One of the factors that promote women empowerment is financial strength and economic stability. No wonder more women are striving to be managers of their own businesses.
This was evident in the number of females that applied for the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme for African Entrepreneurs. 42% of the 216,025 applicants were women who slugged it out with their male counterparts. In fact, all the chosen Entrepreneurs from Seychelles are Women.
At the end of the contest, 3050 were most favored to benefit from the support that TEF and its partners are making available for African Entrepreneurs for 2019 season.
Over 3000 African Entrepreneurs drawn from all the 54 African countries are to receive seed capital of 5000 dollars each in addition to a 12-week business training programme and mentoring to boost their enterprises. The names of the successful Entrepreneurs that formed the 5th Cohort of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship programme were announced at an event in Abuja recently.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation had committed a 100 million dollars to empower 10,000 African Entrepreneurs over a 10 year period with the aim of creating at least one million jobs and contributing over 10 billion dollars in revenue to the African economy.
In her remarks at the event, the Wife of the President of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Buhari lauded the impact of the programme on the African continent and charged the selected entrepreneurs to contribute to the advancement of the continent. She said, “Indeed, I am confident that these Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs will inspire deep confidence and be of immense value not just to Nigeria but to the entire continent.”
Earlier, The founder of the foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu, explained that “every year, we face an almost impossible task to select 1,000 Entrepreneurs from the hundreds of thousands that apply. Our Entrepreneurs are hungry to effect change. We know we are only scratching the surface, we see the depth of entrepreneurial talents that all of us -government, businesses indeed African society, must harness to transform our economies and livelihoods. We must rally together to empower them and accelerate the change we want on the continent.”
The incoming Chief Executive Officer of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, announced that the programme had successfully empowered 7520 Entrepreneurs in its first five years of the 10-year programme.
Ugochukwu noted that the 2019 selection includes 2050 Entrepreneurs supported by the TEF’s partners in addition to the foundation’s Annual commitment to empowering 1000 Entrepreneurs.
The foundation’s partnersinclude the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, the Federal Republic of Benin(Seme City), the Anambra State Government(Nigeria), Indorama, the Government of Botswana and the African Development Bank(AfDB).
In 2018, the foundation launched TEF Connect which is a digital networking platform for African Entrepreneurs and open to all, to further democratize the access to opportunities for the thousands of Entrepreneurs that cannot directly benefit from the Entrepreneurship Programme.
Meanwhile, the newly empowered 3050 entrepreneurs alongside other African Entrepreneurs would converge on Abuja, on July 26-27, 2019 for the annual Entrepreneurship forum which is said to be the largest gathering of Entrepreneurs in Africa.
Guest Post – Written by: Afolasade Osigwe (2017 TEF journalism fellow)
A few days ago my boss asked me to accompany her to a meeting where I eventually met a young promising woman from Nigeria who lives in Canada and is making Nigeria proud.The story was that this lady was already doing a lot to project Africa and empower girls, women and the youth. Now that’s the kind of story I love to hear and therefore I was delighted to go meet this inspiring lady. But I actually met her via a SKYPE conversation … hehehe. I tell you our conversation with her blew me away and left me feeling good about my heritage as a Nigerian woman. She is the kind of role model young people need to inspire and motivate them to go on to achieve their dreams and goals.
So here I am trying to celebrate and project the good things this beautiful lady is doing.
BJJ: Tell us about yourself, a little bit about your background and why you are doing this project
DR. Adeola:Recently about a year ago I happen to be the first African to obtain a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan here in Canada. My upbringing, I was raised by two people with no formal education; from hawking pepper on the streets of Mokola, Ibadan to becoming a child farmer; having to help my mum on the farm and how all of this happened to me; then because of my love for science made me who I am today. I went ahead and posted my story on Facebook the day I convocated. That story went viral and it was in the news in Nigeria and the media basically. So I grew lots of followership on social media and as such I couldn’t hide anymore as a scientist who just wanted to live my life for myself. I realize that my life wasn’t mine anymore; a lot of people wanted to be a part of it; a lot of people were looking for a role model and some people were looking for mentors for themselves or for their children. So that’s how STEMHUB Foundation started.
