Ryteprint: The biggest print shop in West Africa

What is Ryteprint?

Ryteprint is an online print ordering platform. Using an innovative, transparent and technology driven platform to enable individuals, micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) and corporate organizations to buy: customised business printing, marketing materials, photo and digital art products.

Products include; Business cards, Letterheads, Envelopes, Flyers, Brochures, Notebooks, Paper Bags, Invitation Cards, Wedding Stationery Customised Boxes, Posters, Roll up Banners, Stickers, Banners, Labels, Plan Prints, Canvas Prints, Wall Art, Photo book, Pop Up Stand and many more.


How do you benefit organisations?

The following reasons are why Ryteprint online platform should be of benefit to you or your organization


  • Largest printed products offering in Nigeria and West Africa making us the biggest print shop in Nigeria and West Africa


  • We pride ourselves in the quality of our products making everything we offer first rate, and as you can guess, we do not do sub-standard products.


  • Thousands of design templates to enable you to order prints yourself (DIY)


  • You will have access to our professional creative design professionals, without spending a fortune on fancy design agency fees.


  • Excellent customer care service to enable you achieve your goal. Through advice, free file check and assistance to help make the process as smooth as possible.


  • We will deliver to your doorstep.


  • Customer satisfaction is very high on our list of priorities, we will work to make you happy. That is a promise.  


Why was Ryteprint created and what problem are you solving?

Ryteprint was created to give individuals the opportunity to order print, customized marketing materials, photo and digital art products.

We use a technology platform which turns what is usually a very stressful ordeal for individuals, small and medium enterprises and corporate organizations, into a simple straightforward process- with pricing transparency and delivery convenience.

Ryteprint currently offers the widest range of printed products in the print industry in one place. Essentially making the platform a one stop shop for customized printed material.


What type of organizations do you cater to?

The platform enables individuals, micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) and corporate organizations, to order printed products and customised marketing material.


What type of products do you specialise in?

  • Business cards
  • Letterheads
  • Envelopes
  • Flyers
  • Brochures
  • Folded leaflets
  • Notebooks
  • Paper Bags
  • Invitation Cards
  • Wedding Stationery
  • Customised Boxes
  • Posters
  • Roll up Banners
  • Labels
  • Stickers
  • Banners
  • Labels
  • Plan Prints
  • Canvas Prints
  • Wall Art
  • Photo book
  • Pop Up Stand 
  • Portable display products
  • Customised Clothing
  • Promotional items,
  • and many more.





What locations can individuals and organizations order from? 

Individuals and organisations can order from their home or offices, and have the products delivered to their designated address- taking the hassle out of ordering print.


Please describe the delivery process…

  1. You register on our platform;
  2. Identify the product you want to order on our product list;
  3. Select your product, decide to use our design templates or simply upload a ready design,
  4. or better still you can  request for a customised design from our creative team.
  5. Once we receive the order, we will perform a file check to ensure the order is ready for print.
  6. We then produce the order with the very latest printing technology equipment.
  7. Then we have our logistics team arrange delivery to your preferred delivery address

It is that simple, no hassle.


Do clients have to pay for delivery?

We are currently charging for delivery, but we might begin offering free delivery for orders above a certain amount at some point.


How can people contact you?

You can go on to our website www.ryteprint.com , and our hotline number for customer support is 07019109598 or 0700 7983 77468


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ryteprint/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ryteprint/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RYTEPRINT


Use the code: SLA5  for a 5% discount coupon!











Yemi Adewale: I am constantly raising the creative bar for myself

Yemi Adewale: My drive, passion and good reference from clients is what keeps me going. Click To Tweet

Event management is a fast growing industry, especially in Nigeria with the rise of many event planners these days. CEO of YDA Creations, Yemi Adewale, shares with us how she is able to distinguish her brand and service in such a clustered market.

Having lived most of her life abroad in the UK, Yemi finally moved back to Nigeria. With the desire to be her own boss, she ditched her law degree and followed her passion for interior design and party planning.

Four years and counting, YDA creations has grown into a successful event management and design company.  It has been featured in several media platforms such as; Creme De La Bride, Wed Daily, Nigerian Wedding Blog, Love Weddings Ng and The knot & beyond.

As a returnee, what were some of the challenges you faced when trying to start a business in Nigeria?

When I got back and wanted to set up my own business, it wasn’t the easiest thing for many reasons. I realized quickly that in Nigeria it’s not about your skills or passion, it all boils down to the people you know and the connections you can get.

With the help of my family and some good friends I met along the way, I was able to gain the courage to keep pushing. I must say I have done well for myself, for someone who came into the industry knowing no one and having no “connection”. My drive, passion and good reference from clients is what keeps me going.

