spa treatments, so we make high quality spa services accessible & convenient.

We transform their spaces into a spa in a way that is minimally reversible without clogging their spaces or getting in their way. 

The Mobile Spa was launched in 2014, for some years, I was the sole therapist delivering these on demand services. The Mobile Spa now has over 15 wellbeing therapists serving various clients across Lagos.

Where can people find out more about your business?

You can find us on our website at https://themobilespa.com.ng/. You can follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/themobilespalagos/.

You can also reach out to me directly on Whatsapp at +2349029542951, send me a DM on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/tegagbadagri/ or connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/oghenetega-itec-uk-24a166b1/. You’re also welcome to send me an email on tega@themobilespa.com.ng.

How have you carved a niche for yourself in your industry?

We offer a wide range of treatment options cutting across massages, face & body treatments as offered at the day spa. Our clients enjoy the same benefits of a spa treatment in the comfort of their space.  We create memorable spa experiences wherever people want it by transforming their space evoking the physical and psychological effect of getting rejuvenated.

We have set up spa in the most unusual places – at the beach, parties, offices, conferences, fairs,  rooftops, resorts and we have also been to movie sets.  We are the go-to for on demand spa services.

If you were given $1m to invest in *business*, where would it go?

I would use the money to build an aggregator app available in major Nigerian cities that connects individuals and corporations to therapists that are available to offer on demand spa and wellbeing services within 60 minutes of booking. The money would be invested in app development, recruitment, training & development, marketing and spa supplies.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Planning; delegation and the setting SMART goals

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our community?

 The best advice I’ve received is that as an entrepreneurs I should build a business that can thrive without me by setting up relevant systems and processes.

What business-related books have inspired you the most? 

 There’s actually quite a few, but my current favorites are 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey; Traction by Gino Wickman and Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by John Warrillow.

What advice will you give young entrepreneurs who are just starting out?’

Focus on the things that you’re good at and outsource your weaknesses – If booking keeping, graphic design etc. are not your strength, don’t get stuck on doing everything yourself. Find experts that offer these services for a small fee, it will help you focus on your core business and improve efficiency.

Oghenetega is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program working to grow and scale The Mobile Spa.

SHE LEADS AFRICA AND DARLING COLLABORATE TO INSPIRE CONFIDENCE IN YOUNG AFRICAN WOMEN

She Leads Africa in collaboration with Darling (Godrej Africa) champion young African women across Africa through the year-long “Confidence in Action” campaign starting in August 2021.

The campaign includes exciting initiatives like “Pass Me The Mic”- a dedicated video course series, the “Confidence In Action” virtual summits and “The Moment I” podcast featuring prominent African women and a pilot program to support entrepreneurs.

More information is available at www.confidentdarling.com

She Leads Africa is renowned for providing young African women with the tools and resources for success in their personal and professional lives. The campaign takes the vision a step further with Darling, a brand that is equally passionate about the success of African women. Darling helps African women present as their best selves physically and mentally and has committed to supporting partners who share that vision through its products and campaigns.

Ibironke Ugbaja, Regional Head of Marketing at Darling Africa says,

“We are really excited to work with She Leads Africa on the Confidence-In-Action campaign. Darling loves to see African women exude confidence and support them in going for their dreams and winning wherever they find themselves. We will encourage them through this project, and let them know they have it in them to go for it! That’s the goal, to help you ‘Find Your Beautiful.’”

The “Confidence in Action” collaboration aims to inspire young African women to take brave steps in their careers, businesses and personal lives. Through the campaign, young African women get to see themselves and their struggles with self-confidence reflected by African women from different walks of life and get insight on how to overcome these issues.

Another important goal of the campaign is to highlight that status or achievement does not prevent women from experiences issues with confidence. Thus, “The Moment I” video and audio podcast series features notable African women from countries like Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa as they speak about their journey of building self-confidence. Features include veteran Nigerian actress Nse-Ikpe Etim, South African media powerhouse Nomndeni Nonhle Mdakhi and more.