Mokola, where the empowerment training on Tie & Dye engineering for young people is taking place in the neighborhood where I grew up.It is in this neighborhood that I hawked pepper. So I looked at my neighborhood and I found out that it is still the same. We still have people involved in vices and using prostitution as the only means of livelihood for them. So I was looking out there to see – what Is it I can help people acquire that they can use as a means to fend for themselves instead of having to do something shady or having to sell their body.
This Tie and Dye program is not the only program my foundation has sponsored. For the celebration of Women in the month of March 2018, I partnered with the Female Designers Movement in Lagos to sponsor design engineering for 150 women.We taught them graphic design making of posters; a user design for websites.
Right now after my Ph.D., I got a job and currently work as a lead material engineer in a company that basically manufacture Pollan, parts of engines of aircraft, fighter jets and all of that here in Canada. I am very passionate about anything engineering, 3D-printing which is my area and right now I focus on aerospace.
BJJ: Great! Ok can we talk about the many awards you’ve won
Dr. Adeola: Ok one thing I always tell people is, it is a lot difficult to talk about when it comes to hyping myself; I am not good at it.
Dr. Adeola: I believe something, “If your mission and vision in life are about you, you won’t go really far.
Dr. Adeola:But if your vision and your mission are about the people you will go really, really far.And often times those types of vision and mission are bigger than you and require a lot of resilient for it to happen. After my story broke out on the internet, the “Media Broadcast Corporation” which is our own “Radio Nigeria” here in Canada recognized me as one of the 150 black women making Canada better for the celebration of Canada at 150years last year. Also last year the Canadian Nigerian Association honored me as “The Woman of Outstanding Achievements in Education”, July 2017. Fortunately, Oni of Ife and some other dignitaries from Nigeria attended that event.
“If your mission and vision in life are about you, you won’t go really far.But if your vision and your mission are about the people you will go really, really far.
In my absence the Ondo state government honored me as 2018 female role model of young girls in the state. I have also been nominated by the Canadian Business Treat; these are a group of women whose passion centers on finding entrepreneurs and young Canadian women and honoring them. I have been nominated as one of the people that will receive an award this year, 2018.
There is been a couple of awards here and there but to me, it is not about the awards. It is about what I can do for people. If it wins an award, yes I am happy but I would gladly celebrate the people and the progress we are making in the lives of the people than how many accolades I get or how many awards people have given me. This dream and vision are not about me, it’s about the people.
BJJ: You have done so well for yourself and I want to tell you that Nigeria is proud of you. Now, are you thinking of coming back home?
Dr. Adeola:The Industry that I work in right now focus on 3D-printing different on aerospace material. During my Ph.D. I was fortunate to use this same 3D-printing, to manufacture. So 3D-Printing is an area growing drastically around the world; Nigeria has not embraced the idea yet. If there is an opportunity to come and be a part of trading digital manufacturing space for Africa so that we can attract automotive companies to come and open their brands in Nigeria, I will definitely love to be a part of such change. Until that moment when this type of opportunity happens I think I will stay here in Canada to grow my knowledge and without money, I wouldn’t be able to help people in Nigeria.
Dr. Adeola: So I will stay here to be able to make some money and to be able to do what I do right now (Laughing). But if you ask me where is your heart? My heart is in Nigeria. I believe that positive role models are very, very rare to find in our society. And when we have such positive role models, often times they do not have the right platform to be projected so our young girls can see them. I feel that if I were to be present in Nigeria I will achieve way more; I will inspire and motivate way more. And I could be a part of those people who can help drive success among women and young people in Nigeria. Until that time when I get the opportunity, I have to be here.
