close

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship

“Digital Marketing, Innovation For Business Growth”

The Vortex
features correspondent Manasseh F. Paul-Worika speaks with Ellah Innocent, an
indigene of Omoku in Rivers State. Innocent, a graduate of
Electrical/Electronic Engineering from the University of Port Harcourt and
Chief Executive of BluePen media in Port Harcourt.

Tell us about BluePen
Media.

BluePen Media is a multimedia firm that offers services in
graphics designing, branding and social media management. We also render
professional services in Photo/Video editing, Whiteboard/2D animations and
digital marketing. Our goal is to create top notch contents for our clients who
wish to reach out to more customers via the internet.

 What Inspired BluePen Media?              

As a student, I had the opportunity of learning programming,
web designing and graphic designing from some friends. I found it fascinating
and decided to improve my knowledge and skill in it. I also discovered enormous
opportunities in digital marketing, graphics designing and video editing and
decided to delve into this field to assist business owners and organizations
reach a wider audience with their services.

What’s the most
fascinating thing about your job?

The ability to think and conceptualize. Bringing the ideas
of my clients into reality through graphics or web designing is tasking but
fascinating too. When I am on a job, I think like there is no box at all. I
think creatively to ensure I give my clients the best for their businesses.

How can business
owners benefit from digital marketing?

In a world where technology is fast growing and taking over
every sector, business owners need digital marketing to drive their products,
contents or services to their target audience faster and at low cost. You can
showcase what services you render, your contents and goods to a large audience
using social media, the internet etc. It simply means business owners do not
need to go through the routine method of even owning a physical shop. You can
create a system that will enable people reach you irrespective of your
location. With digital marketing, business owners will save more time,
resources and money.

What challenges do
you encounter?

Creativity is one thing that makes our job outstanding.
Sometimes it could be difficult coming up with a really creative idea for
clients especially within a short time. This has been a challenge to me. Also,
in a world where competition is on the rise, staying in the game is another
challenge. But it only makes me improve and reach out for more.

What keeps you going?

The desire to accomplish new task and make my brand the best
amongst others.

What makes BluePen
Media different from other media firms?

We are detailed, ensuring we render quality services to our
clients. Customer satisfaction is our watchword so we create a friendly
environment for our clients to do business. We’ve also created platforms to
enable our clients connect with us irrespective of their location.

How has your business
helped you?     

It has improved my skills, created opportunities for me to
meet with people who I consider “Gurus” in this field. And then the financial
benefits too has helped me.

How does BluePen
operate?

Clients can connect us on our social media platforms or
visit our office to get their jobs done.

What are your
projections?

Expansion is what every business aims at. At BluePen, we are
not looking at expanding alone, but to be one of the finest multimedia firms in
the country, providing our clients with real solutions with just few clicks on
their smart phones.

How has competition
from others influenced you?

There are lots of designers and digital marketers but not
all move me. Those who are outstanding make me push to be more creative and
think outside the box. Basically, competition is needed for growth, but I try
to careful so I don’t work under undue pressure.

Advice to youths
waiting for white collar jobs

I’ll advice youths to invest in creativity and proffering
solutions to problems. Start up that business and ensure you put in your best
to make it great. Time is of essence; don’t fold your hands waiting for white
collar jobs. Do something creative and productive that’ll make you stand out.

Advice to young
entrepreneurs?

So many persons tend to give up once they notice their
business seem to be generating returns. They allow complacency creep in and at
the end of the day, they end up shutting down the business. There will be
challenges. All you need is to stay strong, hold on and believe that it won’t
end there. Keep doing what you love doing and always seek the wisdom of God to
lead you.

read more
Entrepreneurship

‘PH Presents Enormous Business Opportunities For Make-Up Artistes’

The Vortex
features correspondent, Manasseh F. Paul-Worika speaks with Miss. Ikiozigha
Ebipade Gift, from Agge town in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa
State. A 300level student of Management at the University of Port Harcourt, she
is the CEO of Gif_tore_touch in Port Harcourt.

Tell Us about Your
job?

I’m a makeover artist. I also work as a make-up consultant.
And I own “gif_tore_touch”. It is  a
company that gives top notch make-over sessions and also render professional
consultancy in the art of make-up to both individuals and corporate bodies.

How long have you
been in the business?

Professionally, I started three years ago (2016). But before
then, I had been on several trainings in make-over. I decided to start my own
brand in 2016.

