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Being an entrepreneur comes with its fair share of challenges. Starting out her hustle in 2006, Linda Ikeji understands the rigours and struggles that come with being an entrepreneur. In a message she shared to encourage entrepreneurs to strive to succeed, Linda emphasizes the importance of knowing when it’s time to walk away from a business venture after years of struggling with it.


Here are three things every entrepreneur should take away from Linda’s message.


Giving up on a business venture does not mean you are giving up on your dreams. It’s ok to end a venture that isn’t working, take a step back and figure out a better route through which you can achieve your dreams.


In Linda’s words, “I started FM&B (Fashion, Modeling and Beauty) magazine in 2006 until 2009. Managed to produce 5 editions of the magazine before I gave up on it. I gave up on this particular venture but I didn’t give up on my dreams of being successful, of making it in life. I always believed if I failed in one thing, I could succeed in another.


You can always be successful in something else. Don’t blindly hold on to a failing business because you feel letting go will make you a failure. Even if it fails, you can learn your lessons and apply it successfully to another business venture.


“For hustlers out there still fighting for their dreams, it’s okay to give up on some ventures you believe without any doubt is going nowhere and start something else, put energy into something new. You can be successful in something else.”


You must be willing to let go and try other things. By all means, give your business the very best. Pursue it with grit and be determined to succeed. When you’ve done all that you know how to do and you’ve taken the necessary steps but the business still isn’t thriving, it’s ok to let it go and pursue something else.


We love Linda’s words of wisdom here, “Those of us who have made it always advise ‘don’t give up, never give up until you have made it’, and that’s good advice but sometimes it’s okay to let go of a business venture that is draining your spirit, taking all your time, money, resources and giving nothing back to you. Some ventures are fruitless, and what you can hope is to have discernment on time to tell which is and move away from it asap. What if there’s something else out there that you were called to do? To be? What if your destiny is on some other venture? You must be willing to try other things. You must be willing to let go of the life you planned so as to have the life that is waiting for you.”


Most importantly, find your own path. 


“I started the mag because Betty Irabor succeeded in it and I wanted to be like her, the next great magazine publisher forgetting that I had my path to follow in life. Thankfully, I found myself.


I hope you discover your path in life soon and do what you were truly called into this world to do and not what you THINK you should be doing.”

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Growing up in a household with parents who found expression through food, Voke, Vona, Vese and Vome developed a deep love for food and experimenting with different recipes. This love for food has turned into Dvees, a business which pioneers West African fine dining and flavours through the creation of unique products, including their signature Chapman Drink.

Growing up in a household with parents who found expression through food, Voke, Vona, Vese and Vome developed a deep love for food and experimenting with different recipes. This love for food has turned into Dvees, a business which pioneers West African fine dining and flavours through the creation of unique products, including their signature Chapman Drink.


According to them; “Our love for food is our family heritage. We grew up with a dad who loves good food. We had numerous cooking and baking sessions with him, from making crab soup to homemade cakes. He always came home with food from the latest restaurant he discovered or the staples like suya from the family country club in Lagos; Ikoyi Club. While he encouraged the flare for the western twist, Mum made sure we knew how to throw it down in the kitchen African style. With her occasional and often spontaneously organised cooking lessons, we were well equipped to prepare authentic African dishes.”

Some of the products they’ve been able to create so far include drinks, condiments and tea. Out of ll their products, the Chapman Drink stands out and here’s why;

“We spent countless hours trying to recreate drinks we grow up knowing and loving. It’s been a long journey but we are finally here and excited to share them with you. We still remember the day we tried the winning Chapman recipe, it felt like we had won an Olympic gold medal. With shouts of joy and teary eyes, we celebrated, hi-fived and hugged each other. The recipe was finally here and we all approved.”
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The lady boss, Ink Eze, is steadily rising to the top and we totally love it. She was recently featured on the Forbes 30 under 30 2018 list. How proud of her can we get?


We’re pretty sure you know about her, but let’s still tell you a little more. Ink Eze is the Founder of Aso Ebi Bella, an online community connecting traditional fashion enthusiasts with SMEs in the fashion, beauty and wedding industry primarily in Nigeria with growing interests across Africa and beyond.