As Kofo Adebiyi, VP Content at She Leads Africa says,

“Young African women are incredibly ambitious, skilled and have a great deal to offer the world. Despite how awesome we are, we all struggle with moments of self-doubt. “Confidence in Action” is a unique year-long project to support women through these moments. We’re honoured to have a committed partner like Darling with us through the process. For me, Confidence in Action has been about making bold asks and constantly challenging what I think the limits are. I hope that through this project, women across Africa learn what Confidence in Action looks like for them and make bold moves at work, school and wherever they find themselves across the world.”

From August 2021, information about the campaign courses, podcast episodes and the summits will be shared via the She Leads Africa website, Instagram page and newsletter.

To learn more about the She Leads Africa x Darling campaign, please visit www.confidentdarling.com.

More about Darling

Darling is a global hair brand dedicated to providing African women with the trendiest styles and highest quality of hair at the best possible price. Darling is a subsidiary of Godrej Consumer Products.

More about She Leads Africa

She Leads African is a global media company that connects smart African women to resources, tools and advice to help them live their best personal and professional lives.SLA reaches more than 800,000 women across 35+ countries and 5 continents and has been featured in the Financial Times, Forbes, BBC, CNN, CNBC Africa, Black Enterprise and Huffington Post.

For more information about She Leads Africa, join the online community at https://sheleadsafrica.org/community/ and follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

HGCP 2021 Participants: Anita Dafeta talks about how her love for the different stories that emanate from ancient folklore inspired Origho Lagos

I sat down with Anita Dafeta, the founder and creative director of Origho Lagos to get to know her and how how her love for the different stories that emanate from ancient folklore inspired her to create  homeware rooted in African heritage.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am the founder and Creative Director of ÓRÌGHÒ Lagos, a brand that aims to connect Africa to the world through contemporary homeware rooted in African heritage.

After completing my secondary schooling at Loyola Jesuit College Abuja, I obtained an International Diploma in Business from Oxbridge Tutorial College and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Sheffield UK. After my time at University, I worked briefly in London as an Accounting and Finance intern for a media company and later returned to Nigeria in 2015.

I have worked with renowned brands in various disciplines such as Tiffany Amber Nigeria, Capital Club Lagos and Ermenegildo Zegna. After returning to Nigeria from the UK I realised that there was a huge gap in the creative artisan sector in Nigeria and began liaising with artisans in areas such as woodwork, weaving, pottery and beading; thus the foundation for what has become ÓRÌGHÒ Lagos was forged.

I am a resilient and dedicated founder who is committed to immortalising our African heritage. I currently live in Lagos, Nigeria with my family.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?

I love art and music so generally I visit galleries, art exhibitions and listen to music from artists like H.E.R, Snoh Aalegra and Brent Fayaz. I’m a lover of 90’s music as well and I believe that great food is also a great time. 

If you had to write a book, it would be on what and why?

It would be a heartfelt, emotional but sometimes hilarious biography of my life thus far. Like how I got my fortune told at the Cirque Le Soir in London on Ganton Street…, still waiting for that to manifest by the way. But it will also have real, raw moments of hard work, tears and everything in between. 

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

I think my greatest achievement is starting a business and sticking with it through thick and thin, especially in this part of the world.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Turning my radical ideas into reality. 

Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer.

We produce artisan made interior décor and home goods products that are rooted in African folklore, design and craftsmanship with the aim of connecting the world to our continent and immortalising our heritage in the home.

You can follow our Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/origholagos/ to keep up to date with our product launches and brand events.

What was the inspiration behind Origho Lagos?

The business is inspired by our African heritage and craftsmanship. I have always loved the different stories that emanate from ancient folklore and I thought it would be wonderful to integrate that in an authentic but new way through homeware.

How did you come up with the name for your company?

The name ÓRÌGHÒ Lagos is derived from my Itsekiri name Orighomisan which means “My head is good” in the native dialect.

How have you carved a niche for yourself in your industry?