How has the Journey
been?

It hasn’t been smooth, but it has been God all the way. I’ve
had times when I felt like giving up, but prospects of the future kept me on
track. Simply, the journey has been life-changing and exposing.

Why make-over?

I’ll say growing up as a child; I never liked how adults
(females) around me looked in make-ups. Sometimes, it looked too horrible for
my liking, and I thought I could do something better. Asides the fact I wanted
to do something better, I’ll say I had great passion for makeovers. And so, my
desire to do something different and the passion I had for the art pushed me
into it.

About unemployment in
Nigeria?

It’s really saddening. The unemployment rate in Nigeria is
terrifying and I believe Government can do more in addressing this menace.
Government should invest in skills acquisition trainings and creating
alternative measures to handling the inadequate job opportunities in the
country.

Make-up artist and
make-up consultant, how does it work?

As a make-up artist, I get to meet a lot of people with
different faces and skin. Being a consultant helps me keep my client’s faces in
order, by giving them tips and maybe products that could help their look.

What challenges do
you encounter?

My biggest challenge has been turning down customers demand
because of academic work. It’s really a big challenge.

How do you cope as a
student?

I’ll say it’s been God. I’ve not had any time my work and
academic activities clash. But even if it does, at this point in time, I don’t
think I can sacrifice my academics for my work. If I find myself in a situation
where I have a major job to do and it clashes with my academic work, I’ll
simply refer my client to someone else I know can do the job perfectly. But in
all, I think proper planning has helped me in handling such situations.

Impact of other
make-up artistes on you.

I’ll say it has helped me grow and become better. When I
realize that there are lots of make-up artists in town and people have enough
options to pick from, I simply give my best to ensure I’m among the best
make-up artists in town and in the country. I wouldn’t say I’m perturbed; I do
my best and ensure I make significant progress each day.

What are your
projections?

In the next three years, I don’t just want to be a great
make-up artists; I’m looking forward to having my own make over products. Build
an institution where I will teach people professional makeovers and be at the
top of my business line.

What’s the price for
makeover sessions?

Pricing is based on some factors. I consider the
personality, event and the class of products to be used. There are high class
products and regular products. High class products are usually for bridal
makeovers, which are expensive and cost ranges from #10,000 – #100,000. Regular
makeovers are for normal outings, birthdays, dinners, etc.  and price ranges from #3,000 – #5,000.

Your advice to other
youths.

There’s something every youth can do. There’s no need
waiting for white collar jobs anymore. Besides, the society is not about what
you study, but what you can do that puts food on your table. Do whatever you
have great passion for, leave your comfort zone and you’ll become successful.

Advice to young
entrepreneurs?

So many persons tend to give up once they notice their
business seem to be generating returns. They allow complacency creep in and at
the end of the day; they end up shutting down the business. There will be
challenges.  All you need is to stay
strong, hold on and believe that it won’t end there. Keep doing what you love
doing and always seek the wisdom of God to lead you.

Is Port Harcourt
business friendly?

I’m not from Rivers State, but I’ve lived here for a while.
Truth is, there are lots of opportunities in Port Harcourt. Port Harcourt is
business-friendly and I believe any serious minded person can become successful
here. I’ll advice all youths to leverage on the enormous opportunities Port
Harcourt presents.

read more
Entrepreneurship

‘We Create Accessories To Complement Dressing’

The Vortex features correspondent Manasseh F. Paul-Worika speaks with Okwu Chituru, an indigene of Port Harcourt LGA in Rivers State and a 300 Level student of Linguistics and Communication Studies, at the University of Port Harcourt. Chituru  is the CEO of  Groovit Enterprises based in Port Harcourt.

Tell us about
Groovit.   

Groovit is a one-stop online store that produces and
supplies accessories for both male and female outfits. The unique thing about
Groovit is that we major on accessories and not making of outfits. As the name
suggest, we are committed to ensuring that clients and customers Groove which
ever outfit they choose with our exclusive and beautiful accessories. Our
products are Tie clips, Lapel Roses, Brooches, Collar Pins, etc.

What’s the
Inspiration behind Groovit?

Fashion is a lifestyle. It has been an aspect of life I paid
attention to from my days as a child. Particularly, I love seeing people look
beautiful in any outfit they choose. And that spurred me to start up a business
that will cater for the needs of fashion lovers at least to give them a touch
of class.