How do you multi-task when you plan or manage multiple events?

To me planning is like a natural high or rush, the more pressure I’m under the better I tend to work. Having multiple events on same day or around the same time is not a task we can’t handle.

I trust my team leaders to manage the event well on occasions where I can’t physically be present, such as if two events are on the same date, but in two different states.

Yemi- Adewale


Yemi- Adewale

What do you enjoy the most about event management and what is the major challenge you face when coordinating events?

I enjoy putting things together, right from when I was young. I like to bring something new and fresh to each event, I’m constantly raising the creative bar for myself. Being entrusted with the management of an occasion is not something I take for granted. It is a sacred responsibility and a passion because I enjoy bringing ideas and visions to reality.

When family members get involved and do not like the idea of a planner, they most likely would not abide by the desires of the couple who are getting married and end up taking over. The challenge would then be how to satisfy your clients while trying to ensure you don’t start a family war.


@ydacreations: being entrusted with managing an occasion is not something we take for granted Click To Tweet


Which do you think is the most important factor in events planning, creativity or structure?

To be honest both are essential. The passion for the job comes creativity, this drives one to research more for new ideas and ensure you are always up to date with trends.

That being said you also need a good team behind you; a group of hard working individuals who take pride in and love what they do. This would help in the execution of the overall planning once its event day.

In your experience, what are the three things that should always be on point in an event?

Well for me, the ambiance must be just right, this sets the tone for the day. Thus decor is key, it should be attractive enough to draw the crowd in and leave them excited as to what the rest of the day would bring.

Secondly, I believe music is important. People come to events to escape whatever they have been dealing with all week. It’s their one time to relax and have a good time. Nothing gets people more relaxed than good ole music.

Finally, I believe food is essential. You can’t deny the fact that many people come to events to eat. It would be the greatest disappointment when a guest comes to your event and hears “food has finished” and even worse when they realize you had an event planner. The goal is for guests to leave saying they over ate and even had to decline food. This means we had a successful event.

Ambiance music and food must always be on point at every event Click To Tweet

There are more than a few event planners now in Nigeria. How are you able to distinguish your brand from others?

Every event planner has a different style and what they bring to the table. For me it’s my creativity and my connection with my clients. I believe when working with someone, the only way to perfectly execute the job is to get to know your client on a more personal level. This would ultimately guide you and help direct your ideas towards what best suits that individual. I also believe in constant feedback and updates.


You are a lawyer by profession and now practice event management. Is there any other field of business you would like to explore?

Eventually, I may expand my business to include other interests, and it may not even be related to events. However, there is power in focus and I don’t want to be a Jack of All Trades.

My focus at this time is becoming the best event planner I can be. I do hope one day to have a chain of successful businesses and be known as a business mogul.


With creativity, we find ways to deliver more than what was thought possible @ydacreations Click To Tweet

 If you were to plan an event in a different country, what country will you chose and why?

I would choose the United States, because it offers me more options due to range of vendors and facilities they have. I would be like a kid in a candy store.

Nevertheless, we make the most of what we have here. This is where our creativity comes in and we work our magic. With creativity, we find ways to deliver more than what was thought possible.

Want to see women you know featured on SLA?

Tell us what amazing things women are doing in your communities here.

First Ever Nigerian Exhibition At The Venice Biennale

What can we learn from the past, how do we find meaning in the present, and what awaits us in the future? These three questions provide the bedrock of the first ever Nigerian exhibition at the Venice Biennale, otherwise known as “The Olympics of Art”.

Since 1895 the world’s oldest cultural biennale has risen to become one of the most prestigious art exhibitions. Eight African countries are represented at the prestigious showcase this year: Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe.

Nigeria makes its solo debut this year. Though superbly rich in artistic and cultural talent, the country hasn’t had nearly enough representation on the international art scene. Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State and commissioner of the Nigerian Pavilion, says that “opportunities like the Biennale offer a platform to establish national pride and develop a more positive narrative for the country.“

Curated by Adenrele Sonariwo and Emmanuel Iduma, the Nigerian exhibition at the 57th Venice Biennale, titled How about now?, features a rich multi-layered journey showcasing the country’s past, present and future, with an emphasis on the present, or as preferred by the artists, “the now”.

Mixing videos, conceptual art, installations, and performances, the exhibition showcases exceptional pieces by award-winning visual artist, writer and photographer Victor Ehikhamenor, acclaimed writer, poet and mixed-media storyteller Peju Alatise, as well as performance artist, Qudus Onikeku. The combined genius of these three artists creates a contemporary, as well as far-reaching exhibition, that tells a fresh African narrative, while presenting Nigeria as part of the global art community.