I believe there are individuals who want to own unique pieces of interior décor from Africa. Our craftsmanship is very well sought after all over the world. However, I believe we are still in the trial phase where we really need to get our brand out there and see what works. 

What is your ‘why’ i.e., bottom line, and how do you stay motivated?

True motivation is generally hard to come by these days especially because we live in a hyper visible era with most people posting about their ‘apparent’ successes but not showing the true hard work that goes on behind the scenes. To keep myself motivated I try to ignore the vanity metrics and re-enforce my personal ideology that great things take time to build. I understand that I have a purpose bigger than just me and it has to be fulfilled.

If you were given $1m to invest in your business, where would it go?

I think the virtual art/NFT (Non-Fungible Token) space is a new but interesting sector to invest in.

What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule?

I don’t have a lot of tricks up my sleeve (wink) but I believe in listening to your body and recharging when you need to. I also think you should always reflect on the end goal to remind yourself ‘why’.

Anita is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program scaling up Origho Lagos to keep on immortalising African heritage in people’s homes.

HGCP 2021 Participants: Founder of Closer Adenike Bamigbade is all about the impact and value their products delivers to Nigerian women and girls

I sat down with Adenike Bamigbade, the founder of Closer to get to know her and how she’s empowering women to take charge of their menstrual health.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Adenike and I work in the social development space; so I guess you can call me a social worker. I work on ideas and solutions that solve critical issues that affect young people and women. I am working on three things at the moment; raising young anti-corruption champions, improving access to employment for youth and building a sustainable way to end period-poverty in Nigeria. 

What is your ‘why’ i.e. bottom line, and how do you stay motivated?

There are myriads of problems around us and this keeps my brain active. I am always asking; how do we solve these problems? Being an avid reader, I have read about how ordinary people create ideas that change the world, so this inspires me to keep creating, iterating and not give up trying to solve a problem I care about. 

Period poverty is a real issue in our world, though the main problem is poverty. However, menstrual health should not be dependent on how rich a girl is, because she is only obeying nature’s call and it’s not her fault. I have seen lots of campaigns around period-poverty, but I feel most have short-impacts, we need to create a more sustainable solution to solve this big problem. This is purely what Closer is here to address, ensuring women and girls have access to good menstrual health. 

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

Closer is a new business and I am overwhelmed by the acceptance everywhere I had the opportunity to talk about the idea. Working on the idea and seeing the idea come to life is my biggest achievement so far. We took our time to work on the product, identify the best suppliers and ensure the experience is great. For us at Closer, every subscriber is a real woman, and she matters to us dearly. For every profit on each Box of Closer, 10% is used to help a girl from disadvantaged home to be out of period poverty. The smile and excitement on the girl is one I can’t buy. Also, each girl writes a ‘thank you’ letter to each subscriber that donated towards her period box. 

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

I enjoy the fact that I am adding value to people’s lives. Closer is all about our women and our girls. We are all about the impact and how valuable our products are to people’s lives, not the profit at all. As a business, we make profits, but the experience of our women and girls is fulfilling for me as the founder. 

Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer.

As a woman, you ought to be in charge of your menstrual health. Closer conveniently gives women access to the best-selected products specific to their menstrual needs through a subscription-based platform.

A woman’s lifecycle is largely controlled by her reproductive health starting from puberty to menopause. She is an egg-bag and her dreams can be tied to how well she is able to manage her reproductive health. With Closer, we are providing access to organic sanitary pads, organic panty liners and very important products women need each month to be in control of their menstrual health. Closer wants more women and girls to show up whether the red-visitor is around or her belly is pumped with a baby or she is in her grey-old-days enjoying menopause. We deliver the appropriate intimate care kits women in each category need without any worry. 

Where can people find out more about your business?

At Closer, we want to take the stress off you every month. Start your subscription on our website at  www.closer.ng. We also want to be with you all month round, so ensure you subscribe to our mailing list where we unfold the little secrets women shy about.

You can also connect with us on Social Media on Instagram.com/closerng, Facebook.com/closerng

and Twitter.com/closerng

How have you carved a niche for yourself in your industry?