And then, I needed to be financially independent and not
depend on anyone for basic needs. That also inspired me to start up my
business.

On Government effort
in tackling unemployment?

To an extent, I will say government are trying in the best
ways they can to tackle unemployment. But more can be done because the rate of
unemployment in the country is on the rise every day.

I’ll suggest to the government to focus on providing
platforms for skill acquisition and development. Since everyone may not get
access to the limited departments, agencies and ministries available, an
alternative means of keeping youths engaged would be to invest in skill
acquisition programs.

How long have you
been in the business?

Groovit is six months old.

The Journey so far?

Honestly, it hasn’t been smooth. I’ve had ups and downs and
times when I feel I should just give up. But I’m still here, and I know I’ll be
here for a long time God willing.

Challenges so far?

Basically, it’s been the issue of finance to expand my
business and put things in place. But I’m not letting that affect me as I make
do with what I have now while I look forward to bigger days.

Projections?

There’s so much I’m working on to achieve with Groovit; At
least to make my brand one of the biggest in Port Harcourt and the Nation soon.
But for now, I’m trying to build my online presence.

How does Groovit
operate?

Groovit is an online store and since I cannot handle a
physical shop at this stage because of academic activities, I use social media
(Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook etc platforms to advertize our products and also
get orders from customers. It’s easy, efficient and effective.

How do you cope as a
student?

I’ve not had a serious clash with my academic activities.
Besides, if I sense jobs I have to do clash with my academics, I’ll decline
such jobs because at this stage, my academics is more important. I also believe
planning has helped me in handling some situations.              

How has your business
helped you?     

It has helped me financially. At least I can now assist
myself academically and not depend on anyone for livelihood. It has made me
bold and confident and has also made me stand out.

What makes you stand
out in your work?

I ensure I give my customers the best for their money and
also hold them in high esteem. I believe meeting target is one thing that makes
me stand out also.

How has competition
from others affected you?

There are thousands of accessories dealers in Port Harcourt.
The thought of that makes me put in my best to ensure I’m mentioned amongst the
best. I’ve never felt intimidated, rather I’ve always seen competition from
others as a ladder to climb faster as I aim for the top.

Advice to youths
hoping for white collar jobs?

I honestly wouldn’t advice any youth to hope on getting
white collar jobs. I’ll only advice youths to learn a trade, acquire a skill,
become an entrepreneur and be relevant to the society. There’s so much you can
do if you search within yourself. You can learn tailoring, baking, fashion
designing, hairdressing etc. no matter what you choose, do it legitimately and
please don’t stay idle.

Aside Accessories
making, what else do you love?

I’m a spoken word artist, I do poetry. I also make money from
pedicure and manicure.

Plans for broadcast
and communication?

Of course, I look forward to practice all I learnt in the
classroom. I’ll be going for my Industrial Training soon, and I’ll use the
opportunity to gain practical knowledge in communication arts.

 Words for young entrepreneurs like you?

To every young person who has decided to take a bold step
towards developing their skills, I’ll advice you to remain devoted and
committed to what you do. Look for someone who can coach you to become better.
Finally, don’t be discouraged by your small beginning. Celebrate your small
wins and keep striving for greater heights.

read more
Entrepreneurship

‘We’ll Raise The Bar In Professional Photography’

The Vortex features correspondent, Manasseh F. Paul-Worika
speaks with James Kalada Hope, an indigene of Asari-Toru local government area
in Rivers State and a graduate of Psychology from the University of Port
Harcourt. Hope is the Chief Executive of Crystal Photography, a professional
photography outfit in Port Harcourt.

Tell us about Crystal
Photography.

Crystal Photography is an agency that offers professional
photography services. We render indoor (in-studio sessions) and outdoor
services for occasions such as, birthdays, weddings, beauty pageants,
convocations, etc.

Inspiration behind
Crystal Photography.

Crystal Photography was birthed put of love for art,
portrait painting and photography. As child, I loved paintings, arts and
pictures and my elder brother had a camera that which was always at home. On
countless occasions, I would go out with his camera, take pictures and paint
them. It went on and my parents encouraged me to learn professionally by
enrolling me in a Photography school during my long vacations.

In the higher institution, I worked and learnt from
Photographers and it spurred me to push for more. As a youth corps member, we
were introduced to several skills we could learn as part of the Skills
Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) initiative of the National
Youth Service Corps (NYSC). I opted for Photography class because of my passion
for the business and that really helped me improve my skill.

