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E-commerce giant, Alibaba has disclosed that it sold goods worth $462 billion from March 2015 till today just as it prepares for its financial year end on March 31, 2016.
Its sales was undoubtedly boosted by its massive Singles Day sales in China, selling goods worth $14.1 billion on 11.11.2015. Alibaba also runs a string of other e-commerce sites and will be eyeing the enviable prize of overtaking Walmart as the biggest retail outlet in the world.
The big determinant of this will be their financial statement which will be released in ten years.

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As one of four siblings in the Chicago area, Susie Romans was always looking for a way to make a buck.

"Growing up in a lower-income family, if I ever wanted anything, it was up to me to make it happen," she says. "I realized around age 10 or 11 my parents didn't have extra money."

Romans' parents were Polish immigrants holding working-class jobs, her father in a factory and her mother first as a cleaning lady, then as a daycare worker.

But Romans, who began offering classic kid-size services like dog-walking (50 cents) and pulling weeds (25 cents) along with more elaborate projects like backyard carnivals (10 cents a ticket), "realized I could create money out of nothing if I had an idea I could get out there."

She put her entrepreneurial drive on hold to attend college at the request of her parents, who were determined their daughter would get her degree. Then she continued to follow the traditional career path by taking a job selling telecommunications services to small businesses.

When she moved on to a position in marketing and social media, she realized it was "another experience of creating money out of thin air," she says. "I knew if you called enough people and talked to enough people, you could create money and opportunity out of nothing."

When her daughter was born in 2012, Romans took on a side gig in the form of a lifestyle blog, sharing her life, relationship, and experiences in early motherhood with readers. "I had these days where I'd have like 50,000 hits and crazy traffic, and I'd call my husband at work and be like, 'Something’s working,'" she recalls.

When her son was born two years later, Romans realized it was time to reevaluate. "I was like, here I am with two kids, a corporate career, a blog that's blowing up — something's gotta give, I'm going to go nuts here!" she says. "I had all this experience, and this blog that was getting traffic, and I didn't know what to do with it. I didn't have a business model."

For years, she had been managing social-media sites for small, local businesses on a retainer of about $350 a month, and thanks to her connections in the business community and her corporate expertise in sales and marketing, she figured she should be able to sign some clients on her own as a consultant should she leave her corporate job.

Romans remembers friends and coworkers thinking she was delusional to quit a good, steady job. "I had it made," she says. "They were paying me well, I could work from home, and I was getting bonuses, but there was something greater. I love inspiring people and helping others, and I knew I was meant for something bigger."


Susie Romans lives in the Chicago area with her husband, who is an engineer, and two young children.
Plus, she felt her $50,000-a-year job wasn't keeping up with her life. "It was a very midrange position, and I was young," she says. "I moved fast in my life in every area. I felt like I needed more than that for my lifestyle, for childcare, for a house. I had this whole family and aspirations of doing things on a bigger scale."

In late spring 2014, she pulled the plug on her day job. "I just thought, I know I'm capable of doing more," Romans remembers. "I think this girl can make more money on her own than under this company. I'm a risk-taker — I didn't have a savings plan, I had the mortgage, but I thought I should be able to bring in about $3,000, $4,000 a month on my own."

She based that number on figures she had gleaned from other coaches and consultants who shared their numbers. "I realized people were paid more for the consulting than the implementation," she says. "I'm thinking, 'I can actually do all this stuff, but actually consultants get paid more.'"

She started by ramping down her lifestyle blog and buying her domain name, SusieRomans.com. She bundled some of her insights into $500 packages, branding herself as an online-marketing expert based on the results from the blog she had run for years. She started promoting to local business owners and seizing opportunities anywhere she could, taking speaking engagements everywhere from libraries to the Chamber of Commerce.

"In 90 days, I had a $10,000 month," she says. "That was when everyone around me — my family thought I was a lunatic, doing this with two babies — that's when everyone's eyebrows raised. I've been doing $15,000, $20,000 months ever since."

Today, 28-year-old Romans charges $1,400 for one-on-one coaching and $5,500 for four months. When she realized some prospective clients couldn't afford coaching sessions, she began offering large-scale e-courses like Sweet Freedom Academy  for $975, as well as smaller courses to tackle smaller subjects that kept coming up in conversations with her clients, such as how to get past the fear of failure ($100), and website traffic and visibility ($500). She now takes on only four to five individual clients a month and works 20 hours a week at most.