Quality, quality, quality. At Closer, we work directly with suppliers who are producing quality products. Our sanitary pads are safer for you and the environment. Our bikini shavers are healthier alternatives. We don’t do normal, we go extra to ensure we provide quality products. 

This has made us distinct. Also, we are in the big e-commerce health industry, but we narrow it down to menstrual health only. This is a niche with low penetration in Nigeria at the moment, the ocean is still blue here and Closer is positioning itself rightly in that niche. 

What challenges have you faced first as a founder and then as a female founder?

Human resource in terms of getting the right people to work on the idea. This would have been easier if there was enough capital to pay people, but I am willing to allow the business to grow and pay people at our own capacity. I do not want to take the risk of paying more than the business is making at the moment. 

If you were given $1m to invest in *business*, where would it go?

Closer is a subscription business solving an important problem. It has the capacity to scale. With an investment funding of $1m, we will purchase more assets to aid logistics and distributions and also increase marketing budgets. With this investment, we can reach 1 million women per month and that means at least 100,000 girls will be out of period poverty every month. 

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our community?

Just start. I can be a perfectionist, so I always want everything to be perfect before I start. Launching Closer in March 2021 was not my ideal way of doing things but I obliged to the advice I got and I started. I noticed that I have learned so much from my customers than from the market research and survey I did in the past. So, I got real feedback which helped me tweak the products better. So, here is my advice to you as well, just start, it will get perfect along the way. 

What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs to invest their time in?

As entrepreneurs, we often create an idea that solves our own problem or someone we know. We then believe that other people are experiencing that same problem. When we are building a business brand, we make the mistake of creating a brand we love, not a brand that will appeal to our ideal customers. 

So, I will recommend two things; research and feedback. First, research to understand if this problem is a common thing indeed and how people are already solving it. Also, research on who experience this problem, it is likely that those who experience it are not the ones that will pay for the solution. Also, ensure you get people to help you interpret the responses you get. Get your friends, people with different perspectives and get their insights. 

Secondly, while you build, ask for feedback. Make feedback your food. Ask your customers to rate you, to share their experience and how they are using your product. Pay attention to the feedback and continue to tweak the products or services based on those feedback. 

What business-related book has inspired you the most? (or, what is your favorite book) ?

I love Peter Druker’s books on management. What I have realized having read his books is that ideas are common, but a great manager is rare. As entrepreneurs, we are managing a lot of things at the same time. We are managing our customers, our staff, our finance, our suppliers, our market, etc. Each has its own tactics and ways of dealing with it. Peter Drucker spent most of his life studying management and he has broken it down through his books. 

Adenike is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program scaling up Closer to keep on changing the landscape of menstrual health for women in Nigeria.

HGCP 2021 Participants: Titilayo Taiwo on co-founding Africa’s leading one-stop talent marketplace

I sat down with Titilayo Taiwo, the founder and chief operating officer of Terawork.com to get to know her and how she co-founded Africa’s leading one-stop talent marketplace.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Titilayo Taiwo, the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at TERAWORK.COM LIMITED. I oversee TERAWORK’s operations; strategic partnerships and I’m also involved in building exceptional teams and driving revenue.  

I am a Biochemist turned Operations/Human Resources expert with over 10 years of experience that spans Wellness, Oil & Gas, Software Design & Development. I am also a partner and volunteer in various charity organizations. I’m passionate about youth empowerment and I’m very committed to building tools to help people work better together and more effectively. I also enjoy wining and dining with families and friends for relaxation.

What is your ‘why’ i.e. bottom line? 

My ‘why’ is all about the vision and the impact opportunity, I am doing my part by using digital technology to contribute towards solving the long age unemployment problem in Africa. My goal is to see freelancers on our platform earn billions of  dollars while helping millions of businesses of all sizes to grow and achieve their goals. I wake up everyday to ensure that TERAWORK grows into a company that has real impact on the lives of millions of African sellers and buyers. 

