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Oke Maduewesi is the CEO of Zaron group of companies, and a proud mother of two adorable girls, Zara and Ona. Oke is a firm believer of hard work and self-drive, which she has named as key values that helped her grow into the woman that she is today.

She holds a degree in Economics, from Edo State University, Ekpoma and a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) from University of Leeds, United Kingdom. She started her career in one of the most respected banks in Nigeria, Zenith Bank International and worked her way up to the position of Senior (Branch) Manager.

In 2006, she lost her husband in a tragic plane crash, and was left to nurse a toddler and a pregnancy. In spite of the sorrowful period Oke took the pen of life and rewrote her story. She decided to move out of her comfort zone to do more fulfilling things.

She quit her paid job and decided to get more managerial and leadership skills. She enrolled in Leeds Business School. While in school she read about a lot of entrepreneurs like Richard Brandson who created global brands from the scratch. Her studies ignited the entrepreneurial spirit coupled with her self-drive and personal attitude to work. In 2011, she created Zaron, a cosmetics company for dark skinned women, particularly Nigerian women.

Today, Zaron manufactures and distributes cosmetics and hair products which has been tailored to the specific needs of African women. Zaron currently has 26 outlets in twelve cities in Nigeria and Ghana as well as distributors in three African countries, United Kingdom and USA. As part of the brand’s community service, Zaron keeps empowering Nigerian widows.

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Starting all over again after the failure of a business venture or something one holds dear can be very hard but Nollywood actress Funke Adesiyan is advising her fans never to be afraid of beginning again.

The actress shared on her Instagram page how she became a millionaire early in life, almost lost all but now has over four resourceful companies.

She wrote:

Let me tell you a story. I am a product of God’s Grace. I was the Games Prefect at my elementary school, I was the Senior Prefect of the secondary school I attended.

I started modelling at 13. I started business at 14. At 17 I made my first million. At 19, I built my first house. At 24, i already have OND, a diploma and a degree.

At 25, I ran a presidential campaign for one of the greatest men Nigeria is blessed with, Mallam Shekarau. At 26, I opened a fashion emporium in my home town which cost me over 20 million naira then.

But guess what, at 27, I had lost almost all. This was the period I knew people for what they are. God used this period to prepare me for a better tomorrow.

Instead of sulking, I looked inward and found a renewed strength within me. I sold my car, started all over but this time, quietly. I found a new calling. To live my life for people who are truly in need and have nothing to even give you in return but a most sincere prayer to God almighty.

To the glory of God today, I am the CEO of four resourceful companies with interest in Importation, Oil and Gas, Integrated services and Farming. Guess what? I’m yet to begin! Whatever your disappointment, see it as an opportunity. Never be scared to begin again. Everyday is always a new day!!! Before you envy my success, learn my pain!#funkeadesiyan #ibadan#silentbusinessmogul

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Recent trend globally shows that the labour force has overtime shifted from use of slaves to employing full time staff, contract staff and now consultancy, this implies that we exist in a knowledge driven society were becoming a professional in your field is key to individual and nations survival, meaning that organizations, nations and people are gradually in search of knowledge driven workers regardless of location, age, education, background etc

THE PEOFILE is here to identify profiles and share the identity of emerging and savvy professionals in different sphere of life.

We desire to erect a platform were producers, service providers, consumers, developers, researchers, policy makers, employers and employees among others can access at ease ideas, values and featured profiles of their direct and indirect audience.

THE PROFILES  VALUES

The value that determines THE PROFILES includes: Excellence, Innovation, Integrity, Leadership, Accountability and Service.

With so many entreprenuers,leaders,investors and change agents, all around africa, we need your help to identify them.

To nominate a person to be profiled, simply send an email to theprofile@blueprintafric.com with a detailed info and contact of your nominee.

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Zara’s founder, Amancio Ortega, just surpassed Bill Gates to become the richest man in the world.

Shares of the Spanish retailer’s parent company, Inditex, rose 2.5%. That boosted Ortega’s fortune to $79.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Bill Gates’ net worth is $78.5 billion.

Despite Ortega’s impressive net worth, many people have never heard of him.