While she likes the idea of following your passion, she explains that to start your own business in consulting or coaching, passion isn't enough. "Really highly skilled people and people with a high level of expertise can charge premium rates," she says.

"Master your skill," she advises. "Get good at something, because you need something to bring to the table."

 

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Last year, Omilola Oshikoya International debuted its first Do It Afraid conference, an annual event organised to inspire business minded individuals who out of fear, lack the will and conviction to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

In addition to the annual conference, there will now be quarterly sector focused workshops across different sectors.

Do It Afraid Workshops

The workshops are designed to increase technical capacity and provide support for both potential and current entrepreneurs in different sectors. They will also educate these entrepreneurs on how to operate in the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment.

SMEs are important to growth in Nigeria as there are 24 million of them operating in the country. Additionally, it is estimated that they provide half of the total number of jobs and half of the country’s industrial output. Unfortunately, they are strongly restricted in accessing the know-how, resources and capital that they require to grow and expand, with nearly half of SMEs rating access to finance as a major constraint. It is our objective to ensure that the “Do it Afraid” workshop caters to these areas of constraint and acts as an avenue and platform for growth in the Nigerian SME segment.

The first set of workshops will commence this year with the first one focusing on Agriculture themed “Agribusiness, the Next Frontier”.

Why attend the Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Workshop?

The current fall in oil price and economic situation in Nigeria has caused a lot of uncertainties across various sectors such as Oil & Gas, Banking & Finance and Telecoms leading to massive job losses. This calls for future entrepreneurs to take a bold action and step out on their own.

Supported by Bank of Industry, the Agriculture workshop will help enlighten participants about the opportunities in the sector, how they can be seized to generate value, and how they can access the various funds such as the BOI agriculture funds.

The workshop designed to increase technical capacity and provide support for both potential and current business entrepreneurs in Agribusiness will expand on the following:

 Opportunities across the agriculture value chain
Business lessons from agribusiness entrepreneurs
Appropriate financing methods that should be utilised
How to gain access to BOI funds.
Land acquisition
Enterprise Development clinic breakout sessions providing information to participants on starting a business.
Networking Opportunities
Speakers include Seun Abolaji (Founder Wilson’s Juice Company), Shola Sowemimo (Founder, Ope Farms), Ada Osakwe (CEO Agrolay Ventures), Adeniji Kolawole (GMD Niji Group), Amaka Onyejianya (Co-Founder Uwa Earth Foods) and Angel Adelaja(Founder, Fresh Direct Produce and Agro-Allied services).

Date: Sunday, 6th March 2016
Time: 12pm prompt
Venue: Canton Concourse, 12 Landbridge Avenue, Oniru Estate, Victoria Island, lagos

Visit www.omilola.com to register.

Fee: N15,000

You can make payment to:

Account name: Omilola Oshikoya
Bank: GTB
Account number: 0005733803

For sponsorship and enquiries, contact Simisola Agunbiade on 08035788231 or email doitafraid@omilola.com

‘Do It Afraid’ Agribusiness Entrepreneurial workshop is supported by OnoBello.com, Bank of Industry, Invicta Africa , Bella Naija, Pulse Ng, Naij.com, Hello! Nigeria, The Guardian, Guardian Life and Guardian TV

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Nigerian entrepreneur and business mogul, Sim Shagaya has stepped down as the CEO of ecommerce giant Konga.com, he is now the chairman of the company’s Board of Directors.
In his replacement, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Shola Adekoya, will assume duty as the interim CEO until the board appoints a new one.
TechCabal reported that Sim sent an email to Konga staff informing them of this new development, following his meeting with the company’s investors in Amsterdam. Shagaya said the move is in the company’s best interest and that it will serve to improve Konga’s strategy in the long term.
As the chairman, he will become less involved with running the daily affairs of the company. Instead, he will be focusing on the long term vision and strategy.
Furthermore, Shagaya is expected to be more involved in product development guidance, mentoring the management team and shaping company culture
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Uber Technologies Inc said on Wednesday it has received almost $2 billion in funding from Chinese investors, some as part of a recent fundraising round that valued the U.S. firm’s Chinese unit at $7 billion.

Uber’s main global entity received the rest of the money, though the company did not specify how much each unit got. The details were reported by Chinese media on Wednesday and confirmed by an Uber spokeswoman

 Previously unreported Chinese investors include China Minsheng Banking Corp, real estate developer China Vanke Co Ltd and China Broadband Capital.

 Other investors include HNA Group Co Ltd, parent of Hainan Airlines Co Ltd, China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co Ltd, China Life Insurance Co Ltd, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co ltd and CITIC Securities Co Ltd.

