HGCP 2021 Participants: Stella Arukwe chats about running an innovative e-commerce platform that does not just sell products but delivers experience.

I sat down with Stella Arukwe, the co-founder of Latalata and Kishers Limited; an innovative retail and e-commerce platform in Nigeria.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Stella Arukwe, the co-founder of Latalata and Kishers Limited.

My work experience, skillsets and interests span different sectors and industries. Over the years, I have established my track record as a marketing expert, brand builder, strategist, wordsmith, inimitable communicator and now l am gradually establishing my footprint into the field of entrepreneurship while creating social and economic impact through my businesses.

I am a graduate of English Language and Communication Arts from the University of Lagos in Nigeria, and Brand Communication from Vega Brand School in South Africa. I am a mentor, and an advocate for youth and women empowerment.

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

My entrepreneurial journey started way back when I was a kid. I dreamt of being the boss of my own businesses, and building business empires. However, after I graduated from the university, I started my career in marketing and communication where I grew through the ranks. I have now accumulated over 10 years working experience in brand management, market penetration and conversion; of which 8 years have been in managerial positions where I led teams, managed successful brand initiatives with proven revenue increases. It was during this time that I also established a consulting firm.

Fast-forward to now, I have co-founded an innovative start-up, Latalata and Kishers Limited and will definitely be founding moe businesses in due time. My philosophy of solving problems, and creating value guides and propels me in my pursuits and achievements as an entrepreneur, which is the foundation on which my business ideas and ventures are founded.

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

My ‘why’ is tethered in ‘solving problems, creating value as well as helping people work better and  live happier lives. I believe in building an idea from the scratch and nurturing it to grow with a combination of the right mindset, skillset and team members. So long as there are people in the world, they will have needs and problems that need to be solved. This pushes me to create ideas and solutions that will metamorphose into businesses. In building these businesses, I want to leave legacies. I want people to read my success story and be motivated by them.

      What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

      In the course of my career both as an employee and an intrapreneur, I achieved track records and milestones. I have worked with large corporations where I launched notable products and brands in Nigeria and other African countries. Some of the brands include Flour Mills of Nigeria, Golden Penny Pasta, Toyota Nigeria and its subsidiaries, Unity bank formerly FinBank, IHMS HMO, NIC, Uganda, Global Trust Bank a then subsidiary of NIC to mention but a few.

      On the flip side today as a full-fledged entrepreneur, I lead a team in one of the most thriving, mid-sized marketing consulting firm in Lagos Nigeria as the founder and head of Client Services.

      However, one of my greatest achievements so far is co-founding a blossoming innovative e-commerce business in Nigeria from scratch to the point where it is showing reasonable growth potential. I believe that the future is bright and promising for Latalata and Kishers.

      Another one of my  heart-warming achievement is the courage to author my first book, and finally, being awarded the opportunity to be in the High Growth Coaching Program 2021.

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

        Addressing issues of the mind would be my major focus as I strongly believe that everything that hinders an individual from attaining his or her summit stems from the mind. As a matter of fact, I just finished writing a book centred around FEAR which is currently being published as we speak.

        What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

        The journey and experience of being an entrepreneur is mixed with ups and downs. Being an entrepreneur has availed me the opportunity to curate ideas, create values, and co-ordinate people and processes. It is interesting to see how a societal problem and seemingly simple idea, when worked on by a team, becomes something that can be ascribed as a “business”. It is difficult, tasking, and attention-demanding but it is indeed fulfilling.

        What was the inspiration behind Latalata & Kishers?

        Latalata and Kishers is a business created out of the typical problems consumers go through.

        The first motivation to go into e-commerce was when my husband bought a Samsung LED Television in 2015. For him to hang the TV to the wall, he needed four pieces of a particular bolt called “M3”, we both became so frustrated as he frantically searched through endless online and physical stores without success.

        Secondly, we have identified that people worry about what to gift to loved ones or even their boss and colleagues. This was a constant debate in the office whenever my colleagues’ birthday approached. We deliberated what to buy, whether it was unique enough, obviously the budget, how useful the item is and many other concerns.

