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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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!

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