Biography of the Forgotten BY VICTOR EHIKHAMENOR

standard bankPaying homage to the unsung and unrecorded pioneers of Nigerian art, Victor Ehikhamenor’s “Biography of the Forgotten” amalgamates bronze, mirrors, thread and acrylic to create a pure masterpiece.

In this installation, he tinkers with both the dilemma and material form of history while paying homage to the historical Igun Street in the heart of the ancient Benin Kingdom. He sources hundreds of Benin bronze heads from the World Heritage Site that still maintains its guild structure to this day, addressing a fragmented history.

Against large canvases, Ehikhamenor alternatively places mirrors and the bronze heads, which bear metonymic weight, as symbols of colonial encounter – the former often exchanged for commodities as valuable as humans, and the latter plundered. In addressing the now, “Biography of the Forgotten” reenergizes historical time and material, reviving the past in an effort to bring meaning to the present.



Using metal, fiberglass, plaster of Paris, resins, and cellulose black matte paint as primary mediums, Peju Alatise uses her storytelling skills to create a fantastical masterpiece. Based on a book that Alatise is set to publish, the piece describes Sim, a little Yoruba girl who lives in two alternate worlds.

In one world she is a nine-year old girl who is rented out as a domestic servant working in Lagos, and the other world Sim lives in a dream world where she can fly at will. Alatise describes “Flying Girls” as a body of work dedicated to girls in Nigeria that offers them a little safe place for them to be children.


Right here Right now BY QUDUS ONIKEKU



Harmoniously combining elements of modern and African dance, contemporary choreography, and aspects of age-old Yoruba spirituality and philosophy, Qudus Onikeku presents his artistry in three sections:

Of Contemplation, Of Poetry, and Of Engagement.

His dance film brings into clear focus the tensions between the various senses of time, and how an audience can be triggered to remember. It draws from his recent and ongoing work to infuse dance with the energy of Yoruba spirituality, with emphasis on the significance of self, the commune, and the divine in imagining the role of aesthetics, beauty, and art.

Onikeku says: “I’m not interested in the present, I’m interested in the now, the present is concerned with the past, but the now is so powerful that it doesn’t have time to think about the past, it’s grabbing at the future. That’s when dance becomes so interesting; it’s constantly inventing the now.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Ibeabuchi Benson

5 minutes with SheHive London 2017 speakers: brother and sister team Emeka & Ifeyinwa Frederick

Chuku’s is the world’s first Nigerian tapas restaurant based in London, fusing authentic Nigerian flavours and the best of Nigeria’s West African culture with the world. Founded by sibling duo Emeka & Ifeyinwa Frederick.

On founding Chuku’s

The sibling duo’s idea to create a food company, offering a variety of small plates of Nigerian dishes, was born out of growing up in a Nigerian household, and having friends who loved their home meals. This lead them to explore Nigerian cuisine, by fusing traditional recipes with food from their travelling experiences, and their experiences of being part of the diaspora.


Running the operations at Chuku’s

Every day is different for this team, with something new to be learned and done each day. They note that creating a routine is one of their main goals in the short term. But, their weeks are broken up into:

  • Shopping days
  • Cooking preparation
  • Events and logistics
  • Administrative tasks
  • Strategizing
  • Marketing

This is one busy duo, as we can see!

Hear the Chuku's team speak at SheHive London 2017: https://sheleadsafrica.org/shehivelondon2017/ Click To Tweet

Long term goals…

Their long term plans include:

  1. Finding a permanent space to offer their food.
  2. Establishing a chain of mainstream Nigerian tapas lounges.
  3. To become a UK household brand name.


What trends keeping their eyes on…

  1. The evolution of technology in the food space and how it continues to evolve and disrupt the market.
  2. The rise of healthy meals and food, which their already onto, with their delicious tapa’s.

To learn more about the creative Nigerian foodie duo, get a ticket to our SheHive London event on the 24th of September.

5 minutes with SheHive London 2017 speaker: Minna Salami

Minna Salami is a Nigerian-Finnish writer, blogger and commentator who has contributed to the popularisation of African feminism through her blog, MsAfropolitan

On woman empowerment:

At the risk of sounding too spiritual, or something, let me first say that I believe that if there is a purpose to life, then it is self-actualisation. Some might call this “becoming the highest version of yourself”.


Challenges facing professional women.

I would say, firstly, the absence of adequate constitutional rights. Secondly, the absence of a robust civil society fighting for adequate constitutional rights. The absence of both disturbs the smooth flow of a woman’s professional life.


Women feeling whole and complete.

We need to cultivate a culture where women feel the opposite of lack, namely a sense of wholeness. Women working in male dominant fields, as most women are, need to cultivate a sense of inner acceptance that they are enough just as they are, which will enable them to want the same for others.