        In 2016, we came up with the idea for Latalata and Kishers and later fully launched in October, 2020 when the “go-to” e-commerce platform for essential products in Nigeria was born. Through our value proposition of being innovative, we are creating value and trust for our customers.

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

          Are you looking for value that helps you live and work better?  Do you want a great shopping experience with ease and fun, less stress, less time, and more saves? What about giving that perfect gift within your budget with the assurance that the receiver will appreciate and use it? You have a better choice at www.latalata.ng. We are your ‘go-to’ innovative e-commerce platform in Nigeria and beyond. At latalata.ng, we don’t just sell products. We deliver value, quality, and convenience at the best prices. It’s all here. Own It.

          We are an online business, so we are available 24 hours, every day of the week on our website at https://latalata.ng/. You can also call us or chat on WhatsApp at +234-702 500 3511. You can also direct your queries to our email at hello@latalata.ng

          We are also on social media, we are on Facebook at https://facebook.com/latalataNG; on Instagram at https://instagram.com/latalataNG; on Twitter at https://twitter.com/latalataNG and on LinkedIn at https://linkedin.com/c/latalataNG.

          You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://youtube.com/latalataNG

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

          Trust and Innovation. This is what we want to be known for.

          We do not debate our integrity. We are willing to take a temporary loss of income in order to maintain our integrity. We know that trust is a major element in e-commerce which is  lacking in the industry at the moment, and integrity is the currency to earn it. We want customers in the next 2 years to say, “if it is Latalata, no stress. But for other online stores, no way!” 

          We do not want to be seen as “that online store”. We do not just sell products. We deliver experience. To make this happen, innovation is key. The Gifting platform is one of such innovations to deliver this promise. There are other innovative e-commerce solutions we will roll out in the next few years.

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

          Technology, merchant recruitment, merchant inventory, hiring, funding, and logistics and delivery issues have plagued us in the recent past. We had challenges getting Latalata website run the way we had envisioned. Getting the right persons to work on the software we needed, at our lean funds, was a tall order. 

          Hiring the right persons with the right skillset at our funding capacity was also a challenge. We also had, and still have, challenges with the deliverable of various third-party logistics companies. Finally, being a female I’ve also observed that most merchants do not take me seriously when engaging with them for the business.

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

          We are working to position Latalata as the first choice for every online shopper in Nigeria. In 5 years, we envision to have grown significantly including having our brands, “GiftPass”, “Kishers-Mini”, and “Hampers” be operational and also having established our “Criss-Cross” business model.

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

          Our growth so far can be attributed to keying into a market spaces that has a lot of potential.as well as the ability to see opportunities in existing problem areas. W e also focus on creating consumer-focused, market fit products using technology to address the customer pain points.

          Furthermore, working with a vibrant team that understands the vision of the business has propelled us to push the boundaries in order to achieve the results we have recorded. Our strategy to start with electronic appliances also paid off as electronic appliances are very profitable and sellable products. With this, we were able to make sales in excess of N13.6million ($27,000) in six months.

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

          Leadership, critical thinking and strategic problem-solving and planning skills. These skills are necessary for an entrepreneur to stand out and also be able to stand the test of time in the business environment and become successful.

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

          I apply my LCD formula (Leverage, Collaborate, Delegate). 

          I leverage technology, software tools, and strategies that have been tested over time. This relieves me of stress and helps me towards efficiency and productivity. I look out for opportunities and avenues for collaboration with other like-minded entrepreneurs and businesses that have creative ideas and innovations that will convey value to my business. I also delegate and outsource some tasks to capable hands. These guides me to stay focused on my core area; part of which includes driving the overall success of the business.

          Stella is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program scaling up Latalata & Kishers to get to a place where they are described as the most innovative e-commerce business in Nigeria.


          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?


