I sat down with the Executive Director of the Centre for Population Health Initiatives (CPHI), Elizabeth Shoyemi to get to know her and the inspiration behind CPHI.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Elizabeth Shoyemi. I am the Executive Director of the Centre for Population Health Initiatives (CPHI), a non-governmental, non-profit organization that caters to the sexual and reproductive health needs of Nigeria’s underserved and marginalized populations.
I am a Public Health Professional; I obtained my Bachelor’s of Science in Microbiology from the University of Calabar, Nigeria, Master’s of Science in Public health from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and currently studying at Nexford University for a Master’s in Business Administration.
I have over ten years of experience in the non-profit sector. I worked with the Population Council, DeltaWomen NGO, and the Nigeria Youth Aid Programme. I have also volunteered with the Society for Family Health and Youth Empowerment Foundation. At CPHI, I lead a diverse team of health care professionals creating positive impacts in the health sector.
I am from Akwa Ibom state, and I live in Lagos State, Nigeria. I am a mother of two children. I am committed to saving living lives and ensuring that a healthy society is achieved.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
My biggest achievement is the birth of CPHI, and being part of the growth process.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
In my spare time, enjoy watching movies, particularly drama and travelling to new places.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
My favorite part of being an entrepreneur is creating innovative solutions that enable me to feed my passion of saving people’s lives.
Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer.
The Centre for Population Health Initiatives is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that uses multi-dimensional approaches to meet underserved communities’ sexual and reproductive health needs. It was established in 2020 and has reached over 30,000 with sexual and reproductive health interventions.
CPHI provides clinical and community-based services ranging from prevention, screening, and treatment for various sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. In addition, we provide vaccination for Hepatitis B, mental health support, cervical cancer screening and treatment, family planning services, and general wellbeing.
Our clinics are located in Lagos and Rivers states. These clinics also serve as hubs for research, safe spaces for social activities, and capacity-building activities. All our services are provided at no cost to the client; we operate weekend and after-hours services. We also have a web application for appointments.
Where can people find out more about CPHI?
You can also connect with us on social media. We are on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/cphi_24/, on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/cphi.lagos and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/centre-for-population-health-initiatives/mycompany/?viewAsMember=true.
You can also reach out to me (Elizabeth) directly on WhatsApp at +2348062952246, or connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-shoyemi-17508a40/, on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/elizabeth.asuquo and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/elizabethshoyemi/.
You can also get hold of me on email at firstname.lastname@example.org
How have you carved a niche for yourself in your industry?
CPHI is known to reach the underserved communities, including sex workers, LGBTQI, people who use drugs, adolescents, hard-to-reach young girls, and women. These populations face daily stigma and discrimination in various forms, and they are usually left out during program design interventions. CPHI acknowledges the sexual and reproductive health issues they face, which poses a public health challenge, hence the need to address them through innovative solutions. Our services are specialized, client-centered, zero cost, and hitch-free.
What has been a make or break moment in your entrepreneurial journey?
Being in the non-profit sector where I solely depend on funding and grants, my make moments are moments I receive a “Yes” to a submitted grant application, and my break moments are the periods I receive a rejection mail. The make moments reassure me of the future, while my break moments remind me to keep pushing and be a better version next time.
What’s been the most significant thing you’ve done to grow your business?
I have expanded the scope of services through partnerships and secured funding to sustain the service provision and the organization for at least two years.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, you must have good communication skills, negotiation skills, and Problem-solving skills.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our community?
Be open-minded, make learning part of your lifestyle, and focus on how to grow your business, not your competitors. Rather than focusing on your competitors, conduct research and focus on creating your own unique selling point.
What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule?
I have discovered that networking is essential. It’s not enough to gather contacts but to ensure that you have active connections with the contacts. Setting short-term and long-term goals ranging from personal, family, and business to work towards it through daily tasks and to-dos is key for success. The management of the business can be overwhelming; creating time for self-care and learning is vital.
What business-related book has inspired you the most?
Silences in NGO Discourse: The role and future of NGOs in Africa by Issa Shivji and The Third sector: Community organizations, NGOs, and non-profit by Meghan Kallman.
Elizabeth is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program to grow herself and prepare CPHI to grow to new heights