Hear Minna speak at SheHive London 2017: https://sheleadsafrica.org/shehivelondon2017/ Click To Tweet

On Economic growth…

The question women should be asking is: How is the money they are contributing to the economy benefiting women? The system should work for us and not vice versa. Put it this way, gender equality is indeed necessary for economic growth, but economic growth is not the only reason we want gender equality.


African women and feminism.

It is in Africa that I have encountered women with the most dedication to the feminist revolution; women who do not pander to patriarchal narratives, and women who inject a deep humanism and criticism to the global feminist discussion.

To hear more from Mina Salami and her world changing creative pursuits, get a ticket to our SheHive London event on the 24th of September.


Tope Hassan: Our team functions entirely on social media

Tope Hassan
We successfully created a diverse and a multi-networking hub for Africans to know about each other Click To Tweet

Tope Hassan, the “Disruptive Diasporan”, is the founder of ISOKO Africa. She is a multi-lingual young African entrepreneur specializing in marketing, compliance, and media to create multi-dimensional business systems where start-ups and multi-national companies can operate fairly in a corrupt free environment and standardized economy.

Tope is popularly known as an African Tourist, backpacking through African nations to discover African brands and entrepreneurs; a yoga teacher dedicated to health and well-being lifestyles of professionals and entrepreneurs; as an advocate for African brands helping them reach a wider market than their local communities; and a Media and Public Speaker sharing experiences of Africa, its brands, commerce and industry, healthy lifestyles, life lessons and inspiration. She also blogs at TopeHassan.com

What inspired your decision to start ISOKO Africa?

I am popularly known for my passion for Africa, which is not limited to Black girl magic, Ankara print, melanin skin and all the paraphernalia that comes with it. The commercial and inter-relations sectors of Africa pumps my passion from my lifestyle to my dreams so much that African brands in all sectors are my first option before seeking foreign brands.

People get shocked when I show them products/services/apps/companies that beat global standards and wonder why they never knew about it. This made me the go-to person to recommend best options for African brands.

So I decided that instead of responding to tons of calls and emails per day, how about if I created a platform for African brands to reach a global target market beyond their local communities? This platform would also to help them sell their brands globally thereby gaining the recognition and market they rightly deserve.

ISOKO Africa is born out of the urgent need to eradicate the popular misconceptions and stereotypes around African brands and exposing them globally. It is geared towards repositioning minds of African entrepreneurs to build their companies as brands and not just a shop/business. ISOKO Africa, a media, and marketing organization is simply “African market” in the Swahili Language.

How has social media been able to help increase your productivity?

When I started out last year, my focus was to inform the world that Africa has a lot to offer commercially. It’s disturbing how Africa is patronized simply for two things: its human resource and raw materials. The social media publicizes Africa as either Black girl magic and talent or famine and war zone. Our commercial brands hardly make headlines.

I started podcasting through iTunes, Soundcloud, Midas Radio and other media platforms and backpacked through African nations to discover and interview remarkable entrepreneurs and thought leaders. These podcasts were publicized through social media, reaching to a diverse audience beyond Africa. Not only that, it also encouraged more Africans to use and listen to podcasts.

We successfully created a diverse and a multi-networking hub for Africans to know about each other which led to trans-national sales for entrepreneurs. This ecosystem further fostered partnerships between entrepreneurs, service providers, and customers. Gradually, ISOKO Africa developed communities in several countries where we formed teams that have become voices of Africa quietly on the search for African Brands.

Our team functions entirely on social media through messaging and meeting apps that have helped us to build the vision together achieving pellets of the milestone at a time.

The best way for us to build an influential online presence is to foster communities-Tope Hassan Click To Tweet

What major social media campaign helped to increase your online presence? Kindly give details of the plan and how it worked.

The campaigns that focused on community inclusion buffered our online presence. We advertised our tour of West African nations and this attracted a diverse audience and lots of entries. We asked our followers to recommend brands within their area for us to interview and received an overwhelming response.

The messages recommended amazing brands interested in joining the experience of new Africa by either documenting, making videos, inviting us for a talk or simply to enjoy the trip and meeting entrepreneurs.

It’s amazing to discover that Africans desire their friends and nations to be represented globally. This lead to our conclusion that the best way for us to build an influential online presence, is to foster communities. To achieve this, we

  • Invested in awesome and relatable HD graphics and images: One of the greatest assets on our team is the graphic design and photography fellow. People are intrigued by appealing and great images. It’s easy to attract attention when they can relate to what you say.
  • Defined our audience: Before publishing our posts, we ensure it would be appealing to our target audience. We also ensured to update our followers about each decision every step of the way.
  • Fostered partner communities: We connected our vision online by engaging with our audience offline to build communities around our goal. We did this by partnering with similar event campaigns, communities, and movements. This helped to build trust, inclusion, and network and convert talk into action. It also got us a lot of feedback.