But the good news is that I will be coming home to Nigeria in August for two weeks to receive an award. I will do all I can to inspire; to encourage and be a part of the people; to let them see what is possible if you study science, believe in God and if you work hard and are resilient, you can go really far in life.
BJJ:Thank you very much for speaking with us. I really enjoyed this conversation. God bless, bye
Dr. Adeola:Thank you too Bye
I look forward to following Dr. Adeola’s journey and contributions to society and sharing more of her story and the lives she is touching. In another post, I will share photos and stories of young people I met at the Tie & Dye Training which held in Ibadan for young people. It was sponsored by STEMHUB Foundation.
Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – firstname.lastname@example.org
In commemoration of the International Women’s Day celebration which is marked every year on the 8th of March, femininmaterz will bring you short stories of women young and old who are doing great things
Below is the story of a young doctor I interviewed who intends to also be a big-time farmer:
My name is Dr. Obadigie Josephine an Optometrist who also want to go into farming big time. Apart from farming I also have other businesses I want to do. I discovered that if you want to make an impact you need to earn more than a salary. You need to have multiple streams that will earn you income because if you really want to impact lives, you need money. And once you get this money it is not just to Can all you can but give back to the society.
One of the ways I want to impact lives is by giving scholarships to young ladies and young men especially those from an indigent backgroundso that they can also achieve their dreams. I believe that once one person is able to achieve his or her dreams then he/she can go on to empower others.
They say if you a train a man you have simply trained a man but when you train a woman you have trained a nation.
I believe that when women are empowered that puts them on a platform to also help their children and others like her husband and even extended family members.
Adebisi Adetunji(C) Project Director Beehyve Empowernment & Development Initiative
My brother and his family came to Ibadan to visit my family. They were on a holiday tour as they had just left our home town where they went visiting Das and Mum.
We were so delighted to have them come over to our house and so a family time out and treat was organized sharply🙌💏😀.
Our trip took us to various placeswhere the children had the blast of their time playing various games. Then the group took a trip to a restaurant to eat our local meal in Oyo State, Amala, Gbegiri and ewedu. Yummy!
My brother decided that we should visit one of our childhood friends, EbunlomoSoloye(maiden name) now Mrs Akinwale who had a Cafe in the Shoprite mall at Ring road, Ibadan. It will be a visit to remember… As we stepped into Ebun’s Natures Treats Cafe I was blown away by the esthetic and beauty that greeted us.
I thought it will just simply be a dash in and dash out visit but we were mesmerized with treats from Ebun’s menu.
These are food treats made from natural ingredients, no sugar and preservatives and aimed at helping people eat healthy even while out on a treat.
I am really proud of what this dear lady had made of herself as an entrepreneur committed to healthy treats. You simply must visit to know what I mean!! 😀😀
Ebun’s story and journey – How Natures Cafe came to birth:
Ebunoluwa Akinwale is a Wife, mum and lawyer by education and a wellness coach by Passion. She was able to successfully loose almost 40kg 6 years ago and kept it off and has helped a lot of others do same since she started her weightloss management company on the 1st of May 2013. She calls it her ministry as she is totally committed to the cause by teaching women the everyday tricks believing they are the focal point in the family and society. She recently opened her wellness cafe at The Palms Mall called Natures Treats….where all the treats we love are prepared healthier….No sugar or preservation or fat….right here in Ibadan. So in other words you get to eat your cake and have it. Ebun is also a public speaker , writer and big on empowerment.
What to expect at Natures Treats Cafe:
Legendary Greek yoghurts made from fresh raw cow milk
Yoghurt milk shakes
Natural freshly made juices
Decadent dark chocolate fudge muffins
Red velvet surprise, which actually leave people astounded to our tigernut varieties and fruitilicious zobo etc.
The kids are not left out as well as they can enjoy fun cake pops, cookies , hot chocolates, popsicles etc to keep them happy , entertained but totally healthy!
Breakfast is always a hit with waffles, pancakes, crepes, sandwiches
Gourmet salad bar and much more.