On motivation I regularly review our goals and progress because I find that seeing progress is a great motivator in itself, and also goes a long way in improving my self-esteem.

How has your entrepreneurship journey been so far?

As a result of my hands-on experience, I’ve been featured on several entrepreneurship panels and master classes hosted by Enterprise Development Centre(EDC), Webtv, Churches, Schools etc. I was celebrated by Sterling Bank Plc alongside 5 other women nationwide during the International Women’s Day Celebration in February 2020, as a founder and a leader of a company that strives to give equal opportunities to women. I’m also in the 2021 Cohort of  AWS Activate Africa for Africa’s inspiring women start ups founders and leaders.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

I’ve never wanted to be an entrepreneur, let alone a serial one. But I absolutely love it now and would never trade it for another occupation. I love the freedom of being able to be wherever you want, with whomever you want, doing whatever you want to. It’s truly priceless.

I love a constant challenge, and the endless opportunities to learn and grow one’s mind. I also love that as my business grows and becomes more successful, it has different challenges and needs that require me to adapt yet again and grow too.

But for me the best part about being an entrepreneur is being in charge of your own destiny. When we’re born, we’re placed into a custody of our parents. Then our society. Schools. Corporations. Entrepreneurs get to break free and take control of their own lives. It’s exhilarating and rewarding.

Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer.

TERAWORK is a freelance marketplace that is helping small business owners by giving them the support and access to any competent talent they need to succeed. We provide businesses with on-demand affordable and quality freelancing services in legal, accounting, social media management, software development and 54 other service categories to grow. From the comfort of their homes and within a few hours, they can hire vetted on demand professionals which enables them to focus on building their businesses and save operational costs by 40%. Our Escrow system ensures that they don’t have to pay for substandard jobs any more. With TERAWORK value is guaranteed or you get your money back.

You can learn more and sign up by visiting our website at https://www.terawork.com/.

How have you carved a niche for yourself in your industry?

We did so by focusing on just one pain point – the hassle of hiring cost effective quality  talent. Our offering of on-demand quality and proven talent with an escrow system that  guarantees value or money back is unique.

What would you say has been pivotal to your growth and success so far? 

My growth mindset; my belief that skills are built, and that new abilities can be developed through practice and effort. I strongly believe in my capacity to learn and grow, and that my intelligence can be developed. I tend to persist in the face of setbacks, take on board and even invite feedback and find inspiration those around me. I see life as an endless opportunity to figure out new things and appreciate that failure is part and parcel of learning and progressing – it’s necessary and therefore not something to shy away from. I also understand that mastery of a skill takes persistence, practice and time.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our community?

It’s actually a quote by Steve Jobs, ”Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you; the aircraft, vessels, etc. And you can change it, you can influence it…, once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again” 

What’s your number 1 tip for anyone struggling to overcome entrepreneurial overwhelm and keep going?

Learn to do less; the first step to dealing with this is to accept that you’ll never get it all done. I know that’s hard to accept and say, but it’s a reality. Once we acknowledge that, we feel less stressed because we have less resistance to trying to do it to all.

Remind yourself every day that it’s not about getting more done. It’s about getting results that matter. “Do three things well, not ten things badly.” Then outsource, that is why we created TERAWORK!

Titilayo is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program hard at work to grow TERAWORK into a global talent marketplace where value is always guaranteed.

HGCP 2021 Participants: Bethel Bekee, the founder of Whip-Smart Service Providers Limited on working everyday to improve families.

I sat down with Bethel Bekee, the founder of Whip-Smart Service Providers Limited to get to know her and find out more about her business.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in River State and then I relocated to Lagos about 3 years ago. I am the last born of 5 siblings. I am very passionate about family because family is the basic unit of life and I have great affection for children. I love to travel, I love studying and enjoy cooking. I am the kind of person that jumps into every available opportunity and sometimes I create my own when I need to.

I worked with international organizations for over 5 years before  I started my company Whip-smart Service Providers Limited.

Tell us a bit about your background – how did you get to this point?