I use social media to showcase a positive side of Africa.- Tope Hassan Click To Tweet

Have you ever had any downside on social media?

I have had to learn how to build everything we used on our platform from the website to recording and uploading podcasts. Our platform started its content through podcasting which is relatively an untapped market in Africa. Unfortunately, social media platforms do not have the capacity to run podcasts and our listenership on the website was very poor.

We ran surveys to find out how best to reach our audience and discovered that majority of African youths prefer to listen or read media on their mobile phones. This meant hosting podcasts on the website would be less effective. We changed our methods and I quickly had to learn the tricks of uploading our podcasts on iTunes, podcasts for Android, Soundcloud, Stitcher and other podcasting platforms.

Gradually, our podcast experienced increasing growth in listenership, subscribers, and loyalty. Social media became our channel to build the movement, engagement, feedback, synergy, and sharing. This channel also helped us discover that we had followers who prefer reading and having reference to African content, hence the launch of our Stories feature on the website to paint a new picture of Africa’s Brand.

Build a brand centered on your Personality, Community, Authenticity & Global Credibility. - Tope Hassan Click To Tweet

Apart from social media, how have you fostered growth for your brand?

There was a need to connect our passion for Africa’s brands on social media to the community around us. So we launched partnerships with similar communities online that share our vision. We joined to promote events, campaigns, debates, markets, and conversations about Africa.

We have participated in global events like Social Media Week and are connected with communities like Global Shapers, YALI, MEST Africa, Quintessential Group Africa, AIESEC, Women in Tech etc. The ISOKO Africa community is centered on Africa and as its gladiators; we are born ready to do everything in our power to lift it up.

What’s your perfect one-line statement for young women trying to build a brand via social media?

Build a brand that’s centered on your Personality, Community, and Authenticity & Global Credibility.

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

Chidinma Othuke-Okpokoro: Why I got into the education industry

Chidinma Othuke-Okpokoro
I wanted a job that will give me this satisfaction so opening a preschool was it for me Click To Tweet

Chidinma Othuke-Okpokoro is a wife, mother, and a Montessorian. Her love for kids and the family unit moved her to open an early years foundation centre – Olly’s Hive Montessori, located in the heart of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. Her values are geared towards helping kids discover their full potential and abilities through work using the Montessori curriculum.

A graduate of the University of Port Harcourt, she also holds a Diploma in Early Years Foundation stage with Modern Montessori International (MMI) London, UK. A chat with Chidinma about her startup gives us a deeper insight into the world of early years business education.

How did you get into the education industry?

I love children very much and enjoy their company. I have a very good relationship with kids and they are comfortable around me even if I have just met them. Then I had friends who would drop their kids with me and go about their daily routines and they urged me to look into turning it into a business venture.

After I got married and lost my job, I had my son and I really wanted to be close to him and watch him grow. I have very strong family values and I desire a close knit one. I wanted a job that will give me this satisfaction so, opening a preschool was it for me. Finally, I set up one in September 2013.

Did you decide to only focus on preschool? Why?

When I started, I decided to run just the preschool for a while and be grounded in it. The early years period, also known as the sensitive period, is very crucial in the life of a child. We must take advantage of this period to aid them to reach their full potential.

From 0-5 years, the child should be exposed to a prepared environment. The sensitive periods are blocks of time in the life of a child when he or she is absorbed with one characteristic of his environment to the exclusion of others.

Education today is said to be expensive in Nigeria – why do you think that is?

Yes, education is expensive and this is because of the resources (Montessori materials) that need to be put in place to aid the child in his development. These resources are incorporated into the fees. Montessori materials are the very best to use to help a child. A lot of funds must be made available to make this work.

Does it mean schools that aren’t expensive lack basic educational tools for the child?

Well, yes! Montessori schools need a lot of resources in place to help a child develop. Materials are usually sourced abroad. You have to be trained and constantly improve your personal skills to ensure you are up to date in line with the requirements.

Getting teachers who are qualified to teach the Montessori method is a challenge because not everyone is exposed to it. You have to train these teachers to fully assist the child in their care. Not so many people are familiar with the Montessori method of education in Port Harcourt or Nigeria.

A lot of people are used to the traditional method of teaching which is stressful and difficult for children to grasp. Traditional schools lack the tools needed to help the child develop and fit in properly into the environment they live in.

Would you say we have a lot of young women like you in the education sector today?