One other thing that inspired me into starting Crystal
Photography is the economic situation in Nigeria. The rate of unemployment and
poverty is alarming and we can’t depend on the government to provide jobs for
the teeming youths.

What can the government
do to tackle unemployment?

Truth remains that the spate of unemployment has led to many
vices in the country like, armed robbery, kidnapping, etc. The government
should focus on building industries that would employ graduates. They should
also create conducive environments that will make businesses thrive.

How long have you
been in this business?

I started professionally in 2017 after my National Youth
Service. Crystal Photography is 2 years old.

How does Crystal
Photography operate?

I advertise Crystal Photography on social media platforms
particularly on my Whatsapp Status. I showcase jobs that we have successfully
handled to give our prospective customers a feel of what they can get by
choosing us. We have a High Definition Photo studio where people who want
in-studio pictures can come for their shoot and also choose beautiful locations
for those who want outdoor shoots.

What challenges do
you encounter?

My biggest challenge has been erratic power supply. Because
of the work we have to do, we need constant power supply. Unfortunately, that
is not the case. We spend so much fueling our generator set and it affects us
badly.

How do you manage
business and social life?

As much as I can, I try to balance things up. When its time
to work, I put in a 100 percent and avoid any distraction. But in my leisure
time, I relax with family and friends, watch football matches, play games and
ensure I get the best of that moment. But I respect each time. If its work
time, nothing distracts me. And when its time for social activities, I enjoy
every moment of it.

Aside photography
what else do you love?

I’m a football enthusiast. I’m passionate about football.
I’ve always wished to be a professional footballer. It’s a natural gift and I’m
working to excel in football as I excel in photography.

How has your business
helped you?     

It has helped me to be independent financially. Now, I can
do what I want for myself and family. And yes, my business gives me a sense of
fulfillment. I find joy and relaxation doing this business because it is what I
love and have passion for.

What are your
projections?

I’m working with my team to kick start Crystal TV. What we
tend to achieve with Crystal TV is showcasing events, occasions and social
activities in the city of Port Harcourt. And then Crystal Photography will move
into Videographer and Cinematography very soon. We just ordered a drone camera
that will aide professional video coverage of all occasions and activities at
affordable rates.

How has competition
from others influenced you?

Port Harcourt is a big city, one I’ll call the next
entertainment hub of Nigeria because of the caliber of events organized in the
city. This is one of the reasons we have a lot of photography establishments.
The consciousness that there are many other persons that render same service
like I do gives me reasons to improve on service delivery and creativity. I
ensure that I improve each day to avoid lagging behind. In all, the competition
from others has spurred me to up my game.

What makes you stand
out?

I’ll say good customer-relations skill, keeping to time and
creativity. I hold my customers in high esteem. I ensure I give them the best
for their money, keep to time and give their events a touch of class with
captivating photos. The truth is, outside making money; you need to make a good
name. No one would associate with someone who treats him or her badly.

Advice to youths
waiting for white collar jobs

For those talented in different areas, it’s time to get
working. Get something doing. You can learn painting, designing, photography or
any other thing that can earn you a living. Relate with people who are
professionals in a skill and learn from them.

With this, you’ll have something to fall back to, instead of
engaging in criminal acts in the name of waiting for white collar jobs. Start
from somewhere; don’t fold your hands anymore.

Advice to young
entrepreneurs?

To every young person who has decided to take a bold step
towards developing their skills, I’ll advice you to remain devoted and
committed to what you do. Look for someone who can coach you to become better.
Be humble; learn all you can and ensure you acquire all needed. Finally, don’t
be discouraged by your small beginning. Celebrate your small wins and keep
striving for greater heights.

Is Port Harcourt
Business Friendly?

The opportunities in Port Harcourt are enormous. As one of
the biggest cities in the country, Port Harcourt plays host to many companies,
establishments, events and occasions that bring people from all walks of life
to the city. Any one serious about excelling in business will key into the
opportunities in Port Harcourt. Port Harcourt is business friendly and there’s
no doubt about that.

read more
Entrepreneurship

‘Not Just Clothings We Make Outstanding Accessories’

The Vortex
Features Correspondent, Manasseh F. Paul-Worika speaks with Bayour Oyindoubara
Sarah. Sarah, from Sagbama in Bayelsa State and a graduate of Petroleum
Engineering from the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa state,
is the Chief Executive of  DSB Fashion.