The 80-year-old Spaniard fiercely guards his privacy and gives few interviews to the press.

Ortega founded fast-fashion giant Zara with his then-wife Rosalia in 1975. Today, his retail company Inditex SA – which owns Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Pull&Bear – has over 6,600 outposts around the world.

Amancio Ortega is the richest man in the world, with a net worth estimated at $79.5 billion.

Ortega is known for being private. In 2012, Bloomberg noted that he had only granted interviews to three journalists.

He also dresses modestly. He usually wears a simple uniform of a blue blazer, white shirt, and gray pants — none of which are Zara products.

He goes to the same coffee shop every day and eats lunch with his employees in the company cafeteria. Here’s a picture of Zara’s headquarters:

In his free time, Ortega enjoys horseback riding and owns an equestrian center in Finisterre in Galicia, Spain.

He also bought the tallest skyscraper in Spain, the Torre Picasso in Madrid. The building stands 515 feet and cost $536 million.

He owns The Epic Residences and Hotel in Miami, considered to be one of the best luxury hotels in the US.

Ortega drives an Audi A8 luxury sedan that is said to be more about comfort than luxury.

He also owns The Global Express BD-700, a private jet designed by Bombardier, one of the leading manufacturers of luxury private jets. The plane carries a price tag of $45 million.

But he rarely jets off on vacation. He says he loves working too much to take time off.

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When she came up with the idea for The Shade Room (TSR) in 2014,, Angelica Nwandu was broke, unemployed, and had no blogging experience. But she believed in her idea. The Shade Room is a news site that follows trending stories and the actions of celebrities in real time,  Nwandu started an Instagram account and began to anonymously blog about celebrities. She spends hours scouring the social media pages of famous and borderline-famous people, and report on their lives based on their social media activity. TSR attracted more than 700,000 followers within its first year, which led to he New York Times calling it the TMZ of Instagram.

Angelica's focus has always been on the news and celebrities that interest the African-American community. In addition to giving plenty of blog space to stars such as Chris Brown and Nikki Minaj, TSR covers breaking news and political topics — from #BlackLivesMatter to #BlackGirlMagic — from the point of view of people of color.

Today, the Shade Room properties — which include a website, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube pages — have amassed a following of more than 8 million people. Nwandu, 26, who made this year's Forbes' 30 Under 30 list, says she wants to create nothing short of a media empire.

When I was 6 years old, I lost my mother at the hands of my father to domestic violence, and I entered the foster care system. Trying to cope with the pain and confusion of the situation led to me getting in trouble in school. I was angry all the time, and I was fighting a lot with other kids. When I was 12, I met one of my mentors, Zaid Gayle, from Peace for Kids. It's a program that helps foster youth find creative outlets to let their anger out. I joined the poetry program because I didn't want to do anything else like music or art. Writing became my therapy. I stopped fighting. I was doing well in school. I started to see myself as different than my circumstances.

I went to Loyola Marymount University on a full scholarship. I studied accounting and human resources. My biggest concern was that I had to support myself. Who else was going to help me?

After graduation in2012, I was hired to work with a senior accountant at a motorcycle shop in Los Angeles. I did the daily grunt work of paperwork and filing taxes.

I hated my job. After two years, I told Zaid that I wanted to be a writer. I was worried that he would think I was a failure. When I chose accounting as a major, Zaid set up meetings with executives in the industry, so I could pick their brains and make connections. Now I wanted to turn my back on that path. But Zaid surprised me. He was like, "Finally. I was waiting on you to do what I know you're supposed to do."

The next week Zaid introduced me to Jordana Spiro, who had done volunteer work with Peace for Kids and was writing a screenplay about a foster youth whose father killed her mother. It was very similar to my own story. The first time we sat down together, we knew we had to write this together.

Jordana had a screenwriting degree and a lot of technical experience. I knew how to put my heart and soul into everything. I would contribute ideas and experiences, and she taught me how to shape them into a script. She lived in New York, so we would send scenes back and forth to each other, and I would [take days off the accounting job], fly out, and spend weeks writing with her. She would often pay for my tickets because she knew I didn't have any money.