Her platform, AsoEbiBella.com,a fashion tech startup boasts of over 17 million organic weekly impressions, 1.5 million followers across social media,and over 600,000 page views in the last 11 months. The company has delivered campaigns and collaborated with Nigerian and international brands including Orijin, Renaissance (now Radisson Blu Hotel) and Unilever’s Sunlight detergent.


Ink Eze has always been a hard and smart worker and we can see that it is really paying off for her. What more can we say, except a big congratulations to her.


 


Culled from Aso Ebi Bella

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We love our African stories and we proudly bring you the story whenever our African ladies get the global recognition for their hard work. One of them is the awesome Kene Rapu – The Founder of Slippers By Kene. She started ‘Slippers by Kene’, in 2011, as an initiative to promote the development of the local (Nigerian) industry, by using locally sourced materials and workmanship, to provide bespoke handcrafted slippers and sandals. They call themselves the number one Nigerian footwear brand, championing local production.


How did she begin her empire?


“I have always loved fashion, my first-ever internship at the age of 13 was in a hat showroom. From then on, I always managed to squeeze in an internship whenever I could. From working with magazines to working backstage at fashion shows to professional modelling; fashion has always been my passion! Why slippers? Being tall, I’m always on the lookout for nice, affordable, good-quality flats. SlippersbyKene started from me designing a pair of slippers for myself. I wanted something interesting that wasn’t in the stores, and that was incorporated into the popular African fabric – Ankara. I had them made, wore them out and everyone loved them. Family and friends placed orders, the word spread.”


We are not only super proud of Kene Rapu, we are also inspired by her.

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Oyinlola Adekogbe is the founder of Jedi & Co LTD, a fashion accessory and clothing store. They also specialize in customized bridal accessories. She shares how she started her business with Woman.NG


FROM HAVING AN IDEA TO STARTING YOUR BUSINESS, SHARE YOUR JOURNEY WITH US


My business started out as a co-incidence. I had spent all my monthly allowance to buy shoes and I had to sell at least a pair to survive in school. Then it became a hobby as I found myself enjoying it, so I didn’t have any major ideas, but with time when I started getting feedback from clients, I started to see their pain points and then was consumed with creating products to meet their needs.


WHY DO YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO? THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER BUSINESSES YOU COULD HAVE EXPLORED, WHY THIS?


I just always loved shoes and regal, royal bridal gowns like every little girl does, and I loved sketching these dresses in my spare time, so it was natural for me.


AT WHAT POINT DID YOU KNOW BEYOND ALL DOUBT THAT THIS IS GOING TO WORK?


I wasn’t sure how quickly it would all work out, but I knew that I wouldn’t give up until it did.


HOW DID YOU RAISE THE CAPITAL TO START YOUR BUSINESS, ESPECIALLY WITH THE HIGH COST OF RUNNING BUSINESSES IN NIGERIA?


I started my business with #15,000 allowance while in school, then at some point, I sold my car to get more capital. I also have a 9 to 5, so I constantly save personal funds for growth and expansion of my business. My mum has also been very helpful as she has given me loans and she never asks for pay back.


HOW SOON DID YOU START MAKING PROFITS?


I started as an online store, working from home, without any overheads. So we started making profits almost immediately, but since we got a physical location for expansion purposes, most of our profit goes into purchasing assets.


BRILLIANT IDEAS DON’T ALWAYS MEAN GREAT SALES, HOW HAS IT BEEN MARKETING YOUR SERVICES?


Marketing has been a little easier with social media as we can find our target market and they can also find us without coming to our physical store. Word of mouth, referrals and influencers have also been very helpful in marketing our brand.


AS A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING, WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE HIRING STAFF AND BUILDING YOUR TEAM?


I have been really lucky in that regards, I have always hired people who join our team seamlessly. I think the most important thing in hiring as an entrepreneur is been able to sell the vision, once they are invested in the vision, it’s easier to work together.


YOUR GREATEST SKILL/STRENGTHS THAT HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY BEEN OF HELP IN STARTING AND RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS


Working as a sales representative at my 9 to 5 has been a blessing, so not only have I learnt sales and marketing, I get to see how a product based company is run and learn all the processes and system.


DID YOU HAVE TO GET A FORMAL TRAINING OR QUALIFICATION TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS?


I didn’t have any formal training in business, but I have made a conscious effort to invest in learning skills I need. I also have attended fashion school and Fashion Illustration classes as we hope to diverse into production of our pieces soon.


