Not every “celebrity” is known. There are powerful women who are not just breaking glass ceilings, but also impacting the lives of people they meet.
One of such extraordinary women is Amba Eyang-Ajakaiye, a Brand Storyteller and Business Strategist.
She is the founder of iDare.NotDread Nigeria, a social engineering platform promoting innovation, creativity, and enterprise through storytelling and value sharing.
She is also team lead of the Build My Business initiative born out of iDare.NotDread’s enterprise. Centered on building skills and capacities for young people in the business.
This project launched grand ideas such as the BMB Expo and BMB Training school (online) in 2017.
Amba has gone from transforming ordinary people who would have never thought of writing their own books, to making them authors.
She’s also supporting small businesses to achieve scalability and growth especially, by helping them identify and understand the importance of “target markets” and “market validation”.
In this interview with SLA contributor – Wuraola, Amba Eyang-Ajakaiye bares it all about IDare.NotDread and highlights why small business owners should “do it afraid”.
Tell us about your company – IDare.NotDread
iDare.NotDread is a social Enterprise promoting innovation, creativity, and enterprise in Nigeria.
Our focus is primarily to build women communities and empower them with creative and innovative skills for business growth.
What’s one business tip you wish most business owners knew and could wield to their advantage?
Network. Meet people.
That money you want is in someone’s account. That unspoken challenge can be solved by someone. Attend workshops, events, and meet people. Most people don’t bite.
How can entrepreneurs begin to understand the power of conducting market validation, and collaboration with other SMEs?
I believe in collaboration. This is why I try to build communities. We started the Abuja food community in May, and its amazing to see how much collaboration has happened in a group full of women.
Yet, we probably thought women prefer to fight. No. The moment businesses understand that collaboration first means ‘here is what I can give you’, before ‘give me what I want’, they will lead better businesses.
With a lot of fake business coaches around, what makes your brand different?
We didn’t just arrive. We’ve been here a while. In 2013 we started with creating a platform for entrepreneurs to share their stories and inspire others.
Over time, we realized stories weren’t enough. Capacities needed to be built.
So we went all in to try to understand the real needs of the entrepreneurs we wished to serve, and since 2016, we started contributing to conversations around digital technology and creating a good impact in the digital space.
Since then, our efforts have birthed super brands.
In the past 3 years we have successfully trained 4,000 entrepreneurs on digital strategies as well as provided opportunities for business visibility.
Many thanks to the opportunity Google granted us through the Digital Skills for Africa programme and a host of other partners who have trusted us to work with them.
Why should SMEs understand their target markets before making an entrance into the market?
Because if we don’t, we would be hitting our heads on rocks. Hard rocks.
You can’t sell to everyone, and this is why research is key to identifying who your market is.
Tell us about your Ebook Challenge
Its amazing! I launched my first ever ebook on March 2019, titled ‘How to write your first eBook‘ and that’s where the ebook challenge began.
We are currently on our 3rd cohort and it’s been amazing!!! Every 2 months we launch a new set of authors who are super proud of their achievements. It feels great to empower people to create wealth with their knowledge.
We are looking to expand the community beyond eBooks to help more women create diverse digital products and generate more income.
How does the “Do It Afraid” catchphrase relate to entrepreneurs who don’t like taking risks?
We all have fear in us. It’s an emotion. I am still learning to tame my fears. And we all should. The best way to go about it is to go ahead and do that very thing you fear.
I have coached a number of businesses and one of the areas I tend to focus on is to help them fight those limitations – the little voices and beliefs that make them feel less of themselves and limited.
It’s important we act despite fear. Accept your fears but act.
What’s the worst that could happen? Failure? Then show me one person who NEVER failed.