We were working on the script for about six months when we submitted it to the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab [a two-week incubator for beginning filmmakers]. When they chose us, I didn't know how big of a deal it was. I just felt validated that I was doing what I should be doing. Once we got to the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah, I met people who had been submitting their work for years and never made it in. I was only 23, and I hadn't written anything but poetry before.

The program is like a boot camp. You're paired with amazing writers and directors who are great mentors, but they also break down everything you've written — completely tear it apart. At times I thought, Why did you even choose me? But then they build you back up again and push you to think about your writing in different ways. It helped Jordana and me reshape the screenplay, which has been in progress for three years. We hope our latest rewrite will get picked up.

Midway through the program, you're asked to present something you've written before to the audience of mentors and students. Big directors like Quentin Tarantino came to see us. Everyone else had short films to show. I didn't have anything except for some of my poetry.

I was about to get on stage and my boss called me. It was January; tax season. He yelled into the phone, "You'd better hop on a plane and come back here tomorrow or you're fired." I still had another week left of the program. In that moment I thought, Either I choose my dream or I choose my job. I said, "There is no way I'm coming back tomorrow and losing this opportunity." And he said, "Fine, then you quit."

When I hung up the phone, I was like, You're so stupid. How are you going to pay your rent when you get back home? But I had to go on stage. The poem was very emotional, about my parents and my childhood. As I started to read it, I was bawling. By the end, the audience stood up and clapped, but all I wanted to do was run to the bathroom and cry, and try to figure out my life.

As I was walking off the stage, Michelle Satter, who is the founding director of the Sundance Institute, came up to me and said, "Angelica, I have to give you a grant so you can start writing." It was enough money to last me a few months. Jordana gave me money as well because she said she believed in me and she wanted me to be a part of the film.

I went to New York for a month to work on a rewrite with Jordana. Then I came back to L.A. to brainstorm my next project. I had no idea how to be a writer [on my own]. I started reading screenplays and watching old movies trying to research and learn the craft.

I also spent a lot of time reading celebrity blogs. It was early 2014, and the Chris Brown and Rihanna drama was happening. I had always loved entertainment and celebrities like a normal person does, but I didn't get obsessed until I didn't have anything else to do. All my friends thought I was a loser because all I was doing was watching the celebrity blogs and sending them updates about what was going on.

One day, it clicked. I thought, If I'm always on these sites and I enjoy this, let me figure out a way to create my own blog. I didn't know how to create a website, so I started an Instagram and began publishing articles to The Shade Room.

I would watch celebrities on Instagram and Twitter and write about what they were saying, what they were doing, what they were posting, every little thing they said in the comments. I didn't know how to make money, but I knew that if I got a lot of followers, it could help me build a website, which could translate into money eventually.

My goal for the year was to get 10,000 followers. It was not going to be my full-time job. I thought I'd be writing screenplays. But once I started blogging, I became obsessed with it. Every new follower I got, I wanted more. Buy the end of the first week and a half, I had over 10,000 followers.

One of the first stories I did was on a popular transgender model named Amiyah Scott. She was having a messy breakup. She came and commented on the story, then her boyfriend would respond to her in the comments. Then they started fighting on our page, and it just got crazy. Very rarely did celebrities use blogs as a platform to communicate with each other, and The Shade Room quickly became the place for them to do that. We've had everyone from the Kardashains to Nicki Minaj to 50 Cent commenting on our Instagram. And Chris Brown is a regular.

Initially, the mission of The Shade Room was to get down to the truth of any situation, whether it's politics, celebrity news, or covering a black boy being shot. What sets us apart is that we are a click away from the celebrities we're writing about. They are talking on social media, we are talking about them on social media, so it's easy for them to come right to us to continue the conversation. And everyone who follows these celebrities can join in the conversation as well. The comments on every post are just as important as the [initial] story.

For the first nine months, I was blogging on my own — all day, all night, and I didn't sleep. I didn't make any money. Friends would say, "You're wasting your life on Instagram. Just get a real job and come back to this later." But I knew it wasn't something I could come back to. I was up to 500,000 followers, and I could see the potential to grow even more.