          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

          FCMB Supports Women Led Businesses With The She-Ventures Program

          This article is sponsored by the FCMB SheVentures proposition. FCMB SheVentures is empowering female entrepreneurs, helping them build their businesses, and improving the overall success rate of businesses owned or run by women. Please click here to learn more about how FCMB SheVentures can support you and your business.


          We’ve seen time and time again that we are only going to be able to move forward as a community, if we all use our skills and talents to support each other. 

          Over the past three months, several incredible women served as mentors for the FCMB SheVentures Program. These experts shared, connected, and bonded with the fourth cohort of this mentorship program supporting women-led businesses in Nigeria.

          FCMB She-Ventures 2020 Mentors


          Some of the feedback from the mentees, shows how impactful this program was to entrepreneurs across Nigeria.




          To learn more about how SheVentures supports the growth and aspirations of Nigerian women in business, visit www.fcmb.com/she-ventures.

          Why Every Nigerian Girl Should March

          We March so that the girls who come after us can walk freely, and run without being chased.

          If 2018 was a chapter in a history book, it could be titled The Year of Female Activism, and aptly so.

          The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements raised awareness on sexual harassment in workplaces for women worldwide.

          2019 was the year of Serena and the catsuit, and the Women’s March Anniversary.

          It was the year that women in Saudi Arabia were legally allowed to drive, and even closer to home. It was the year Ethiopia and Rwanda and South Africa both named their first 50% female cabinets.

          ‘Good things arrive in multiples’, just as movements worldwide were being transformed from ideas to action.

          In Nigeria, on the 20th of October 2018, @MarketMarch opened a twitter
          account, and its first tweet –

          ‘The loudest way to tell women that they don’t really have a place outside homes is to allow public spaces to remain so unapologetically unsafe for women’ – @MarketMarch Click To Tweet

          …sounded like something straight out of a UN document.

          The Twitter account – a creation of Brand identity designer Damilola Marcus, immediately blew up, receiving massive support from popular activists on social media, celebrities, and regular citizens who could either relate or at the very least understand why the Market March needed to happen.

          It also received support from groups like YALI, Whole Woman Network, and
          several media houses.

          Marcus, when interviewed previously, stated that her prior attempts to galvanize action from law enforcement officials on sexual harassment in markets, were met with the reply: It was not a ‘common problem’.

          Going to the Market in Nigeria is sometimes a war. Your armor is comfortable footwear (for ease of movement), covered up clothes, (to avoid sweaty fingers) and if you’re a woman, definitely no short skirts, unless you have a ‘strong mind’.

          Purchasers are often dragged, and upon resistance, insulted with sentences often chock full of sexual innuendo. And yet, it is not uncommon to find the traders leading a protest to our protest.

          The first #MarketMarch took place in December 2018 at Yaba Market, Lagos.
          Marchers then, just like us, were called prostitutes and lesbians.

          Just like us, they were injured, manhandled, heckled, thrown at, cursed at, for protesting the rights of female to walk unobtrusively in a public place.

          Public transport in Enugu Nigeria requires fortitude.

          A journey time of 30 minutes is easily tripled once you factor in wait time in bus parks, constant stops, and roundabout journeys.

          Nevertheless, I and three of my friends set out on a journey from Agbani -which for all intents and purposes is on the outskirts of Enugu- to Ogbete Market to participate in the Market March on Saturday the 23rd March 2019. With approximately 40 marchers, male and Female, indigenes and visitors, united by a common cause.

          On my first trip to Ogbete, the tour guide proudly informed me that it is the biggest market in the State, abundant in all, and lacking in nothing – a shoppers haven.

          The market march reached its climax at the clothes section of the market, populated by predominantly male vendors. One man called us Lesbians, and others then pitched in to deliver a fervor- filled ‘Holy-Ghost fire!’. Repeatedly.

          All the while making lewd remarks at us. In some other quarters of the market, we faced passive aggression. A man stroking the arm of a marcher holding a big ‘No Touching’ sign, all the while looking her directly in the
          eye, smug smile intact.

          Or a wheelbarrow pusher deliberately and quickly driving his machine through our midst. But it wasn’t only the men.