Tell us about your
Outfit, DSB Fashion.

DSB Fashion offers professional fashion designs for both
males and females. We design Traditional wears and  English wears amongst others. And in DSB
Fashion, we make accessories like, ties, pocket squares, lapel roses and brooches.
We also specialize in providing accessories for Grooms, and Groomsmen.

You studied Petroleum
Engineering, why Fashion Designing?

Fashion is a lifestyle. It has been an aspect of life I paid
attention to from my days as a child. And I always knew where I wanted to be
before now. And then my mom is a fashion designer, so I got the interest from
her. Being able to beautify people gives me joy. The harsh economic situation
in Nigeria is also a factor that spurred me into making a business from my skill.
As you know, “man must survive”.

On Government effort
in tackling unemployment?

To an extent, I will say they are trying in the best ways
they can to tackle unemployment. But more can be done because the rate of
unemployment in the country is on the rise every day. I’ll suggest the
government should focus on providing platforms for skill acquisition and
development.

How long have you been in the Fashion business?     

I started professionally in 2017. DSB fashion wears is 2
years old.

Did you learn
professionally?

I wouldn’t say I attended any special training. It’s a skill
I developed and mastered over time. But I perfected my skills learning from my
mum. She helped polish me and gave me the opportunities to become better.

What area do you
specialize in?

I can make any style of clothes. But at this moment, I put
more into making male accessories. You know fashion is evolving and some
persons pay more attention to accessories than their actual clothes. Nigerians
demand more of accessories as it adds class to whatever style of cloth they
choose.

Any role model in the
fashion industry?

My biggest model is Yomi Casual. His creativity fascinates
me, and I wish I have the opportunity to learn from him someday. I’ll also say
Kathy Anthony. She’s doing great and I look up to her in this business too.

Challenges so far?

Basically, it’s been the issue of finance to expand my
business and put things in place. But I’m not letting that affect me as I make
do with what I have now while I look forward to bigger days.

Projections?

I look forward to having one of the biggest fashion brands
in Nigeria and also become a household name when it comes to fashion.

How has your business
helped you?

Fashion skills have broadened my horizon and given me an
edge over my equals. I can’t count how many jobs I’ve done for highly placed
individuals in the society.

And it has also helped me to become independent financially.
Now I can afford things for myself and also assist my family in little ways.

What makes you stand
out?

Firstly, I’ll say unlike many other fashion houses that do
just male and female clothes, we have something extra which are “accessories”.
Accessories as I mentioned earlier includes, Ties, Bowties, Pocket Squares,
Lapel Roses and Brooches and Business Gowns for ladies. And I’ll say good
customer-relations skill also. I hold my customers in high esteem. I ensure I
give them the best for their money and also give them lovely designs to choose
from. The truth is, outside making money, you need to make a good name. No one
would associate with someone who treats him or her badly.

How does DSB Fashion
Operate?

For now, I use social media (Whatsapp, Facebook and
Instagram) as a publicity tool. I showcase available products and buyers get to
place orders and we have it delivered to them wherever they are.

How has competition
from others influenced you?

There are thousands of fashion designers in Nigeria. The
thought of that alone makes me put in my best to ensure I’m mentioned amongst
the best. I’ve never felt intimidated, rather I’ve always seen competition from
other fashion designers as a ladder to climb faster as I aim for the top.
Competition from others is to me as water is essential to plants. The desire to
be one of the top fashion designers in the country has kept me going.

Advice to youths
hoping on white collar jobs?

I honestly wouldn’t advice any youth to hope on getting
white collar jobs. I’ll only advice youths to learn a trade, acquire a skill,
become an entrepreneur and be relevant to the society. There’s so much you can
do if you search within yourself.

Plans to practice
Engineering?

Of course, I look forward to practice all I learnt in the
classroom as an Engineer. I’ve submitted applications and expecting I get a
call soon. But even if I don’t get a call, it will be fashion all the way.

Words for young
entrepreneurs like you?