YOU HAVE BEEN RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS FOR SOME TIME NOW, WHAT DO YOU KNOW NOW THAT YOU WISHED YOU HAD KNOWN BEFORE YOU STARTED?


I wish I knew more about Accounting and how to understand my numbers sooner.


ANY LIFE EXPERIENCE THAT HAS PARTICULARLY PREPARED YOU DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY FOR WHAT YOU DO NOW?


Not sure. I lost my dad at 11, and I watched my mum work “soooo” hard to raise my sister and I. That prepared me to work and never expect any handouts from anyone because really no one owes you anything.


CHANGE CAN BRING OUT A PART OF US WE NEVER KNEW EXISTED, WHAT NEW THINGS HAVE YOU DISCOVERED ABOUT YOURSELF IN THE COURSE OF STARTING AND RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS?


I discovered I am too much of a risk taker, which is a good thing but can also be a bad thing, so I take more time in making decisions now.


THE GREATEST BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED AND BY WHO?


Know your numbers; never assume you are making a profit because you are making sales. From my mum.


WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS ESPECIALLY IN NIGERIA?


Be Resilient and don’t be afraid to start small.

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OPINION
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Being an entrepreneur comes with its fair share of challenges. Starting out her hustle in 2006, Linda Ikeji understands the rigours and struggles that come with being an entrepreneur. In a message she shared to encourage entrepreneurs to strive to succeed, Linda emphasizes the importance of knowing when it’s time to walk away from a business venture after years of struggling with it.


Here are three things every entrepreneur should take away from Linda’s message.


Giving up on a business venture does not mean you are giving up on your dreams. It’s ok to end a venture that isn’t working, take a step back and figure out a better route through which you can achieve your dreams.


In Linda’s words, “I started FM&B (Fashion, Modeling and Beauty) magazine in 2006 until 2009. Managed to produce 5 editions of the magazine before I gave up on it. I gave up on this particular venture but I didn’t give up on my dreams of being successful, of making it in life. I always believed if I failed in one thing, I could succeed in another.


You can always be successful in something else. Don’t blindly hold on to a failing business because you feel letting go will make you a failure. Even if it fails, you can learn your lessons and apply it successfully to another business venture.


“For hustlers out there still fighting for their dreams, it’s okay to give up on some ventures you believe without any doubt is going nowhere and start something else, put energy into something new. You can be successful in something else.”


You must be willing to let go and try other things. By all means, give your business the very best. Pursue it with grit and be determined to succeed. When you’ve done all that you know how to do and you’ve taken the necessary steps but the business still isn’t thriving, it’s ok to let it go and pursue something else.


We love Linda’s words of wisdom here, “Those of us who have made it always advise ‘don’t give up, never give up until you have made it’, and that’s good advice but sometimes it’s okay to let go of a business venture that is draining your spirit, taking all your time, money, resources and giving nothing back to you. Some ventures are fruitless, and what you can hope is to have discernment on time to tell which is and move away from it asap. What if there’s something else out there that you were called to do? To be? What if your destiny is on some other venture? You must be willing to try other things. You must be willing to let go of the life you planned so as to have the life that is waiting for you.”


Most importantly, find your own path. 


“I started the mag because Betty Irabor succeeded in it and I wanted to be like her, the next great magazine publisher forgetting that I had my path to follow in life. Thankfully, I found myself.


I hope you discover your path in life soon and do what you were truly called into this world to do and not what you THINK you should be doing.”

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I think I am always paranoid, I became this way in 2008 after a traumatic kidnap. I am always suspicious of people and I tend to read meanings into almost every move. You can't blame me can you? 


Yesterday during mass, I walked in late as usual. Luckily for me I brought a plastic seat from home just in case there were no available seats and as a baby girl, I had to sit because my shoes were not made for standing. I managed to find a little space and I fixed my green chair. I was busy minding my business when my eyes fell on the shoes of the person who sat directly in front of me, it was a disaster as it was peeling and the whole floor was littered with particles. I felt bad for her and made up my mind to bring shoes for her the next Sunday. Being an inquisitive person, my eyes started roaming the area I sat, guess I wanted to be sure no other person had bad shoes. Fortunately or unfortunately it fell on a very lovely brown loafers. I am sure you can already tell I am a sucker for shoes. My eyes kept going back to the shoes, but I didn't see the face of the owner. 


