FORBES AFRICA has released its 2018 Under 30 list and you can be sure that there are Nigerian women on it. These women are said to be challenging conventions and rewriting the rules for the next generation of entrepreneurs, creatives and tech gurus.
Described as Africa’s most promising young change-makers, Forbes says, they could be the billionaires of tomorrow, even though they are yet unknown.
You could learn some things from these women who talked about their goals, how they started their businesses, doing business in Nigeria and their achievements.
26-year old founder of Anita Brows Beauty, popularly known as ‘Anita Brows’, is an Irish-Nigerian professional makeup artist, beauty educator, and entrepreneur. With over seven years of experience, she has built an award-winning brand, creating jobs for young Nigerians.
“My move to Nigeria was the defining moment for me in the beauty industry. It was the moment my hobby became a livelihood and then became a business. I didn’t choose this path by faith, this path chose me. My goal is to change the face of makeup and beauty artistry.”
28-year old Bidemi is the founder of LSF|PR, a public relations agency based in Lagos. Growing up, Bidemi acquired skills in project management, sales and communications from her father, who built a taxi service and real estate company from nothing. Her father convinced her to study law and she interned in law firms but she stopped to follow her passion in media.
“Securing my first client was very difficult because I had no public relations experience; I would visit different blogs in Nigeria and look for contact numbers in the article credits and call the designers requesting to work with them for free.”
28-year old Kene Rapu launched her first product line, ‘Slippers by Kene’ in 2011. She uses locally-sourced materials to make slippers and sandals. According to her, running a business in Nigeria is hard work.
“The odds are against us, as more businesses are expected to fail than to succeed. From lack of adequate power supply, to sufficient skilled man power, to the costs and scarcity of materials, the list goes on. I remember on my hunt for property for my factory last year, I met a gentleman who made it extremely clear he would not, under any circumstances, rent his property out to women.”
29-year old Gozie is the founder of Coker Creative, a boutique event company. She spent her holidays interning for event companies. When she graduated from school, she went on to pursue a master’s in Strategic Management.
“Planning events is something I have always done, so much so that growing up, I was nicknamed ‘the organ’, short for organizer. I derived joy planning all my family and friends’ celebrations, from vacations to birthdays, and even anniversaries. I used my graduation thesis to test my business plan for what we now know as Coker Creative.”
27-year old Maya is the founder of Ingressive, a tech integration company that provides market entry services and tech research for corporates and investors.
“I launched Ingressive LLC to solve the funding pipeline, redirecting global focus and capital to the continent.”
She also founded Ingressive Capital, a multi-million dollar venture fund focused on early-stage African tech.
“We have worked with thousands of African tech-enabled youths. Our client list includes over 50 investors and technology companies. Our clients have gone on to fund more than 20 African startups. I have funded three high-growth African technology companies, and we’re continuing to invest now.”
28-year old 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.
“The #AsoEbiBella journey started with a hashtag I created in 2013 while I was an employee of BellaNaija.com where I convinced my employer to launch a then bi-weekly, now weekly AsoEbiBella feature on their site as it garnered millions of website views, it became my side hustle.”
29-year old Yemi is a singer and songwriter. She sings in English, French, Swahili, Portuguese and Pidgin English.
28-year old Joyce is the founder of Joyce Jacob Beauty, which launched in 2009. She has worked on the sets of many local and international music videos, magazine photoshoots and TV commercials.
“The vision behind my brand is to empower women of all ages, of all backgrounds and race to feel beautiful at all times through the power of beauty and makeup. Part of that vision is to have a premium line all women can use and create a truly authentic African beauty brand.”
29-year old Beverly is an actress and entrepreneur. She studied script-writing and film-making in the UK before relocating to Nigeria to join the Nigerian film industry.
28-year old Sonia is a writer, filmmaker and actress.
26-year old Tania is a model and an entrepreneur. She is creative director of Ziva Lagos, a fashion brand.
“Ziva Lagos is dedicated to boosting the Nigerian trade and labor market. Hence all fabrics are locally sourced and the clothes designed and produced in Nigeria.”