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BIE Entrepreneur of the week: Temitayo Balogun

Temitayo Balogun is the Founder and Creative Director of May Couture, a customer-focused accessories & design brand in Nigeria. Born in the quiet city of Akure, Ondo State, she grew up in Ibadan, Oyo State and went back to Ondo State to study Industrial Chemistry at the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba. She’s right now completing her Master’s in Analytical Chemistry at the Federal University of Technology, Akure. While at the University, she began this journey into creativity and craftsmanship, having had a deep interest in her formative years. By 2014, the brand had become full-fledged and orders were received from different parts of the country as testimony to the uniqueness and quality of her handmade products. Of her beginnings, she says: I think I’ve always loved to do things with my hands, and make people look good. Looking good is good business, you know? Way back, immediately after secondary school, I learnt beadmaking. I’d seen a lady use bead and said to myself, “I can do this,” and I’d gone ahead to buy beadmaking materials: beads, fishing line, hook…the whole nine yards; everything I need to make my dream of making beads come alive. But I needed the “know ...

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Creating Solutions That Add Value – Stanley Awelewa

“People often ask me what advice I would give someone who wants to start their own company. My answer is that Every good company I can think of started with someone caring about changing something, not someone deciding to start a company. Instead of trying to build a company, focus on the change you want to see in the world, and keep pushing forward.” – Mark Zuckerberg Imagine Mark Zuckerberg walking into your office on a hot and sunny afternoon with his trademark Tee-Shirt! That sounds like a fairy tale right? But it is not. It happened in Lagos, Nigeria, as Mark, oh so casually strolled into the Yaba office of Co-Creation hub (CCHUB) and ANDELA respectively. What differentiates these two start-ups? And why was Mark interested? You may ask. They are basically solution based Tech start-ups with the sole aim of adding value to organizations and individuals. While CCHUB is a co-creation hub that allows ideas to thrive by incubating and accelerating several start-ups in their hub, and also ensuring that their basic needs are met for enhanced productivity. ANDELA is a start-up basically aimed at training the next generation of IT personnel and geeks in Africa from their ...

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BIE Entrepreneur of the week: Temi O. Siyanbade

Temi O. Siyanbade owns and runs her own private practice, The Law Office of Temi Siyanbade, a Houston-based law firm that provides legal services to help entrepreneurs and small business owners find direction, gain clarity, and increase profits. Temi loves what she does but must confess that her journey to this particular role has been extremely colorful to say the least. Temi was born in Providence, Rhode Island–the smallest state in the United States–to a young Nigerian couple. Her parents cherished their Nigerian roots and infused the rich culture into their home and everything they did. As a result, Temi, to this day considers herself the epitome of a “Nigerian-American.” As a child, she loved words and found that she was always interested in the precise use of words as a tool to create structure. She remembers drafting a contract regarding her chores and her weekly allowance when she was still in single digits. She was sure to get the contract signed by both of her parents giving her full access to her rightful allowance. Even though her parents eventually breached the contract, the desire to use words and law to structure relationships remained. Temi eventually went on to receive a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia and a J.D. from the University ...

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5 Common CV Blunders – Tokunbo Fasoro

Remember your resume creates your first opportunity to make a great impression on potential employers: 1. Telling untruths – Be honest about your skills, achievements & work history. A lot of people also lie about their age. Lots of times, lies and exaggerations will come back to you when employers do background checks. Sometimes an interviewer can tell just by looking at your academic record. Ensure you stick to the truth. 2. Listing irrelevant work experiences: Emphasize the relevant experience for the job you are applying for and stay focused. Listing everything you have done in your work-life might end up shooting you in the foot, as it will give an impression of a lack of career focus. 3. Copying and pasting job responsibilities from the internet: Employers can actually visit Google if they want to see job responsibilities. Employers want to see more of your exact experience on that job, and your achievement in that role. 4. Over the top designs: CV’s should be easy to open and view. Avoid pictures, use a common font and don’t get too creative with borders. Keep things simple. 5. Using an informal email address: The right email address can boost your professionalism. ...

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BIE Entrepreneur of the week: Raychelle Chinyere Otiocha

Raychelle Chinyere Otiocha is a 22 year old Pastry Chef; she was born in Warri, Delta, Nigeria where her mother had a small cake business which continued as they moved to Oman, back to Nigeria and then settled finally in Houston, Texas. Growing up, Raychelle had always had fun helping her mother with her orders but had her mind on drawing and painting; she realized she had a particular interest in baking and cake decorating when she was about 17 years old. The interest grew into a passion but convincing her parents about this was a difficult task. After about a year of asking God to help her convince her parents, she went off to culinary school with the support of her parents. After finishing culinary school, she realized she wanted to go to a university to pursue a degree in business for she someday hopes to own her own. She then enrolled in classes, and is still in the pursuit of a bachelor degree in business. Through this whole journey, Raychelle has come to understand that everyone’s story is different and that it is okay. “As an African it is common to compare progress with my mates, but I ...