"Hi, what's your name? I will like to know you more". The owner of the brown loafers said to me during peace and love of Christ. He actually held my hand right in the middle of mass to get to know me. Chi m! I politely answered him and told him we will talk after mass because people were already looking at us. Oga wasn't discreet at all o. I kept on thinking about this very unfamiliar face in my small church were we all know each other that I forgot to say my prayers before communion. 


Immediately after the last person went for communion, Mr. brown loafers pulled his chair close to mine and started telling me about himself, after which he asked for my number and I gave him. Eyes were on us and it was as if he didn't care. After a while, he left the church and I stayed till the end. As soon as I got home, I got a call from him, asking for us to see immediately and I calmly dismissed him. I told him we will see in the evening and he told me he had to see me that very day. First thing that puts me off. 


It was Mother's Day, so we all went to celebrate at my aunt's place. My WhatsApp kept beeping, it was Mr loafers asking me when we will see. I told him the situation and the fact we might not get to see because it was getting late. Oga was adamant. He told me to call him we I got home that he will pick me up. Me Adanna, go out with a desperate stranger in the middle of the night lol. I got home very late and I sent him a text that I can't come out anymore, he said I should text him my address, so we can come to my gate for us to talk. At this point, my spirit said block him, but I didn't. 


When he was sure I wasn't going to come out, he called and started telling me that he was in love with me. Haba! Told him we just met a few hours ago, he changed it for me o. Started telling me I had an archaic mentality and I had to change. His tone was aggressive and the psychologist in me kicked in. I asked him if he was an aggressive person, he said yes but not in an angry way, just in cases like lovemaking. At this point, I knew it was over. I told him I had to go, he started shouting at me, they had the mind to try to schedule another meeting with me the next day. I just said okay and hung up. 


I forgot to block the number and my first call of the day was from Mr. Brown loafers, I refused to pick, he called and called, I didn't answer. Two unknown numbers and I private caller later, I decided to return his call. I told him I was out of town and will be back later at night. Oga said there were sides of me, he hasn't unraveled and he must before leaving town. 


Is this guy just forward or plain creepy? I want to be sure I am not just paranoid.


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You can actually set up the next big NGO, and maybe win a Nobel prize for your wonderful contribution to the society. Isn’t that amazing? But wait! Before rehearsing your Nobel prize acceptance speech, have you given enough thought to the sine qua non of setting up and sustaining an NGO? No? It’s not too late. Let’s start with the basics.


A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), according to www.ngo.org, “is any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group which is organized on a local, national or international level.” In Nigeria, they play important roles, often filling gaps which the government is unable to while complementing existing government activities. These organizations, small or large, work in the health, civil society and other sectors of society. Individuals and groups often set up NGOs with altruistic motives, with the intention of impacting positive societal change.


Having worked for an NGO for several years, I know that most people assume that starting and sustaining one is a laid-back affair. On the contrary, it is in fact as critical as starting up a for-profit business. It really does not matter if it is on a small-scale basis, or whether you have vast amounts of cash, there are key guides to consider. Here’s what you need to know.


Legal requirements

A lot of times, enthusiastic newbies fail to consider the legal requirements of embarking on such a venture. Someone wakes up, scribbles an interesting name for a proposed NGO, then proceeds to print branded T-shirts. That’s not bad for effort, but you need a more structured process. For proper legal status, your NGO must be registered with the relevant body; the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Take ownership of the process, and as much as possible, avoid using a proxy. That way, you will be in possession of all necessary documents and minimize the chances of a disaster.


Now, you’ll need to establish the following:


The legal obligations it will be subject to.

Your goals and objectives.

The problems you intend to solve.

Equally important, you’ll need a lawyer during this process. Having a lawyer at your side will keep you updated on the rights and obligations of the registered NGO you’ll soon be running.


Acquiring and sustaining funds

When setting up an NGO, you must be very clear on the source and availability of funds. You can’t begin with the, ‘Well, I just started’ or ‘Let’s see how it goes’ attitude.


Having said that, let’s see if you can answer these questions:


Do I have funds for the activities I’d like my NGO to embark on?

Are there government or other organizations’ grants I can apply for?

Can the NGO sustain itself on a long-term basis?

Do I have an efficient structure?