To every young person who has decided to take a bold step
towards developing their skills, I’ll advice you to remain devoted and
committed to what you do. Look for someone who can coach you to become better.
Be humble, learn all you can and ensure you acquire all that is needed.
Finally, don’t be discouraged by your small beginning, celebrate your small
wins and keep striving for greater heights.

read more
BusinessEntrepreneurship

‘Online Kitchen, Innovation In Catering Services’

The Vortex features correspondent Manasseh F. Paul-Worika
speaks with Clinton Treasure Diseye. Diseye, an indigene of Sagbama in Bayelsa
State and a 400 level student of Sociology at the Niger Delta University,
Amassoma, Bayelsa State, is the Chief Executive, Tee’s Kitchen.

Tell us about your
outfit, Tee’s Kitchen.

Tee’s kitchen is an online kitchen that offers professional
catering services for busy individuals, corporate organizations and families.
Irrespective of your location, you can place an order and we have your meal
delivered to you on time and at affordable rates. We also render outdoor
catering services for occasions such as, birthdays, weddings, matriculations,
convocations, etc.

Inspiration behind
Tee’s Kitchen

Tee’s kitchen was birthed out of my passion for cooking.
Growing up, I had always loved cooking and trying out new things in the
kitchen. Things weren’t smooth after I lost my parents and I said to myself
instead of depending on people or engaging in illegal businesses, why not start
up something. At first, I started with selling Zobo, making doughnuts and chin
chin with capital I got from my savings.

It got to a point I needed to expand my business and the
idea of Tee’s kitchen came. Initially I started alone, but now, I have about 8
persons working with me and it has been awesome. No matter where individuals
are, once we receive their orders, we deliver right on time. Recently, we had a
job to cook for over 100 persons in a child naming ceremony in Benin.

One other thing that inspired me into starting up Tee’s
kitchen is the economic situation in Nigeria. The spate of unemployment and
poverty is alarming and we can’t depend on the government anymore to provide
jobs for the teeming youths.

What can the
government do to tackle unemployment?

Truth remains that the spate of unemployment has led to many
vices in the country like, armed robbery, kidnapping, etc. The government
should focus on building industries that would employ graduates.  They should also create conducive
environments that will make businesses thrive.

How does Tee’s
Kitchen operate?

Due to academic activities, I advertise Tee’s kitchen on
social media platforms particularly on my Whatsapp Status indicating the meals
for a particular day and what time we are open to receiving orders. And we do
just home delivery for now since we don’t have a physical restaurant. Although
there are plans for that. Tee’s Kitchen also organizes online and offline
cooking classes. We’ve put up seven online cooking classes where interested
individuals pay a token to get full practical training to boost their cooking
skills.

We’ve also organized about five offline classes free of
charge. But in this case, we ask individuals to just provide the ingredients
needed and we teach them how to cook.

What challenges do
you encounter?

Well, my biggest challenge has been turning down customers
demand because of academic work. It’s really a big challenge.

How do you manage
business and academics?

It hasn’t been easy I’d say; but in all I give thanks to God
for the wisdom and direction. I’ve learnt to manage my time effectively and
even if academic work seems to be a challenge, it doesn’t affect me badly.
There are days I assign my workers to handle some jobs when I’m too occupied
and they still deliver perfectly.

How has your business
helped you?     

It has helped me financially.  At least I can now assist myself academically
and not depend on anyone for livelihood. It has made me bold and confident and
has also made me stand out.

What are your
projections?

I’m working on having branches of my businesses in many
cities with competent hands to manage them. The idea is to make Tee’s Kitchen a
household name within Nigeria in the short and medium term and the world in the
long term.

How has competition
from others influenced you?

I wouldn’t say I have been in any form of competition with
any business owner or those in my line of business. I know what I can offer and
consistently make customer satisfaction my priority. I ensure that what I give
my customers is healthy, nutritious, delicious and superb. So each day, I make
conscious attempts to improve and work on my delivery and the packages I have
for my customers.

Advice to youths
waiting for white collar jobs

For those talented in different areas, don’t sit idly. Get
something doing. You can learn painting, designing, hair braiding, or any other
thing that can earn you a living. Relate with people who are professionals in a
skill and learn from them.

With this, you’ll have something to fall back to instead of
engaging in criminal acts in the name of waiting for white collar jobs. Start
from somewhere; don’t fold your hands anymore.

Advice to young
entrepreneurs?