In July 2014, I had gotten down to negative $400 in my bank account and rent was due. I wrote a check to my manager knowing it was going to bounce. I had three days to figure out a way to make some money before I'd start incurring fees or get evicted.

I decided that day to start a store on Big Cartel, an online marketplace. I created ad packages for small businesses [such as clothing and beauty companies] to buy posts on The Shade Room. You can't sell traditional ads on Instagram. They purchased [promotional] posts that I would write. I was almost instantly bombarded with payments from businesses. Then I spent $45 and created a website on WordPress. I put up Google Ads and started collecting money almost instantly. By the time my landlord cashed that check, I had funds ready in my account.

In September 2015, I hired my first employee, an assistant. I was getting so tired I almost couldn't do it anymore. And there was a young woman who kept emailing me saying she wanted to work for The Shade Room. Then I hired a brand manager because a recent Morehouse graduate kept emailing me saying I needed one. He didn't have any experience. My assistant had never written anything before. But I saw a hunger in them that I saw in myself. I had never run a media company before, but I was passionate about it. We now have 20 paid employees. Everyone I hire has that fire to just make something happen.

I created a community for my followers, who I call Roommates, to be a part of something. I have paparazzi everywhere, and no one knows what they look like. They send us their tips, photos, and videos of what they see, and my writers fact check by doing research, gathering evidence  — every Roommate talk must come with picture/video/logistic evidence — and/or contacting the celeb's team personally to verify. I can't say we're completely unbiased. I like to think we represent the popular black opinion on these situations. We express what our followers feel.

Our Instagram was deleted in December 2014. It turned out to be an accident, but we had to build our audience from scratch. In April this year, Facebook deleted The Shade Room's account [citing violation of its community standards], and we lost 4.4 million followers. All those hours. All that sacrifice. I didn't know if I could do it all over again. Now the Instagram page is at 5 million followers, and our new Facebook page has more than 200,000. People come back to us. It's a brand they want.

I don't take vacation. If I got a week off, The Shade Room would probably burn down. As the business grows, I have to learn to delegate. The problem is I can't take my claws out of it. I love it too much. I definitely want to fall in love and have a normal, stable life. It's just not going to be for a while. The dreams that I have are so big that I don't think I can rest until I achieve them.

We have a lot of offers on the table from studios wanting to invest to make us a digital empire. I intend to partner with someone who will allow that to happen. I want to build a digital network and create scripted shows, not just celebrity and entertainment news.

I definitely think about how rare it is to be a young black woman running a media business. I have to convince myself every day I can do it. I've never had anyone in my family reach this level of success, or even have this kind of opportunity. Every day, I try to see myself in the light of a businesswoman, and not that girl who has all this baggage. I'm still dealing with some of the trauma I went through as a child because I blocked it out growing up. But nothing I went through has stopped me from being successful. If anything, it's contributed to my journey. It inspired me to find a creative outlet in writing. I think that my story is proof of what can happen when you believe in yourself.

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The kids are taking over!

Mikaila Ulmer is an 11 year old Texas girl who got $60,000  on the hit TV show “Shark Tank” last year.

Now the products from  her lemonade making company, Beesweet Lemonade are flying off the shelves of top retail stores and this little girl is giving talks at top conferences and summits alongside adult business men and women. She has also served her Lemonade to Barack Obama!

When she was four years old, she was stung by two bees in one week. She was terrified of bees but her mother, D’Andra, turned the experience into an insect research assignment where Mikaila learned more about bees.

She later decided to make lemonades that will be and sweetened with honey instead of sugar to save the bees from extinction and support beekeepers.

She has just scored a sweet $11 million deal with Whole Foods to sell her brand of lemonade which means BeeSweet Lemonade will be carried by 55 stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Here are 5 things you should know about the little genius:

1. She won $60,000 at the tender age of 10 on the show, Shark Tank

2. The original recipe for Beesweet Lemonade was made from her grandmother’s recipe for flaxseed lemonade and sweetened with honey

3. The flavors have now expanded to 4 other flavours – BeeSweet Lemonade , Original Mint, BeeSweet Lemonade with Ginger. BeeSweet Lemonade with Iced Tea and BeeSweet Lemonade with Prickly Pear

4. She has also secured a distribution deal with United Natural Foods.

5. Mikaila donates a portion of the lemonade’s profits to organizations that work to save honeybees.

6. Let’s not forget she began Beesweet Lemonade because she wanted to save the bees
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Who doesn’t know that diamonds are a girl’s best friend? But how about diamonds are a girl’s business?