          A woman queried us softly in Igbo ‘Are we not human beings too? Why should we not touch you?’ and another, still in Igbo lowly snarled

          ‘You should tell the girls to dress better when they are coming to the market’

          But it was not all negative. We received thumbs-up signs from some female traders, quiet nods from the male vendors, and the occasional ‘Well done’ or ‘Yes!’

          Some, in solidarity, chanted back at us ‘Nwanyi bu Ife’ or ‘Nwanyi Bu ike’ which in its simplest translation means ‘women matter’.

          The market leaders, predominantly men, wore our shirts and marched with
          us. They led chants and spoke with the traders at different parts of the market, as they guided us to open spaces where we could address crowds. They largely acted as chaperones.

          On three different occasions, when the chants at the Market March turned rhythmic, the market women danced with us. It is not often that ‘twitter activism’ results in real-world action, and yet, the March has defied all rules to become a national movement.

          Testimonies from the first March at Yaba started pouring in almost immediately after. Too many to name, they all echoed the same sentiment:

          The March had changed something.

          My fellow Marchers were not particularly special people. We were University Students, traders, women’s rights activists, and white collar workers.

          Some of us did not speak Igbo, but we learned the chants to perfection on that day.

          We were united by sweat and a common purpose.

          In Nigeria today, marching is more than a sport. We March so that the girls who come after us can walk freely, and run without being chased.

          Naomi Michael Adenuga: The Boss Lady of Talent Management

          Being a woman in a male-dominated industry is a challenging reality for anyone, but thriving in the said industry can be done, and it can be done well.

          I had the privilege of speaking to Naomi Michael Adenuga, a successful female talent manager in Nigeria about her experience being one of the very few women in the entertainment management industry.

          During our conversation, she candidly shared the realities of the struggle, and how she negotiated it to become one of the most sought-after agents in the space.

          So, who exactly is Naomi?

          Naomi is a multi-award-winning brand strategist and talent manager committed to helping people identify their purpose and monetize their talents. She is the founder of Naomad Talent Management Agency, which represents gifted individuals and visionary brands passionate about their craft and meaningfully connecting with their audiences.

          She and her world-class team of professionals help clients hone their skills, develop confidence in their capabilities, and strategically build and position them as viable brands with longevity.

          She boasts of over 9 years of experience and is unapologetic about taking her “seat at the table.” Her sharp intuition, a penchant for over-delivery, and exceptional ability to connect to her clients have gained her the apt moniker of “Boss Lady”.

          She has a true heart for people and believes that everyone comes into the world endowed with certain talents given for the purposes of earning a personal living, sharing with others for social good, and impacting the world.

           A few notable awards she has won during her career include Talent Manager of the Year, Entertainment Personality of the Year, and the Young Achievers Award.

          She has most recently been nominated for Nigerian Entrepreneur of the Year by Nigerian Teen Choice Awards and Entertainment Personality of the Year by Nigerian Achievers Award. 

          With such a compelling set of accomplishments, I was eager to have her share her story and perspective on how to “kill it” in a male-dominated industry.

           How did you discover your purpose and passion?

          I found my purpose when I started my passion filled talent management journey. Talent management means building up a person and guiding them to their highest potential.

          I call it King making, some people are Kings and some others are King-makers. As time went on, I had people come to me for advice on general stuff and work stuff.

          The more people I spoke to and worked with to help build them up, the more fulfilled I was. My purpose is to help others find their purpose and become better versions of themselves. By doing so, I not only build myself up as well, but I get to do what I am passionate about and fulfill my purpose.

          What was it like initially trying to break into a male-dominated industry? 

          It was tough I had to constantly prove myself, work harder and smarter.

          My purpose is to help others find their purpose and become better versions of themselves - @NaomiBosslady Click To Tweet

          How has your experience been since then, and how do you navigate challenges? 

          It’s honestly not as bad as it was in the past. The industry is evolving, and I noticed the change when women and men started being nominated in the same award categories.

