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Omotayo Adeoye: Africa Is a Rising Star with Untapped Potentials

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Omotayo B. Adeoye is a Principal Consultant of The Wumbb, a Start-up and SME consulting firm which was founded 3 years ago. She is a Nigerian of a humble background with a passion for providing solutions for businesses. Though her desire to go into business was not welcomed by her parents when she was much younger, she kept it under wraps and focused on her studies as an Industrial Chemist.

However, her desire to complete her MSc, get a PhD and go into research changed in her final year. This marked the beginning of her journey for self-actualization and purpose as she took an entrepreneurship course. She told Africanpreneurs that “that was where it really began; it was like God was reminding me about what I was really meant to do with my life before I got committed to a life as a laboratory scientist. I took the class seriously and in the next semester, I read almost 15 textbooks on accounting, law, psychology, marketing, business planning and strategy. I wrote a business plan to revive a dying poultry farm and with it I raised 1 million from 3 investors. It was like magic, I had discovered something I was able to do.”

She decided to also work on developing skills for negotiations, picking out problems and improving businesses since she had a knack for finding problems and creating solutions. While in school, she came up with many ideas some of which included having an assignment service for students to help people write their assignments and projects for a fee. In her words…….it was wrong so it did not fly. She also thought about running a tutorial business in different universities that can allow smart students make some money while doing what they love, which she did for free.

In November 2013, while in Lagos NYSC camp, her business came to light when she spoke with as many corps members that were willing and got them talking about their opinions of business and entrepreneurship and she found that almost every one of them had good ideas and were open to exploring it if they only knew how and had the money to do it. Armed with that information, “I read more books on the subject and began a 3-month period of intensive research and business planning; I developed my business idea and wrote a plan for it. I wanted to start a Seed Accelerator and Venture Capital Firm. I started working with an ICT start-up team (listacc.com) helping to build their business in January 2014 and took a Mini-MBA course at Lagos Business School; I was like a kid in a candy store. After the course, I studied the Lean Start-up Methodology and broke down my idea and started as a Start-up and SME consultant to sharpen my skills, build my portfolio and further understand the entrepreneur, a unique being.”

The major challenge she has with the industry is that many youths are unmotivated and too scared to take risks but she believes that as many programs that support entrepreneurs are coming up, then great days are ahead for the African economy.  Africa is a rising star and a lot of our potentials are yet untapped, as there is so much more to be done and achieved in all sectors of the economy especially Agriculture, Trade and Investment and Education. For example, as a Nigerian, the Nigerian economy is shifting from being oil based and going towards a more diversified one which poses as the best time for entrepreneurship. Economies are developed and sustained by the building and growing of businesses, we can pick our economy up by creating innovative businesses that can penetrate international markets and bring foreign trade to us. The diversification of the economy calls for people to rise up in different industries and develop those industries; this is how we can gain world relevance and build a mighty economy for ourselves. We just need to get rid of the fears, get off our hands and chase the opportunities available to us.

The entrepreneurship scene is also currently seeing more people mostly the youths starting their businesses a majority of which are IT based ideas and businesses. Many programs are now available that provide money and other forms of support for entrepreneurs such as YouWin, TEEP among others. The world needs entrepreneurs, as they create the future we expect. For some, the journey is tough while for others, the journey is easy but to all of us, let’s keep doing what we are doing, working at it every day not just for the financial returns but also for the change and impact. To the youth, I will say that the only thing you have is your time, energy, freedom and intellect. Don’t waste it doing something you are not happy with; no matter how small start something that will bring you joy and give you significance. Don’t wait till you lose the job, grow old or run out of money before you start something for yourself. Don’t give up the leadership of your life to public opinion and popular acceptance; you can not lead by standing among the crowd you have got to step up.

Adeoye works with entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses at little or no cost. she would be glad to take a look at your idea/plan/business, highlight the not so nice areas and point you in the right direction. I write regularly and speak at events so feel free to invite me as a guest writer or speaker on your platform.

Her life’s motto: I can do all things through Christ that gives me the strength and ability.

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