Adebisi Adetunji (C) BusyBee Media for Social Change and development
This week let’s talk about empowering ourselves as women. “Je ki Oko o de” literally means “A woman who waits and depends on her husband to buy or pay for everything she needs personally or to keep the home running”.
Some time ago I heard of a woman whose husband set her up in a business two or three different times. I will call her Titi(not real name).
Titi enjoys sitting at home and watching movies, shopping for new clothes, visiting and chatting with friends. When it comes to running her business she isn’t interested. And so everytime she starts a business she ruins it losing both capital and profit. Titi is comfortable with just living a flamboyant life and sitting at home. Lucky for her she has a man who is rich. However the man soon got fed up of having to help her set up any business and losing all the money. This became an issue in their family.
Another category of “Je Oko o De women are young ladies who are not even properly educated or come from a humble background. They marry a man struggling to make ends meet and simply refuse to work. The man is expected to take care of her, their 7 children and the home. If she wants to buy salt, sugar, food and even her underwears she waits for her dear husband to pay for everything! (Ridiculous). Such a woman is at the mercy of the poor husband who has to pay for everything. Unfortunately some of these men spend their money on other things and not on these wives.
So woman, lady here is the thing, It is time you make something out of your life! You need to be financially empowered!
It is time you pay attention to minding your business or career.
Lady forget that gist that a man us solely meant to be the provider. Some of my friends will say do you want to kill him in this economic recession! 😀.
And seriously you need to be free and able to meet some of your own financial needs. It is unfair to yourself and your husband to depend on him for everything. It is frustrating in my own opinion.
Why you need to earn your own money:
1) It enables you to be financially free,
2) You get that rewarding feeling that you can contribute to the upkeep of your family.
3) You have a sense of dignity being able to make some money no matter how little.
4) You are able to give your aged parents money without hassling your man to do it.
5) It eases money tension in the homeand saves you the embarrassment of not been able to handle even simple money needs of your children.
6) God forbid anything happening to the man...I mean people die so what happens to you and your children. Especially if the man’s extended family are the type that will come and take over the man’s property leaving his wife with nothing.
7) Say your man even loses his job or business what will you all fall back on?Your own earnings can save the family financial embarrassment before your man finds his feet again.
The virtuous in the book of proverbs was a hard working business woman who provided for her household and her husband was respected in the gates of the city. STOP Being Lazy!
Time to pursue your dreams, time to mind your business and career.
In another post we will take a look at ways to make money as a woman. Till then enjoy your everyday life and know that you are special, woman.
She is the daughter of my 16years hair stylist….really I am amazed that I have stayed with her for this long. The secret of course is good service and a good customer relationship. We are like family now I believe. It is difficult to get me into the salon of another hair stylist to make my hair.
I first met Iya Fade as we all call her in 2001, then Fade the all grown lady wasn’t even in secondary school yet. This post is set to promote the need to pass down your skills to your children. You will be simply equipping them with tools for a better future. She has grown to become a very beautiful lady and I imagine the suitor’s queue is really long. This is her story as I chatted with her while she and her mum braided my hair.
At first, Fade was not interested in learning how to make other people’s hair. She was young and did not understand why she had to get her hand all dirt in wet waters. However an unce and aunty of hers convinced her that it was good to acquire this skill alongside getting an education. At least she did not have to pay to learn. Slowly and grudgingly at first she began to pay more attention while in her mother’s salon. Soon she picked up interest and became passionate about making hairstyles for customers.
What I admire Iya Fade for is that she is got taste and is classy;she is creative, hardworking very good at her craft. She seems to thrive on all handy craft as often she makes hair creams, soaps, body cream to cater for the hair needs and treatments of her customers. And she uses natural products to make the blend. If you’ve got issues with your hair Iya Fade is a hair stylist you need to see.
So you can begin to understand the rich skills Fade stand to gainfrom her mother by paying attention. Thankfully she did pay attention. Right now Fade is competing well with her mum and even doing more.