I’ve always been resilient and persistent, a go-getter. As soon as I graduated, I made sure that I became independent. I started working at a hospital where I would get referrals from consultants. I have had the privilege of working in one of the best pediatric hospitals in Abuja. It was such an amazing experience because my love for kids is just enormous. It was while I was working there that I got another referral to enter into the NGO space. It took about 2 years for me to finally take the bold step of resigning my good paying job where I was close to getting promoted to start my business. It was a tough decision but I am glad that I made it. 

What is your ‘why’ i.e. bottom line?

The fact that I’m helping families is so fulfilling, I am driven by the knowledge that I am helping young women to better themselves and families to thrive and groom their children into adults that will one day contribute positively to society. In my line of business, everyday you get to see a different version of yourself, and seeing a better version of myself everyday is one thing that motivates and drives me to go out there each day to conquer.

Describe a typical day for you?

I start my day by praying as soon as I wake up, then I’m ready to go. At the office I start by reviewing work from the previous day to ensure that tasks are completed as they should be. Once that’s done I look through my to-do-schedule made the previous night and ensure I carry on those activities diligently. 

I show up every day motivated, and I reward myself for jobs completed. I like to surf the internet every day to learn something new. My work involves a lot of creative problem solving and leadership skills.

After work, I go home where I take a little nap to rest before I begin planning for the next day. In the evenings I either read a book, watch tv, or take an online course before I sleep. 

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

In 2017, I got two certifications from University of Washington, which was a big deal for me. I now also have certifications in sales and marketing.

Starting up my company in 2018 was one of the bravest steps I ever took and one of my greatest achievements. In the last 3 years, we have served over 400 families and we’ve mentored over 400 staff and helped build their professional skills.

I am also proud of the fact that I’ve built a strong team responsible for following up, staff management and supervision. We have developed better strategies to meet our weekly and monthly targets, and it’s been tremendously encouraging to meet those numbers. We’ve advocated for a number of domestic staff and have pretty much done everything possible to dignify the profession.

What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?

My dad, he is an engineer whose job is dedicated to solving problems and improving lives on a daily basis. He has a great work ethic which I admire very much.  

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

The best part of my job is client satisfaction, just seeing the gratitude and knowing that I did something that will change someone’s life for the best.

My least favorite part are the endless activities that form part of the journey to client satisfaction. There are so many things that have  to be put in place for a customer to be satisfied. It is a tough task especially if you’re like me and you’re always striving to be the best at what you do. 

 Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer.

Whip-Smart Service Providers Limited is a domestic staffing recruitment company. We help families and homes recruit skilled, experienced domestic staff and caregivers. We carry out  background checks and medical checks. We train, supervise and monitor our staff, then outsource them to clients in need. We offer our services for the least amount of money, and we do this by offering different packages for different clients. Our mission is to help our clients get the right help for their family.

You can see more about us on our website at https://whip-smart.org.ng/ or like our Facebook Page.

What would you say has been pivotal to your growth and success so far? 

Consistency, remaining consistent makes all the difference. Every entrepreneur must stay consistent in their journey, they must be patient and resilient. Give your best everyday to your business and someday you will see your business grow and all your dreams come true.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur

a) Critical thinking (b)  Customer service and C) Analytical problem solving skills

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our community?

You must realize that being a business owner can be a lonely journey. It is all about rocking the boat. You have to consistently and bravely go against the tide and take a risk, which is something a lot of people find very uncomfortable.

What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs to invest their time in?

UNLEARN, LEARN, RELEARN and KEEP ON LEARNING. That’s it.

What business-related book has inspired you the most? 

Any of the books by Richard Templar. He has written great books for entrepreneurs and they’ve changed my life tremendously.

What’s your number one tip for anyone struggling to overcome entrepreneurial overwhelm and keep going?      

Cheer yourself up, pat yourself on the back and encourage yourself, then keep moving. Accept criticism as that will make you better. As an entrepreneur you must be selfless, don’t be greedy. Finally, appreciate your staff, every day. 