          A few years ago, it was: Best Female Talent Manager or Best Female Artist or Best Female DJ; now, it’s Best Talent Manager, Artist, or DJ.

          The gender bias is reducing.

          When I have challenges, I talk to God about it. He always gives me a strategy (laughs). I also have a few people in my Industry I go to for guidance. I look at women who are breaking boundaries in male-dominated sectors and I draw strength from them.

          Women like Ibukun Awosika, who currently serves as Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria; Kemi Adetiba, who is a leading music video director and filmmaker. She directed The Wedding Party, which is one of the highest grossing films of all time in Nigeria.

          Finally, Tiwa Savage, who is one of the biggest names in the African entertainment industry. She goes toe to toe with the men and comes out on top of her game. She sells out venues like the men and is a mother.

          These women and a couple of others have consciously and unconsciously laid out the blueprint for the next generation of women to break into and thrive in male-dominated industries.

          I draw strength from them by reminding myself that they too must have faced similar challenges and more but keep pushing. This tells me that I too can do it, survive, thrive and beyond. 

          I look at women who are breaking boundaries in male-dominated sectors and I draw strength from them - @NaomiBosslady Click To Tweet

          Why did you choose the entrepreneurship route over working for someone else?

          I didn’t have a choice really. The last job I had working for an entertainment company ended because the CEO dissolved the company. I had to make ends meet, and so I started working independently.

          I began by writing proposals for people, coming up with strategies, consulting here and there for upcoming artists and small brands, while moonlighting as a manager of a nightclub and serving as an event planner.

          I was working by myself and just winging it. Along the line, I realized, “girl you really can do this”. I never applied for a job with any company after that and continued working for myself. I also discovered that I am a natural born leader. 

          The entertainment industry is evolving and the gender bias is reducing - @NaomiBosslady Click To Tweet

          Can you share a little more about the non-traditional route that brought you where you are today? 

          First off, shout out to my uncle and mentor who gave me my first shot, Efe Omorogbe. I was basically doing nothing with my time and getting up to no good, and so my mum insisted that I reach out to him.

          He is the CEO of Now Muzik and is an entertainment industry powerhouse. He gave me a job as his personal assistant and was always extra hard on me. I felt it was pure hell.

          I was basically his shadow, going from business meetings to strategy sessions, taking minutes of staff meetings, etc. I didn’t even realize I was learning anything. And boy was I stubborn!

          He fired and re-hired me a few times. But, during my time working for him, I learned a lot, though I still had no idea of the potential I had to become a great talent developer and manager.

          Long story short, here I am, doing what I love and absolutely killing it if I do say so myself. If you know Efe Omorogbe, you know he is a tough man and you get the highest level of training with him.

          I am a product of that high-quality training.

          We love the fact that you acknowledge you are absolutely killing it. If you had to sum yourself up in 5 words, what would they be? 

          • Strong
          • Resilient
          • Loyal
          • Adventurous
          • Passionate.

          What is your greatest accomplishment or the thing you are most proud of in life? 

          I was raised by a single mom who did everything you can possibly think of to raise me. It wasn’t easy, and we had really difficult times.

          She slowed down on work when I was in my early 20’s due to health issues, and I had to find a way to fend for both of us.

          I would say my greatest accomplishment is being able to now comfortably take care of her and give her a better life than the one we had while I was growing up. 

          What are some of your biggest challenges as one of the very few women killing it in the talent management game in Nigeria? 

           My biggest challenge was not being taken seriously because, 1. I am a woman, and 2. There is a misconception about talent management.

          It seemed to many like it was all about the glitz and glamour [with little substance]. I was seeing a guy once, who said to me “If I take you home to my parents, what will I tell them you do?”

          Looking back, I am thankful for that moment because it motivated me to put in more work, refine my work, and strengthen the ethics around my work. 

          @NaomiBosslady talks about breaking boundaries as a talent manager in Nigeria. Read her story here... Click To Tweet

          What tools and tips can you share with someone looking to start their own talent management agency?