My answer to this would be yes. I know and have friends who are working so hard and succeeding in this area. These women have inspired me and keep pushing me to work hard. I see how passionate they are, how much time they spend giving of their energy to help kids and ensure they get the education they need to thrive in the society.

Children are the leaders of tomorrow and what better way to be a part if this than impacting the life of child? Click To Tweet

What key things should we know about investing in a child?

We all will reap the rewards of well-behaved children in the society. Raising good children means better societies, free from danger and crime. If we focus our energies on children, understand them, we should be able to provide for an educational system that will help solve problems faced by the world instead of going to wars.

Is there a difference between schooling and educating? Please enlighten us.

Yes, there is a big difference. Schooling is done in school. Education can happen anywhere. Education to me means something of high standard and schooling is whatever quality a school offers.

Schooling is the teaching of students and hoping that they retain the knowledge and later learn to apply it in life. That’s where education comes in.

To have an education is proof that not only have we learned what knowledge was offered to us Click To Tweet

Where there start-up challenges? Please kindly share them.

Oh yes, as with every business, there were challenges. There were days I would come in to work and cry for so many hours praying to God to help me. I didn’t have the number of kids I dreamt of when I started and this was because of the location of the school. I set it up in an area where the market wasn’t favourable. Lesson learnt.

It was difficult to get qualified teachers and pay them the fees that would make them stay. The ones I got didn’t really have my vision and I was constantly frustrated. There was the need for a school bus and I initially used my personal car to do school runs. This really pushed me to continue no matter what.

Would you say that the education business is a profitable venture? Why?

All businesses are profitable, I bet no one would venture into any or continue running one if it isn’t. For you to succeed, you must be passionate about what you do. You must love your job, you must know the business. No one can give you what you want except you.

If an educator, trains herself in these areas and much more, her business will be profitable and she will succeed.

How can a young woman who is interested in starting what you have successfully done, do the same?

She needs to sit and think it through thoroughly. She must have a lot of patience. Taking care of children can take a toll on anyone. She must make a lot of sacrifices to succeed.

She must be a good listener and have a good coach/mentor, someone she can go to. Above all, she needs to develop herself personally and get the right skills needed to run the business effectively and competently.

What impact would you say personal development has in running a successful business?

Personal development is a process of self-education aimed at enhancing professional skills, employability, quality of life, self-discipline, talent, and potential. Personal development has a great impact if you want to run a successful business. For anyone hoping or aspiring to climb the career ladder or increase his or her social capital, personal development is invaluable.

We all seek for ways to improve ourselves each day, a conscientious personal development plan is key to accelerating that growth because personal development allows you to push yourself further and faster. Training courses are very effective to develop personal skills. This is because they provide a wealth of resources and the structure you need to excel and be different from the other man next door.

No matter what sector you work in or what level you have attained in life, cultivating strong personal development skills will propel you to newer heights both personally and professionally.

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

Olapeju Jolaoso: Social media is amazing for business

Olapeju Jolaoso
Social media has been a wonderful tool for me and my business - Olapeju Omolade Jolaoso Click To Tweet

Olapeju Jolaoso is #MotherlandMogul goals. She is the founder of Abebi Organics which produces amazing organic and healthy handmade Shea Butter-based skin and hair care products. Her hope is to become the go-to person for organic skincare in Nigeria and the world in the nearest future.

When she isn’t running Abebi Organics, Olapeju is in class. She is currently an undergraduate at the University of Ilorin where she is studying Geography and Environmental Management.

Are your products handmade by you/your team or are you a retailer of another manufacturer?

All my products, except coconut oil, are handmade by me. Due to my ongoing education, I have a separate manufacturer for the coconut oil because there is barely any time for me to make it.

How have you been able to use social media to gather publicity for your brand?

I got the inspiration for my business offline however, social media has helped in the growth and development by bringing customers, logistic services and so on.

I use social media for free advertisement and it has really helped. People off social media have seen my ads, liked, retweeted, shared and also referred me off social media. It’s an amazing tool.

How do you ensure that your product remains hassle-free from the point of order to point of delivery? Kindly explain how the sales chain works?

Products going from point of order to point of delivery hassle free is actually very difficult. Most times the issue stems from logistics. You have to hope and pray that once you give the delivery person the orders, they don’t mess them, mix them up or deliver it to the customer late or even not at all.

Sometimes, these things happen. You just have to keep communicating with the customer to ensure they have peace of mind and that you don’t lose them. The sales chain goes from me to the delivery personnel and from the delivery personnel to the customer or whoever is available to pick up on the customer’s behalf.

Twitter has been the most helpful social media network for my brand- Olapeju Omolade Jolaoso Click To Tweet

What major social media channel do you make use of and how has it been beneficial to the brand?