 

Bethel is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program hard at work to ensure that WhipSmart Service Providers Ltd continues to make a difference in families on an even bigger scale.

Whip-Smart Service Providers Limited

HGCP 2021 Participants: Founder of Jasmine Ultra Blue Solutions Susanne is motivated by seeing people around her succeed.

I sat down with Susanne Onuminya, the founder of Jasmine Ultra Blue Solutions to get to know her and find out more about JUBS.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Susanne. I am a Biochemist, Safety professional and public health enthusiast. I was born in Lagos and I am married with a beautiful daughter. I worked in clinical health, oil and gas and sales industries before I became an entrepreneur. I love networking, meeting new people and making friends and my passion is helping people.

What motivates you?

I am motivated by seeing people around me succeed, knowing that I’m providing a solution that impacts a lot of lives is what drives me. I love knowing that my daughter will be proud to call me her mother one day.  

Describe a typical day for you.

I’m usually awake up by 6:00 am, then I make breakfast and get my daughter ready for school and drop her off. After dropping her off , I watch a live motivational video while doing my morning exercise. I usually start my word day with meetings, then I do my work for the day and courses on my HGCP curriculum. Around 2:00 pm, I pick up my daughter from school and continue working. After work I bond with family, and then later I do more HGCP courses. 

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

My biggest achievements …, I don’t feel like I have achieved them yet. I’ll say being part of HGCP 2021 and Future Females Business school. My biggest achievement will be when we finally open a physical JUBS center.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?

I hang out with my friends. I also read books – mostly business books, motivational books, medical books or books written by women. I also enjoy watching movies.  

 If you had to write a book, it would be on what and why?

Oh, I’m definitely going to write one, on transitioning from your 20s to 3os. Your 20s are Smooth, your 30s are not and nobody tells us these things.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

I’d say being able to see your vision for your business come to life.

Introduce your company the way you would to a potential client.

JUBS is a health solutions provider. We have an Ultra Blue Women Support group where we give support and educate women on living a healthy lifestyle. We also offer convenient health services to our clients such as vaccinations, diagnostics, and medical services. We have full time and locum doctors that provide services to our clients. We also sell health products such as supplements on request by customers as part of our packages.

We sell to upper and middle class millennials. We started with women but have expanded to sell to men and also corporate organisations. You can read more about our services at https://jasmineultrabluesolutions.com/

What was the inspiration behind JUBS, what led you to taking that first step and setting up your own business?

I saw a need and decided to provide a solution. After I had my daughter, I needed to lose weight because of health complications. I tried many different things that just didn’t work. This experience helped me realise that a lot of women have a need for convenient health services to meet their needs with ease of access and minimum disturbance to their daily schedule. I started with Ultra Blue Women Support Group and then expanded to all our present products and services.  

What’s been your favorite mistake that you made in your business and what did you learn?

I’d say winging it instead of properly structuring the business, foe example believing that an aspect of the business is too small to structure and set up standard processes for.

We are now at a point where we are almost restarting the entire business because we have to establish standard processes to make sure that it’s structured properly and running efficiently.

What challenges have you faced first as a founder and then as a female founder?

I have actually been extremely blessed in my journey as a business woman. I have received access to a lot of resources as a female founder. There are also a lot of opportunities to network and for growth. 

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Innovative, networking (charisma), handle many things at the same time

What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule?

Delegating is very important as it allows you to stay focused on your vision. One must also maintain a healthy balance between optimism and realism.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our community?

You need people everywhere – inside and outside the business. Having the right people around you makes all the difference.

What business-related book has inspired you the most? (or, what is your favorite book) ?

Hmm, I’ll say Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. This is a book by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg.

Susanne is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program hard at work preparing JUBS to grow and scale to being a household name in the health industry.

You can stay tuned to JUBS on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/ultrajasmine?_rdc=1&_rdr and follow Susanne on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the_health_aficionado/.