So many persons tend to give up once they notice their
business seem to be generating returns. They allow complacency creep in and at
the end of the day, they end up shutting down the business. There will be
challenges.  All you need is to stay
strong, hold on and believe that it won’t end there. Keep doing what you love
doing and always seek the wisdom of God to lead you.

read more
Entrepreneurship

“Don’t Despise Small Beginnings” Manasseh F. Paul-Worika

The Vortex
features correspondent Manasseh F. Paul-Worika speaks with Emoefe Ovoke
Solomon. Solomon, from Ughelli in Delta State and a graduate of Building
Technology from the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra state, is the CEO,
KaysConcept fashion wears.

Tell us about your
job.

I’m a fashion designer. I make clothes for different
occasions and deliver same them clients all over the country.

You studied Building
Technology, why Fashion Designing?

Fashion is a lifestyle. It has been an aspect of life I paid
attention to from my days as a child. And I always knew where I wanted to be
before now. The harsh economic situation in Nigeria is a also a factor that
spurred me into making a business from my skill. As you know, “man must
survive” and “man must wack”.

On Government effort
in tackling unemployment?

To an extent, I will say they are trying in the best ways
they can to tackle unemployment. But more can be done because the rate of
unemployment in the country is on the rise every day.

I’ll suggest the government focus on providing platforms for
skill acquisition and development. Since everyone may not get access to the
limited departments, agencies and ministries available, an alternative means of
keeping youths engaged would be investing in skill acquisition programs.

The Npower program is great, but more can be done to tackle
unemployment in Nigeria.

How long have you
been in the Fashion business?

I started professionally in 2017 after my National Youth
Service. KaysConcept fashion wears is 2 years old.

Did you learn professionally?                       

I wouldn’t say I attended any special training. It’s a skill
I developed and mastered over time. But I perfected my skills learning from
somebody, Ukre Samuel of Sir S fashions. He helped polish me and gave me the
opportunities to become better.

What area do you
specialize in?

I can make any style of clothes but left for me, I’ll do
more of  native wears. I’ve discovered
over time that Nigerians demand more of native wears as it speaks class and
maturity.

Any role model in the
fashion industry?

My biggest model is Yomi Casual. His creativity is one thing
that fascinates me, and I wish I have the opportunity to learn from him
someday. I’ll also say Mr. Ukre Samuel is good and creative too.

Challenges so far?

Basically, it’s been the issue of finance to expand my
business and put things in place. But I’m not letting that affect me totally as
I make do with what I have now while I look forward to bigger days.

Projections?

I look forward to having one of the biggest fashion brands
in Nigeria and also become a household name when it comes to fashion.

How has your business helped you?       

Fashion skills have launched me and opened me to lots of
people I ordinarily wouldn’t dream of meeting. I’ve made clothes for top
government and business personalities.

And it has also helped me to become independent financially.
Now I can afford things for myself and also assist my family in little ways.

What makes you stand
out?

I’ll say good customer-relations skill. I hold my customers
in high esteem. I ensure I give them the best for their money and also give
them lovely designs to choose from. The truth is, outside making money, you
need to make a good name. No one would associate with someone who treats him or
her badly.

How has competition
from others affected you?

There are thousands of fashion designers in Nigeria. The
thought of that alone makes me put in my best to ensure I’m mentioned amongst
the best. I’ve never felt intimidated, rather I’ve always seen competition from
other fashion designers as a ladder to climb faster as I aim for the top.
Competition from others is to me as water is essential to plants.

Advice to youths
hoping on white collar jobs?

I honestly wouldn’t advice any youth to hope on getting
white collar jobs. I’ll only advice youths to learn a trade, acquire a skill,
become an entrepreneur and be relevant to the society. There’s so much you can
do if you search within yourself.

Aside fashion
designing, what else do you love?

I’m a football enthusiast. I’m so passionate about football.
I’ve always wished to be a professional footballer. It’s a natural gift and I’m
working to excel in football as I excel in fashion designing.

I’ll suggest the government focus on providing platforms for
skill acquisition and development. Since everyone may not get access to the
limited departments, agencies and ministries available, an alternative means of
keeping youths engaged would be investing in skill acquisition programs.

The N-power program is great, but more can be done to tackle
unemployment in Nigeria.

Words for young
entrepreneurs like you?

To every young person who has decided to take a bold step
towards developing their skills, I’ll advice you to remain devoted and
committed to what you do. Look for someone who can coach you to become better.
Be humble, learn all you can and ensure you acquire all needed. Finally, don’t
be discouraged by your small beginning, celebrate your small wins and keep
striving for greater heights.

read more
Entrepreneurship

Creative Industry To Access N500m Loans

The Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the
Bankers’ Committee as part of efforts to boost job creation in Nigeria,
particularly among the youth, has developed a Creative Industry Financing
Initiative.