Uber’s Chinese unit was valued at $7 billion before taking on investment in its recently-closed Series B funding round, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told reporters in Beijing on Monday
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Africa’s richest man and president of the Dangote group, Aliko Dangote, has announced plans to build a 1100-kilometer gas pipeline in a bid to increase the nation’s current consumption on natural gas from one billion cubic feet to three billion cubic feet.

The pipeline will go through the sea, 550 km each for two lines. This is about 1100km from Bonny to Dangote Industries Free Zone, Lekki, Lagos, producing about three billion cubic feet of gas. “At the moment, the entire consumption of Nigeria is one billion cubic feet. So, we are going to triple that all at a stretch,” said Aliko Dangote on a tour of the refinery, fertiliser and petrochemical complex being built in Lagos.

Nigeria, the 9th largest gas reserve in the world and the 22nd biggest producer of natural gas, has been unable to meet the demand for power supply in the country. As such, Dangote looks to explore and utilise the country’s untapped reserve of natural gas, enabling effective energy generation in addition to constant power supply.

Africa’s largest economy depends on natural gas for about 80 percent of its electricity generation, but the country suffers from a gas supply shortfall to its power plants. An increase from one billion cubic feet of gas to three billion cubic feet has the potential to improve Nigeria’s power generation. In October 2015, when Abdulazeez Abdullahi, spokesman of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, was quizzed on the improved power supply in his state, he noted that the improvement in electricity power supply had to do with an increase in the supply of gas to the power generation companies.
The case of an epileptic power supply in Nigeria has been traced to vandalisation of various gas pipelines. Therefore there is a need for the government and other invested authorities to maintain adequate security to safeguard the gas pipelines to ensure stable power supply across the nation
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The world’s five richest people lost over $8.7 billion this week in a global stock selloff sparked by weak factory data in China and a flareup in tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos led decliners on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index in the first trading day of 2016, losing $3.7 billion as the world’s largest online retailer fell 5.8 percent. His net worth is now $56 billion. Spain’s Amancio Ortega dropped $2.5 billion to $70.4 billion as his Inditex SA, the biggest fashion retailer, fell 3.5 percent. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett, Mexico’s Carlos Slim and Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, the richest person on the planet, lost a combined $2.5 billion.
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Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Board of Directors, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has been named among the “100 most influential Africans of 2015.”

The list published by pan African magazine ‘New African’ presents Africa’s definitive power list and profiles the continent’s top game changers in eight different fields: Politics, Public Office, Arts and Culture, Business, Civil Society, Technology, Media, and Sports.

Elumelu’s role as a game changer making a difference, changing perceptions and shaping our definition of what is possible in this increasingly global and interconnected world is why he made the cut.

Also on the list are President Mohammadu Buhari and former President Goodluck Jonathan. Both President Buhari and Jonathan made the list for the significant role they played in Nigeria’s 2015 elections, which saw the first successful transfer of power from a ruling government to an opposition party in Nigeria. Jonathan’s humility in defeat and Buhari’s magnanimity in victory ensured that Nigeria avoided a post-election crisis.

Other Nigerians recognized include:

Minister of Environment and former UN Special Advisor on Post Development Planning, Amina J Mohammed for her contributions to the shaping of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
AfDB’s new President and former Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, for his contribution in curb corruption of the fertilizer distribution scheme and improvement in agricultural production.

Nigerian Diasporan, UK MP and Labour Party leadership hopeful, Chuka Umunna for the significant positive recognition he has brought Nigerians in the UK.

Arumah Oteh, World Bank Vice-President and Treasurer for her elevation to one of the most significant positions at the World Bank.
According to the Group Publisher, New African, Omar Ben Yedder, the list of “100 Most Influential Africans” celebrates the “men, women and organizations that have shaped our beloved continent, the trail blazers, influencers and the rising stars who are redefining Africa’s future in the various spheres in which they operate.”

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As one of the most well-known sharks on 'Shark Tank,' Mark Cuban didn't get where he is with luck alone. However, just like any other entrepreneur and investor, he had plenty of stumbles along the way.
 
 Are you willing to take the advice Mark Cuban has to offer? If so, you can streamline the entrepreneurial process and maybe even surpass his success one day. Just imagine how successful Cuban would be had he been able to give his younger self advice. Here are 10 tips he would have given to his younger self that you can repurpose for your own goal setting:

1. On tunnel vision

"Stay focused and believe in yourself and trust your own ability and judgment," says Cuban. There will always come times when you doubt yourself, but they should be few and far between. Having a bit of tunnel vision can be very helpful to entrepreneurs as long as you're looking down the right tunnel.