Fade got admission into the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife to study the course: English Language.In school she was learning and making some change making fellow students hair. So that means she is never broke.
Right now Fade is done with her University education and waiting to go for her National Youth Service Corp(NYSC) but she got busy going to a makeover school and also started to attend a businessmanagement schoolin order to be able to manage her own business.
Fade is now the CEO of Fade’s Touch. Her business provides these services for clients:
1) Hair-do– All kinds of hair styles ranging from braids, dread, weaves, natural style, natural hair care, fixing of weavon.
2) Makeover – Bridal makeover, home services, Owanbe-party make up, dinner makeover, casual makeover
4) Sale of Make-up products
5) Sale of shoes & Bags
I told Fade that she will probably soon start employing her colleagues😀😀👍
I am so pleased to see that this young woman has carved a niche for herself. She will not be under pressure in the labour market looking for a job. She has become an employer herself.
Allow your children get more than a school education. Harness that gifting and talents. Let them acquire skills that will put more value on them in the labour/business market.
You can reach Fade’s Touch for your beauty services on: Phone No: 08164423645 Instagram : Fade_rera Twitter: @fade_rera
At an on-going training for Social Media Bloggers on Effective Family Planning Projection organized by DEVCOMS NETWORK, I met this fantastic Lady doing great things.
Her story is real, funny and inspiring for every woman out there and even men.
I will sum up her story with these words:
Where you think there is nothing, therein lies your future
Toyin Odedele-Odugbesan is the co-founder of a blog platform named: WhatsupIbadan where she works alongside her husband as Marketing manager. Toyin is also the CEO Geomeridien travel and tours business intertwined with community service.
How did she get here?
Toyin was offered a Diploma admission into the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State Nigeria to study Transport and Management. It was not what her heart was set on doing but you know how parents will want their child to start any available course instead of waiting at home to write JAMB again. This will mean another year of wait.
Toyin’s words:My first thought when I was offered this course (Transport & Management) was the “Agberos”(Bus conductors) or at best a Taxi Cab driver. For like three months I didn’t attend classes.
It was like she had been sentenced to the worst kind of course which had no future prospect little did she know that therein laid her dream career ticket.
Bisi:So what changed things for you? Toyin: My first-semester result was bad. I barely passed, this woke me up. I, therefore, determined to study hard. As time passed by and I came to a realization that transportation covered is a wide field and offers me an array of career opportunities. I found out that there were different categories of transport such as Land, Air, Water, Cargo to Ship. I discovered that I could work in Customs service, VIO, Ministry of works and transport, tourism and much more. Soon I fell in love with my course.
Initially, she thought of studying Economics at the BSc level after finishing her diploma instead she went further with a degree in Transport and Management.
Bisi: What happened after your first degree? Toyin: The Tourism aspect of my course struck me most and it became my passion this led me to do a Masters in Tourism and Hospitality Management in India.
Bisi: What did it feel like studying in a foreign country? Toyin:At first it was difficult adjusting to the new culture. I found my way gradually and began to mingle. Where I come from we greet everyone but I noticed people kept to themselves. I started to take the initiative to say hello to people I meet every day from the security man to the gadner and my schoolmates too. People began to warm up to me. Over there in India far away from home, I engaged in community service visiting Orphanage homes and even organized a summer event that brought rich and poor children’s children together. This I did in collaboration with my colleagues in school, lecturers who bought into our idea. It was a rich rewarding and fulfilling time.
Bisi: When did you start your business? Toyin:All these community service activities inspired me to start my Travels and Tours business back in India even as a student. Now we are also here in Nigeria. Our business name is Geomeridien Travels & Tours.
Bisi: So what is next for you? Toyin:I continue to look for ways I can reach out more to my communities and make a difference.
Bisi: Your Life’s Motto/Inspiration
Toyin:What you give to life is what life gives back to you.