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Networking Series (2) : “Creating Relationships” – Tokunbo Fasoro

The most important professional/business activity we engage in is networking. One sunny afternoon, I decided to go to the construction site to oversee how the renovations were going on an office space we just acquired. We had been cracking our heads on how we were going to partition it. This had become a big problem to us. As I parked my car, I saw a young woman just coming in too. I smiled at her and asked if she was a tenant as well. She said “Yes” and we got talking. We talked about her business then proceeded to talk about mine. I told her what I was passionate about and took her to the space we just acquired in the building. I went on to tell her how we would like to have a graduate school, and about how we intend to rent seminar rooms for that purpose. She immediately asked me, “Why don’t you not save your self some money and partition a training room out of this space?”. BOOM! That was it. I immediately changed all the designs. That decision saved us millions of naira. I am glad I smiled and spoke with her that day. Networking ...

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Inspiration For Business. The Story Of The CEO of No Left Overs, Mrs Ayodeji Megbope

Ayodeji Oluyemi Megbope is the C.E.O of No left over’s Nigeria Limited- A full scale catering outfit which started with a take-off capital of just One Thousand Naira (N1,000.00), but today has an annual turnover that runs into millions of naira. She was fortunate to be among the women to benefit from a worldwide initiative to set up 10,000 women and empower them with business skills and education. Ayodeji Megbope started her journey into entrepreneurship after nine years of her career in Corona School, Ikoyi as a Confidential Secretary. She left Corona with the intention to start up a school because she had passion for kids. To actualize her passion, she enrolled in a six months Montessori program. But at the end of the period she felt no excitement for the school anymore because setting up a school was so capital intensive. She saw that her passion for kids alone was not enough to see her through. She discussed the matter with her husband who encouraged her to drop the idea for a better one. On a certain day her sister in law visited their home, and Ayo served her moin moin (bean cake) she had made. When she finished eating, she ...

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Working Your Way into Career Success – Tokunbo Fasoro

A lot of us make mistakes in our career choices because we do not plan. We assume that our grades can get us to our target careers. I was speaking with a group of students in a University in Lagos about how we have so many second class upper and first class candidates these days. In my own days, a whole department might just produce one second class upper and no first class student at all! Lol! On a serious note, this simply means that there is a lot of competition out there. The question is“What makes you stand out from the crowd?” This question led to my developing the acronym DPA, i would like to share with BIE readers today. Follow these steps and you will have a great chance at career success. Discover Prepare Act Discover:  Know yourself –“Who am I? What are my likes? What am I passionate about? Where do I see myself happy in the next 10 years?” A lot of people are miserable and stuck in the wrong careers just because they failed to take time to discover, who they really are. Prepare: Match those abilities, passion and who you are with a particular ...

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Don’t let your background limit you – Tokunbo Fasoro

I have the permission of my friend Seyi to tell this story, Seyi was born into an extremely poor family, his father was an illiterate and his mother left him when he was a baby. His father desired that his son would go to school. Seyi went to a free primary school and knowing his father would always ask him what he did in school every day, he made it a habit to pay attention in class and always took down notes.  He later attended a low standard secondary school, which was because his father could not afford to pay the fees of a good school. Seyi worked extra hard in challenging environment but fortunately passed his exams and got into the university. Of course paying school fees and feeding was extremely difficult, Seyi had to devise a plan to succeed. The Plan Seyi studied hard and then started to teach the rich students in the University in exchange for Money, Food and Transportation. He worked really hard to ensure that he got the good grades to be qualified to teach people. I remember, a few friends and I had to contribute some money to buy him his first pair ...

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3 Creative Entrepreneurs That Have Inspired Me In The Past One Year – Ayotunde Shado

Hello guys, it’s another beautiful Tuesday today and I have decided to share with us, 3 Creative Entrepreneurs that have inspired me in the past one year. I hope we all get inspired. Ayokanmi Fakeye (IamKanmi) The UK based Nigerian comedian popularly known as IamKanmi is one who has gone viral for his comedy skits which he shares on social media especially Instagram and YouTube. The comedian is popular for his characters Sade, Akanmi D Boy and Daddy. He is the reason why the phrase “bad gang” has become a slang and a hashtag on social media, his style has also been used by brands like Airtel Nigeria to reply their followers on Twitter. Ayokanmi is the first child of four children and the only boy of his family; he had his higher education in the US at Morgan State University. Ayokanmi never planned to be an entertainer; he actually wanted to become a footballer but later discovered this part of him through some of his friends. When he first started doing online videos, he decided he didn’t want to shoot refined ideas and so he started shooting random ideas because that was the identity he wanted for himself. Ayokanmi’s ...

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