 

“Small Businesses Matter”: Sparkle for Business Launches to Power Nigeria’s SMEs

Sparkle Business

Fact checks. Do you know that in Nigeria, SMEs contribute 48% to the National GDP? They also account for 96% of businesses in the country, as well 84% of employment. You would think with these numbers we would have more small businesses thriving, but the reverse (sigh) is the case.

Apart from lacking access to basic services that will help their businesses grow, Small businesses are also challenged with making strategic decisions due to a lack of data for key insights into important issues that affect their business. Stuff like keeping records of your goods and services, managing your payroll and the people who work for you, making payments, and staying tax compliant are all things we need to stay on top of.

Now imagine having a platform that helps you store necessary business data, calculate the necessary payments, invoices, taxes, and provides you information and insights at your fingertips? Using technology and data, this is designed so you can make better-informed decisions on how you can create great customer experiences, motivate your team, and manage and optimize your stock of products or services.

We know these things matter to you, so let us tell you about Sparkle and their recently launched digital business management solution called Sparkle Business. Licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sparkle MFB is a digital bank, a lifestyle and financial ecosystem providing seamless solutions to individuals and SMEs by leveraging on technology and data. Sparkle is founded upon the values of trust, transparency, freedom, inclusivity, simplicity, and personalization. Sparkle is also deliberately focused on female-owned businesses and how Sparkle Business can provide necessary solutions for them to scale.

Sparkle Business is way more than your regular business account. With small businesses in mind, now you can easily manage tasks like payroll management, tax management, inventory and invoicing, customer management, and much more, all taking place in the Sparkle app.

So, what does this mean for you as a small business owner? You can know and manage all your customers. Avoid miscounts and stock loss. File tax deductions for your business and staff at the click of a button. Send invoices from the comfort of the Sparkle app, with the freedom to do much more.

Interested like we are? Click IOS or Android to download the Sparkle app with the Sparkle Business update. Do not forget to share your experience with Sparkle Business with us and other small business owners. When you win, we all win. Keep leading!

 

Want to do business with the United States from Africa? DO NOT MISS THIS VIRTUAL SUMMIT

Over the years, the United States Government has funded a number of agencies and platforms to support African companies to do business with both the U.S. government itself and with the U.S. private sector.  

To provide more clarity on ways in which the U.S. can assist in growing African businesses and entrepreneurs through trade, investment, and technical assistance, Africa.com is organising a one-day Virtual Summitif you are a Motherland Mogul looking to expand your business into the United States, this is not the one to miss!

This Virtual Summit will bring thousands of c-suite executives and decision-makers of African businesses together with high ranking U.S Government and business officials. It will be held on Wednesday the 14th of October 2020 with the following panel sessions:

Register for The Virtual Summit Here

Panel 1: View From The Very Top
The Summit kicks off with keynote remarks by the highest-ranking U.S. government official responsible for relations with Africa, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, The Honorable Tibor Nagy. Then, the Chairman of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (President and CEO of GE Africa) Farid Fezoua, will deliver keynote remarks from the private sector perspective.

Panel 2: Hear It From The Agency Heads
A panel discussion featuring the Chief Operating Officer of Prosper Africa, a new U.S. government initiative that brings together the resources of over 17 U.S. Government agencies to connect the U.S. and African businesses with new buyers, suppliers, and investment opportunities. Joining this panel are the ‘Africa heads’ of some of the key U.S. Government agencies that do business with Africa, including the International Development Finance Corporation (formerly OPIC); The Export/Import Bank; USAID; and the U.S. Africa Development Foundation.

 

Panel 3: Hear It From African Business Heads
The third portion of the summit is a panel of very senior African business leaders who have done business with the U.S., who will provide their perspectives on their experiences and guidance to those who seek to follow their footsteps.

Panel 4: Views From Ambassadors Country-by-Country
The fourth portion of the summit is a panel of U.S. Ambassadors to several key African countries who will speak about the resources available specifically in their markets to support African businesses.

This event is free so don’t miss this opportunity to take your business international! 

Register for The Virtual Summit Here