I make use of Twitter the most. It’s been the most helpful. We also use Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook and WordPress but the major tool is Twitter.

Twitter has a way of spreading your adverts. It doesn’t stay in one place. It goes from timeline to timeline. This ensures that other people who aren’t even following you see the posts and get curious thereby giving them a chance to send you a message.

Also, twitter handlers can also direct their followers to your page and it’s amazing. It’s been super beneficial. We got the person who made our logo and the lawyer who registered us via Twitter. We hope to get investors via twitter too! That’ll be exciting. It’s a great marketing tool.

Do you think social media alone is sufficient in helping your business gain more prominence? If yes/no, kindly share your reason.

Although social media is a major tool, and mostly the best tool we have at hand right now to help our business and bring in customers, I don’t think social media alone is helping us gain more prominence.

There are other channels that’ll be beneficial to us as much as social media has. We just haven’t explored them yet. Social media is amazing because we get to network with other businesses and we get a ton of customers from it. Social media is affordable, it doesn’t take too much but it gives back a lot.

What challenges have you faced on social media?

None really, and I hope it stays that way. But then, sometimes it’s like we aren’t reaching enough people. Sometimes I feel like we aren’t doing enough on social media to bring in a lot of customers.

I'd definitely advise anyone to use social media as a marketing tool. - Olapeju Omolade Jolaoso Click To Tweet

What would your response be to someone who is contemplating whether or not to use social media as a marketing tool?

I will tell them to definitely go for it. Social media has been a wonderful tool for me and my business. I’d definitely advise them to use social media as a marketing tool. It’s amazing.

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

“Don’t go into any business just because of money” – How Ifeyinwa Ojekwe built the brilliant AJALI skincare

Ifeyinwa Ojekwe
Ifeyinwa Ojekwe: If I didn’t give it my all I’d never know how big it could be Click To Tweet

With businesses I admire I always wonder, how did they start? How did they figure out the right products and how the heck did they get a storefront so early? Catching up with Ifeyinwa Ojekwe, founder of AJALI answered these questions.

AJALI is an all-natural, completely handmade cosmetics brand established in 2013 to promote local industry and create awareness for living a healthy life. I tried their products at She Hive London and fell in love, I’ve not looked back since.

How did AJALI start?

AJALI was founded in 2013. I got really sick when I moved back to Nigeria and made the decision to live a cleaner life. I went natural and started doing research into natural cosmetics. At the time, there was body shop in Nigeria, and when I did more research it wasn’t as natural as I expected, so I kept looking for an alternative but didn’t find something I liked, so I did some DIY.

The first thing I tried to make was my body souffles, and my family started to ask about it. So I began making it for friends and family, and then my church had an exhibition and the rest was history. It started off really organic (no pun intended!), it started as a hobby and four years later here we are.

How did you make the transition from employee to entrepreneur?

I worked at Chevron and Ernst & Young when I moved back to Nigeria, and then I landed my dream job at Today’s Woman. I only quit my job in 2015 – 2 years after AJALI started. Throughout all those job changes, I found that AJALI was the only constant, the only passion throughout that time. If felt like if I didn’t give it my all I’d never know how big it could be.

It got to a point where I couldn’t manage both, I couldn’t handle the business coming in. I was a one-person operation at that time, I was doing absolutely everything myself and I needed to give it 100%. Several times along the journey, I was frustrated and wanted to quit but I was surrounded by so many good people to encourage me and give me pep talks when I needed one.

A major turning point for me was when I was on holiday in London and EbonyLife reached out and said they wanted to give me an award. I thought it was a scam – so I sent them to my mom’s office and a whole camera crew turned up! That was in 2014, I won the Best Nigeria Made Product of the Year and something told me to keep pushing on, to give it my best and keep on keeping on.

At first, my family was sceptical, they questioned whether I really thought it through, especially with the recession in Nigeria. But I resolved that this was what I truly wanted to do, and I’d give it my best shot.

What were your biggest investments in AJALI?

When I decided to be full time, I decided that I needed a physical store to take me where I wanted to go. I had success with my online store and going to trade shows, but people really wanted to come and pick up our products.

So I started looking for a space to make things look more professional. Luckily from my job at Today’s Woman, I had some media and press contacts so was able to get buzz around my the launch of my store on 1 November 2015. At the time, it was a 2 bedroom BQ (boy’s quarters) where I did everything – the office, production, and the selling. I hired a beautician to do treatments as I had some extra space and we were off. On the launch day, we had nearly 200 people and I sold more that night that I had sold in the two years prior.

That was the first time I believe it could actually work. I hired my first sales assistant around December 2016. I’ve taken my time, it’s all privately funded by myself, family and friends along the way, so I have to be very careful with resources. Everything goes back to be being invested in the business.