The CBN said   under
the CIFI loan initiative, beneficiaries could get up to N500m loans at nine per
cent interest rate.

It noted that the creative industries that could apply were
fashion, Information Technology, movie production, movie distribution, music
and software engineering student loan.

The apex bank stated, “Software engineering student can get
a loan of up to N3m, N30m for movie production business, N500m for movie
distribution business, cover your rental/service fees for fashion and
Information Technology business, cover your training fees, equipment fees, and
rental/service fees for music business.”

The CBN advised interested applicants in the creative
industry to submit applications to their banks for approval and disbursement.

It also urged them to prepare the business plan or statement
on how much they required for the business.

According to the CBN, the banks will discuss the request and
provide the money.

“The maximum interest rate of nine per cent per annum (all
charges inclusive) is applicable to all loans,” it stated.

On the period for the repayment of the loan, it said, “For
software engineering student loan, it is a maximum of three years; for movie
production and distribution, it is a maximum of 10 years; for fashion,
Information Technology and music, it is a maximum of 10 years.”

read more
Entrepreneurship

Shaping A New World Of Innovations

I have seen our world change so significantly in my short,
very short stay in this world of ours. 
One little change, or seemingly little, and the impact and the attendant
change is just something else. They didn’t know that the computer revolution
was going change the way we communicate, the way businesses are done, kill our
postal system as it were, and change the face of commerce in its entirety. 

It was first, to make the business more effective, then the
internet, the connections, the interfaces, the spiralling changes, the social
networking systems, and the changes that keep changing everything. I have a
very exciting art mind.  I use
technology, I make connections and I have such a wandering mind that keeps me
asking, so what will our next new world be. Not sure if I can make so much
conjecture of what our next new world would look like, but I can put it up for
talks.

  Really what is our
world going to look like later this year and in a few years time?  Then you need to ask, is it all about
technological innovation or changes? Is innovation all about technology, the
technical and the scientific? What do you think? What will drive our next new
world? Science, yes! Technology, yes! And people systems, thoughts, the way we
live, and the way we do things.  I am
going to say, our next new world would have to process and blend a new system,
a new people process and policies that is informed by the beautiful art, and
enabled by technology.

Of course, and that brings me to the initial convoluted
explanations, whatever it would look like, it would be hugely technologically
enabled, art and science will meet at some point and technology will give it
meaning and form.  An art piece is best
presented in its core raw state.  True,
but technology will come to preserve and present such in its core raw state,
but refine it to make it even more meaningful.

In the next new world, I believe there would be lots and
lots of answers and solutions.  Diseases
would be treated because there would be new advances in medicine and treatment
options interfacing with other technological systems. Technology would be
developed and huge advance in science would be attained.  Existing technologies would be shoved into
obsolescence, and we would look back over a short period and have a healthy
dose of laughter that we actually did the things we did the way we did them not
too long ago.  Because of changing and
newer technology, rules of the game would change, in the law court, when we
drive and the way we live. 

Value and need satisfaction would be met in a different
way.  Meeting these values and needs in
themselves and in new ways, would give impetus, drive, push and pull while
giving direction and steer for the next new world. Standards would be
redefined.  Current systems would
change.  Increased accountability and
transparency would be demanded of the world, businesses and the leaders of the
developing countries and economies.

But there would be lots more new questions to be answered
and new solutions to be sourced for new problems that we never knew
before.  Like finding solution to the
implications of great leap in technical and machine-based production system
that have spewed so much into our world and we are having to find ways to take
care of the environment the way we never thought before! And there would be
problems just integrating it all into our new world as we move gradually, but
steadily from the world we know now. 

Quite scary for me though, is the fact that we would
question the basis of our own existence, our deeper views and even our
spiritual views and foundations.  It
would become a more permissive world too and we would increasingly have to deal
with the tyranny of the minority groups and views and thoughts, as the majority
yield grounds to the minority positions.

I could go on forever! 
What are your thoughts about the next new world? What would you do to
shape the next new world? How would you shape the next new world? I am missing
something, I know, tell it … but you got the brief?  The brief opens now, tell your view of the
next new world, I am looking out, and we are looking out!

read more