What are my planned activities, and who will be responsible for each activity?

Run your NGO like you would run a business.

Look, I get it. The society seriously needs solutions and you’re revved up for the challenge. Your idea is the best, most unique and different one and you’re in line to becoming the next Mother Theresa. Listen though, other NGOs are profit-oriented and well, only focus on making profit. If you want your NGO to be around for a long time, you’ll need to integrate these profit-making elements to your operations:


Have a defined strategy for hiring, operations and other organizational processes.

Have a strong financial system.

Have a target audience? A robust marketing strategy will cater to them.

Have a marketing budget.

Decide on what strategy to apply. Person-to-person? Social media? Flyers and posters? Or a mix of different strategies?

How about record-keeping? Do you have a plan?

How often would you produce reports? Bi-monthly, quarterly or annually?

The above requirements are essential, especially if your NGO’s activities are grant-funded (which means you’ll have to submit regular reports to your handlers).  The sad reality is not everyone gets grants at the start, but proper record-keeping would prove very helpful should you decide to apply for funds in the future.


#MotherlandMoguls should know that NGOs are businesses too. Your profit is in the satisfaction of helping people in profound ways.



About the writer>

Ivie writes poems, essays and short stories on her blog. She is also the author of the ebook, 'Looking for myself and my phone charger', which is available on Okada Books. She studied Political Science at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and believes that with deliberate efforts, Nigerians can work to make ours a functioning society.

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ENTREPRENUER
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ENTERTANMENT
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SPORTS
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola blasted Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz and lamented a number of decisions that cost his side dear after a 2-1 home defeat by Liverpool on Tuesday sealed a 5-1 aggregate Champions League quarter-final win for the five-time European champions.


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola blasted Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz and lamented a number of decisions that cost his side dear after a 2-1 home defeat by Liverpool on Tuesday sealed a 5-1 aggregate Champions League quarter-final win for the five-time European champions.


Guardiola was forced to watch the second half from the stands after being sent off for his protestations at the break as free-spending City's dreams of conquering the Champions League for the first time were dashed for another season.


City led 1-0 on the night at that stage after Gabriel Jesus's second-minute opener, but the hosts felt aggrieved after Leroy Sane had a second goal wrongly disallowed for offside just before half-time.


"It's different to go in 1-0 at half-time to 2-0," said Guardiola, who also believed Liverpool's opener in a 3-0 first-leg win at Anfield last week should have been ruled out for offside.


"When the teams are so equal the impact of these decisions is so big."


Mohamed Salah booked Liverpool's place in the last four for the first time in a decade when he coolly chipped home his 39th goal of the season 11 minutes into the second half before Roberto Firmino inflicted a third consecutive defeat on City for the first time in Guardiola's near two-year reign.


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed the maturity of his side to see out a first-half onslaught.


"The boys found a solution. We had these two or three moments already at end of the first half so it was easy for me and the boys to see the development of the game and that we are already through the whirlwind," said Klopp.


Liverpool trail City by 17 points in the Premier League, but have now beaten Guardiola's men in three of their four meetings this season.


"I really think they are the best team in the world at the moment but I knew we could beat them," added Klopp.


"We should enjoy the moment. It was a while ago Liverpool was in the semis and I was in the semis and now we are there together."



Perfect start

Guardiola admitted beforehand that his side needed the "perfect" performance and the hosts got the perfect start as they opened the scoring after just 117 seconds.


Liverpool were unhappy at Mateu Lahoz in what was to be the start of a controversial night for the Spaniard when Virgil van Dijk claimed he had been pushed by Raheem Sterling in the lead-up to the goal.


The referee was unmoved, though, and with the Dutchman out of position, Fernandinho's through ball found Sterling and his low cross was swept home by Jesus.


Salah had been an injury doubt after limping off in the first leg, but Liverpool were unable to spring the Egyptian free in the first 45 minutes as City peppered the visitors' box with crosses without finding the final touch.


Bernardo Silva saw a deflected effort spin just wide and then rattled the post with a deflected long-range strike.


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few days ago, a US-born college basketball player of Nigerian descent, Arike Ogunbowale, made headlines when she helped her team, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish win the NCAA championship.

The win gave her team their first women basketball title since 2001.

In a semi-final match against Uconn, Arike had beaten the team with a 2-pointer with just 1 second left