I also focused on improving the quality of the business, the logistics, the operations for shipping, and delivery. I’ve also expanded my product range as time went on and invested in serious marketing to legitimise the brand. Before I started, I took a year to educate myself on various ingredients and test products with real users, friends, and family. I’m always looking for new things we could do, and because my passion is living a naturally healthy life, it is second nature.

Do something that you are passionate about but make sure it makes business sense Click To Tweet

What advice would you give to help someone build a successful business?

1. Do something that you are passionate about but make sure it makes business sense. You need to test whether you’re actually going to make money – is this something you’re going to live off of? If you’re going to have a sustainable business you need to have that research.

2. You don’t have to do everything yourself, though. I use freelance websites to make logos, improve my website and do other graphic design. Make sure you have mentors around you, people who can support you – someone you look up to who you can pick their brain and get their advice from. So try to build up your network, if you don’t know where to start, start in places like SLA and educate yourself

3. Be ready for the journey. Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur, be a risk taker, willing to work later, and pay less until you reach that sweet-spot in your enterprise.

4. Have a plan. I always feel like a hypocrite but it’s worth taking the time to plan for your business. Having learned from my experience with AJALI, all my future ventures will be clearly planned from day one. Going forward, all my future ventures I see the value in having a business plan and actually doing the planning from day one.

5. You need to invest in the right team of people. The biggest thing young entrepreneurs struggle with is talent because we can’t always afford the talent we need. If you are going to invest in anything invest in the right people. Empower your team with responsibility so that they can focus on the strategic work. Do not expect to do everything yourself, learn to delegate.

6. Don’t go into any business just because of money. For most entrepreneurs, it takes a while before you are really making anything. I didn’t pay myself a salary until January 2016 – nearly 3 years after we launched. This is why you need to have passion, it’s the only thing that will keep you going. Luckily, I had a few other side hustles to supplement my income, but all my savings went into having the physical store and updating the website. Ultimately, I have a lot of faith in God that everything I need will be provided for, so I try not to worry about it too much.

What’s next for AJALI?

Right now we’re expanding into home fragrances and products for men, two key areas that people have been asking for and looking for. So by the end of this quarter, we should have a few new products.

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

Find out more about AJALI on Instagram and on their website.

Oluwaseyitan Awojobi: I am motivated when I see people growing

Oluwaseyitan Awojobi
Skill empowerment has become the best way to thrive as an individual Click To Tweet

Oluwaseyitan Awojobi is the founder of Developing Afrika. Developing Afrika is an initiative set up to empower young people with skills needed to become an entrepreneur at little or no fee, thrive as entrepreneurs and establish a sustainable business.

Using social media she has raised an army of goal-oriented youth a and has succeeded in helping so many others reach their goal through free training.

What was your motivation in creating Developing Afrika?

In an environment where there are lots of unemployed yet talented youths, the crime rate has surged. There is also a decrease in proper jobs. Skill empowerment has become the best way to thrive as an individual whether male or female.

I came up with this idea in 2013 as a fresh graduate with the aim to target young secondary school students. However, due to limited resources and knowledge, I decided to put it on hold.

What has helped you to carry on so far?

Starting the journey now has been the most fulfilling thing I believe I have done. I am motivated seeing people grow, seeing people achieve their dreams. It hurts to hear that people who want to achieve certain things are unable to due to financial restraints or finding the right mentors. Being able to create that solution makes the difference to me.

When I tell people what I do, the first reaction I get is, “What’s in it for you, what’s your financial gain?” When I say nothing they go, “There has to be something you are gaining. What kind of business model is that.” I have learned to look beyond the snide comments and focus on the goal which is to reduce unemployment and help people achieve their dreams. I believe we can make Africa a continent to be reckoned with in the world.

It hurts to hear that people who want to achieve certain things are unable to due to financial restraints Click To Tweet

How did your growing up shape who you are today?

I wasn’t born with a silver spoon, neither was I born poor. I didn’t have all I wanted, I still do not. However, I learnt to see opportunities in every situation.

I have had disappointments just like everyone else but I have also learned to rise above them and see the beauty in life. Life is beautiful to everyone who chooses to see it so.

What are your thoughts on women-owned enterprises?

I believe very much in women in enterprise. I support women working for themselves, being independent, and supporting people around them.

Also, I believe that irrespective of the girl power, all women must respect their husbands or partners as it has been commanded by God. Women can only learn this by learning to support themselves in their actions first not just by words.

What does your average day look like?

On an average day, when I’m not on the move, I’m in my shorts and top, exchanging emails and closing deals.

I also spend time running my business and praising God. I try to watch interesting movies too when time permits.

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here