2. On preparation

"If you're prepared and you know what it takes, it's not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there." Of course, that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of obstacles. Unfortunately, too many people give up too soon. It's the figuring out how to get there that separates entrepreneurs from wantrepreneurs.

3. On wealth

"Being rich is a good thing. Not just in the obvious sense of benefiting you and your family, but in the broader sense. Profits are not a zero-sum game. The more you make, the more of a financial impact you have." There is no shame in wealth or wanting to be wealthy, but make sure you look beyond the apparent pluses of it.

4. On tech versus business

"There's way too much hype on the technologies and not enough attention on the real businesses behind them." Pay more attention to the businesses and the people, and you'll bypass a lot of the white noise the products make. You need both tech and business for a success story.

5. On work

"Work harder and smarter than most people in the businesses," says Cuban. It sounds obvious, but so many people want to take short cuts. If you do more, you get more. It's actually a pretty simple equation.

6. On improvements

"Continuously look for ways to improve all of your companies, and always be selling. Always." There is no such thing as an entrepreneur who is not also a great salesperson. There is no such thing as a perfect company. Keep moving up and forward.

7. On sweat equity

"Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do, or don't do it." This is the kind of sage advice you'd expect from someone a little "softer" than Cuban. However, if he's pushing passion projects, you know it's a winning strategy.

8. On customer service

"Treat your customers like they own you. Because they do." You won't have a business without customers--period. No matter how much success you enjoy, without customer service you won't reach your top potential.

9. On professional relationships
 "You can accomplish much, much more with direct relationships than by using an intermediary. And that cash you keep in the bank can be the difference between staying alive as a small business or not." This is where those customer service skills come into play again. Networking and relationships are the backbone of an entrepreneur's success.

10. On guaranteed returns

"If you've got $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, you're better off paying off any debt you have because that's a guaranteed return." Debt can destroy a business. Get in the clear before you branch out.

Since hindsight is 20/20, why not rely on the laser-focused perspective of someone who's been there, done that? There is no reason to reinvent the wheel, especially in the realm of entrepreneurship. Let a shark show you the way and you'll avoid a lot of hassles.
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According to the principal partner of Gaca Awards, Mr. Robinson Koyoyo, the Garden City Advancement Awards is aimed at celebrating virtues of excellence. This year, the theme was ' Attaining Industrialization Through Good Governance.'

Amongst the list of recipients was the prestigious and reputable NIGERIA AGIP OIL COMPANY(NAOC) which was honored at the Garden City Advancement Awards & Summit as an Organization Making a Difference in the MULTINATIONAL COMPANY OF THE YEAR award category was presented to Paolo Carnevale GMD NAOC JV . This award is in recognition of NAOC tremendous contributions in the promotion of Local Content, Community Development Project, Value Chain and Local Communities Relations with the aim of supporting SMEs/entrepreneurship. The award was also given for their involvement in socio-economic activities , the high level of professionalism and excellent leadership role demonstrated over the years in the oil and gas industry having over 90% of her staff strength as Nigerian Industries with great percentage (90%) of indigenous contractors is worthy of emulation.

The event which took place at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt on the 31st Oct 2015 was highly successful and was hosted by Mr Benson Uwheru a corporate governance expert. In attendance was CP Musa Kimo Commissioner of Police, Rivers State who spoke on Peace and Security: A Panacea to Economic Development. Also in attendance was Mrs Titi Horsfall an Oil & Gas Expert and Novelist, who delivered a mind blowing keynote speech on mentoring the Youth for Strategic Leadership: Issues and the way forward.

Other award recipients at the ceremony included Sir Mike Elechi ,Dr (Mrs) Ngeri Benebo , Bro Felix Obuah, Mrs Titi Horsfall, Mr Elvis Donkemezuo, Sir Wilcox Abereton, EPEANAL Group, El-Totuama International Services LTD, Jephthah Comprehensive Sec. Sch. Ph, VIP Express Tourism LTD,AIT Port Harcourt, VIEW POINT-Rhythm 93.7 Ph and Family Love FM Ph, Cosmo Lounge, Community Initiative For amongst others. HERITAGE-PLUS official organizer of the event sincerely appreciate Amano Image, EZ Comm Resources LTD, Orange Magazine & MTN for their support to make the event a reality.

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