          • First of all, if you cannot serve, you cannot lead. (This applies to anyone about to start their own business). You must put the needs of your clients before yours. You need to believe in your clients and their abilities. 

          If you don’t, you can’t properly position them and monetize their gifts. The result is that your agency will crumble.

          • You need to have a moral compass. A moral compass because your agency and clients’ output depend on the choices you make with them.

          These choices affect the overall performance of your clients and your agency. Everything they do reflects on you regardless of who originated their choices: you or them. 

          • You need to study the market and identify what makes your clients unique. In doing so, you will know how best to position them, market them, and monetize them.
          • Negotiating—which is the hardest part. It’s something some people are naturally good at, and others become great at with experience. Knowing your client’s value always helps.
          • Lastly, your agency/business should be based on loyalty and integrity. You should under promise and over deliver! 

          Referrals are the best form of advertising for your business, so keep that in mind. If you adhere to these tips, past and present clients will definitely refer your agency to others who will become future clients.

          What are some of the most critical lessons you’ve learned over the course of managing your business and your clients?

          I learned that your client is your boss and you are your client’s boss. It’s important for both of you to be aligned and have the same goals for the brand as well as have similar principles. 

          It’s also important to be patient with the process, most especially when the client is new to it.

          You must sow into the client before you reap, and the client must undergo a development process before your work starts to bear fruit that both of you can enjoy. So, patience, patience, patience. 

          What advice do you have for other women looking to break into an industry that is dominated by men? Are there things that helped you?

          • Be strong, be resilient, be positive. Place no limitation on yourself, and make sure the women around you are strong, loyal and supportive.

          Even if you are confident, your supporters will help boost your confidence even more, and this goes a long way.

          • Always be on top of your game. It’s important to know your onions. What you have in your head and your heart will help you break boundaries and glass ceilings and earn you the respect of your peers – both male and female.
          • Find a mentor and study women who have thrived in a male-dominated industry and have added value to the society. And God, carry Him along. He opens doors no man can shut. 

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          Quick Maths (1): How to generate income to start a business with FDSH Asset Management

          Smart moves early in life can pay BIG long-term…..

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          So, are you ready to cash out like Cardi’s got nothing on you?

          We are partnering with FSDH Asset Management Ltd to share with you a 4 part downloadable guide to enable you to boost your finances. We want to make sure that every Motherland Mogul is prepared to master the money world. 

          Learn how to generate funds to start your business with @FSDHCoralFunds. Click here for more: bit.ly/FsdhGuide1 Click To Tweet

          Topics this 4 part series will cover:

          • Seed Money: How to generate income (capital) to start a business.
          • Diversifying: Different ways to save and protect savings (for low and high-income earners).
          • Bottom Line: How to use your business net income to your advantage
          • Emergency Funds: Why you must have some investments.

          Now let’s talk about you.

          You’re about to start a business but you need capital to begin?  Girl, we’ve got you! In this first downloadable guide, we’ve done some Quick Maths for you, highlighting how you can generate capital for your business or launch your new project.

          First, you need to understand that money does not come for free, as a MotherlandMogul, you have to know what your options are, and work towards them.

          After reading this first downloadable guide, you’ll understand what moves to make to get closer to your money goals.

          But what’s next after you get that capital and the bills start rolling in? We have more juice coming your way.

          To continue learning basic principles that will lead to a happier and healthier financial you, get prepared for our next guide. Because girl, we’re going deeper.

          FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD  – FSDH AM is a wholly owned subsidiary of FSDH Merchant Bank Limited. They are one of Nigeria’s leading asset management and financial advisory firm.

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          Therefore, their strategies are dedicated to preserving investors’ wealth while maximizing the value that they receive.

          Once you’re through with this guide, visit FSDH Asset Management Ltd to know more and get all your pressing questions answered.

           Getting access to this guide is easy: just fill out the form below to join our community and get access to this guide, remember this is only part 1, there’s more to come – so stay updated. By joining our community, you also get to enjoy our AWESOME weekly content as well.