Sound hard to belief right?

Wait till you meet Thelma West – the diamond Jeweller. Not only has she built a successful business (Thelma West) in an industry where there are few Africans, talk more of women, she has raised a formidable 10 woman team to help her do it.

Thelma’s story is an interesting one.

At first she wanted to be an engineer. But soon after she left Nigeria for Britain at the age of 16, her passion for jewellery took over

At the age of 17,  she headed for Antwerp, the world’s diamond capital. There, she enrolled at the internationally renowned Hoge Raad Voor Diamant school to hone her skills. She endured rejection for a while before an Orthodox Jew diamond dealer gave her a chance

Years later, she has a successful business running with a 10 woman team

Her dream is to empower more women and girls.

Her plans include to open a workshop in Nigeria she would"train girls in the art of making jewellery

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Shade Ladipo has been announced as the new Executive Director for WEConnect International in Nigeria

WEConnect International is an organization that seeks to break down the barriers that prevent women business owners from thriving by helping them to interact with peers and gain access to growth opportunities with major regional and global corporations.

Below is Shade’s profile as described by the WEConnect:

At the age of 25, Shade founded Avienti Limited – a Destination Management Company with three offices in Nigeria. She has worked with the United Nations Volunteers Nigeria and several advertising agencies where she specialized in event management, account management, and client services and strategy.

Shade is one of the founding members of the Lagos Global Shapers and represents Nigeria at World Economic Forum events. She is also the Co-Founder of Enough Is Enough Nigeria, now one of the most vocal non-partisan organizations credited to being a major part of the platforms for young people in deciding Nigeria’s path of change.

Shade has been recognized by several platforms for her work as a change agent and businesswoman. She has been nominated at the Future Awards Africa Awards, chosen as 101 Young Acheivers at the African Business Forum in Accra Ghana in 2008, and selected as a Goldman Sachs fellow.

Shade is also a public speaker and regularly appears on radio programs and at live events about everything she is passionate about including leading a successful business in Nigeria.
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Folorunsho Alakija Is the only Nigerian woman on Forbes 2016 World billionires List. There were 4 other Nigerians on the list. In total there are 190 women on the list.

The 65 year old power woman is number 1121 on the list of 1,810 world billionaires. Her networth is pinned at |$1.6 billion which she got mainly from oil.

An interesting female entrant to the 2016 World Billionaire list is Zhou Qunfei. Her $5.9 billion fortune gotten from smartphone screens is enough to make her the richest self-made woman in the world.
The World’s Billionaires is an annual ranking of the world’s wealthiest people, compiled and published by the American business magazine Forbes in March
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A 30-year-old Nigerian phone entrepreneur by the name of Michael Akindele has been making great strides in the mobile device market — so much so, that he has been challenging tech giants such as Apple. The company, SOLO Phone, was started in 2012, and Akindele serves as director and co-founder. The company is aimed at delivering mobile solutions, services, and platforms to consumers all at a reasonable price.

The company’s smartphones are priced at $150 and come with up to 20 million free songs licensed by Sony, Universal, and Warner. Its latest release is an app named Video-On-Demand, available to all Nigerians with an Android device and makes available Nollywood and Hollywood movies. SOLO Phone is making strides in the market and can definitely challenge other giants within the market, believes Akindele.

 Akindele was born in the United States to Nigerian parents on Aug. 29, 1984. He returned to Nigeria at two-years-old but returned to the states ten years later. He was educated at Alexandria, Virginia and graduated from T.C. Williams High School, and then moved on to George Mason University in Fairfax. While at George Mason, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a focus on computer science and information technology. This gave him the ideal background, knowledge, and platform to building his company

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