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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Women in the workplace - CSR-in-Action

I read this article from a newsletter I received from +csrinaction and just had to share. My focus is the last paragraph, that is a call to entrepreneurs to develop solutions to this challenge that women have in balancing their work and home.


The workplace must be made more flexible to support the challenges faced by working mothers! This only echoes the subtle message missed by most observers as they laid blame on the mother of three missing children who, thanks to heavens have been found and their abductors arrested in the course of this month. Owing to the stereotype society has created for women who should manage the home front and take care of the children, and the outright careless approach to ensuring the safety of her children, this article will be a very hard one to write. Instead this article aims to raise questions about options that Mrs Orekoya could have had which would have prevented the tragedy.

While we do not aim to justify the actions of the parents who left their children in the care of a total stranger, it is worthy of note that the challenges of life and the need to be productive in this century has thus created an atmosphere were both parents may need to combine efforts and pool resources.

Still not justifying her actions, let us attempt to paint a picture of the ‘worst case scenario’.

  • What if Mrs Orekoya like several other mothers across the world actually is the breadwinner of her home?
  • What if she was a high ranking executive in her organization on whose actions depended the livelihoods of several other employees? 

It cannot be denied that women are already an integral part of the workforce and support their families in the most profound ways.

A look at the Nigerian working environment however shows that the working conditions do not necessarily support the working mother. Ironically a lot of these organisations are signatories to the +United Nations Global Compact principles, one of which states that companies should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation and claim to have policies which support the achievement of the MDG targets, one of which speaks directly to promoting gender equality and empowerment of women. The objective of both principles, when applied to the Orekoya’s case implies that organisations should encourage and support efforts to build a climate of tolerance and equal access to opportunities for occupational development for women.

The case of women empowerment is as that of a farmer with a hoe. If provided a tractor, his productivity will increase in multiples. World over, women have made giant strides taking great stand and changing the world with their career pursuit and there is a need to further encourage them to pursue their dreams.

What then can organisations do to support women who want a work and family balanced life?

A much more conducive workplace and balanced life has shown over time to help productivity, some of the things which some organisations are already doing and other can adopt to promote a balanced family/work life for women includes:

 Creche at work:

Companies can support women to continue their work by having a creche at in the workplace or supporting women to pay for a creche nearby. If Mrs Orekoya had access to one of such facilities, she may not have left the children at home on the fateful day. Currently a number of organisations have fully functional crèche services in major buildings for staff children including Total Nigeria and Access Bank plc.

Co-organising holiday activities for children: 

The Orekoya kids were kidnapped during a holiday period when their mother had to work. Suppose other mothers, with support from their employer organised a week long holiday program for the children to creatively engage them while their mother goes to work, this incident may not have occurred

Flexible working hours during children holidays:

Many women will be happy to accept this offer as it allows for a family centred work environment. More so, it allows for mothers to spend more time and dedicate more attention to their children

Certified nannies: 

How about a countrywide database that allows users verify the data history of domestic staff before? A service like this exists and companies need to subscribe. VerifyMeNigeria offers such a service.

It is important that organisations create a conducive environment for staff regardless of their gender. Collective action or a change in a perception to support women can help prevent a reoccurrence of this.

2013 lessons learnt......

Hi guys. I have written and re-written this piece in my head several times. My year started with a huuuge (the extra u's are there on purpose!) challenge, if this was happening a few years back, I would be in the hospital now or something. But I am working it out one day at a time and even better, I have decided that I can't just halt everything else because of it, so as I work that out, life must go on. There's valentine's day around the corner and Trezy has to be ready for that!

Till now I haven't really sat down to document any resolutions! Again, my head is full of thoughts of what I would like and where I want to be. Blogging is my outlet so I'll make it up today with you as I go. I hope this inspires someone to do theirs.

2013.... Lessons learnt for 2014

1. Life is only as complicated as you make it. 

I am learning a lot from this situation I am in. For the first few days I allowed myself get so depressed, I couldn't think nor do anything useful. I was almost drowning, stuck in a limbo. It hit me at some point though, that I couldn't continue like that. Business will always come with challenges, we just have to learn to deal with these challenges. A friend reminded me of Murphy's law - Everything that can go wrong will go wrong! You just have to be prepared to deal with it.

Anyway, I am here now, calm, typing my thoughts and trusting that all will be fine in the end, if it isn't, it's not the end. Shikena.

2. It is not by your power, Focus on the things that count

I put in so much effort into a couple of things this year, some turned out okay, some not so okay. You know the funny thing though, the ones I thought I didn't put enough effort into turned out just fine. No wonder people swear by the 80 - 20 rule. 20 percent of your effort is responsible for 80 percent of your results.

I am going to take life easy this year, delegate more and focus my energy only on the things that count. As my mum likes to say "Agba n'tara" - how do I translate this now? Ask a core yoruba person.

3. Exercise, it's good for you...... because I say so, hehe

We started an exercise group in my estate towards the end of the year. At first getting up to work out at 6am was like whaaat! But now my body has adapted to it and I am better for it.  There are days when we keep our trainer waiting though, Lol. Body no be firewood naa.

This year, I'm going to be more dedicated and make it part of my life.

3. Your thoughts become your reality

I finally got a hold of the book and DVD, "the secret". As I watched it, I let it sink in and yes the whole concept made sense to me. Those who are rich are rich because they cannot imagine being poor, their thoughts are totally void of poverty. They discuss huge amounts of money without flinching unlike many of us who would say "hen", where will I get that from"? That's it, we close our minds already to the possibilities that exist.

This year, I am going to surround myself with positive energy. I will violently (YES!) uproot thoughts of backwardness, lack, or limitation! As Jay-one sang "We making money this year".

4. Write, write, write

Since I started blogging last year, my life has actually changed, no kidding. It was at a low point in my life last year that I decided to start blogging. I didn't have a clue how or where to start, but I made it up along the line. It has exposed me to things I never would have considered. I have also met so many entrepreneurs like me who are working to build something that would last. It's been an amazing journey.

That aside, it has been an escape for me. I pour out my thoughts and as I do, things get clearer. It really doesn't have to be a blog, you can start keeping a diary of your thoughts and dreams. I have a diary too by the way.

This year, I want to take the blog to greater heights, make it a reference for entrepreneurs. A place to come to for inspiration to keep on going, so help me God.

5. Pray and trust God

I know pretty much every Nigerian is religious, so this goes without saying... but still. Many of us do these things like robots, without putting our hearts into it. Pray with your heart.

I am a culprit too, so I must make amends this year.

This is already too much talk! I'll just do the rest in my diary, because I have two things I came across and would like to share for the year;

First is this video. My sister from another mother, Ebi sent it to me. Please watch it, it is so worth it....

Click here for the video if you can't view the one above - Make that dream a reality

Second is my bible verse for the year, that's the one I am pasting on my wall;

Habakkuk 2:3

King James Version (KJV)
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.


Let's run with this and take the 2014 bull by it's horns...........


You do know that Youwin is still on, do you? If not go to and apply before the 21st of this month. All the best


The last one of this series of opportunities is from Nescafe...... 


Do you have a dream? Can your dream make the difference for your community, your country or even the whole world? Enter the NESCAFÉ Get Started challenge and show everyone how powerful your idea is.

All you need to do is to submit your dream here. If you find it published on the website the following week, it means that it’s passed the preselection. This is the time to get as many votes as possible, so make sure you get all your friends to vote for your dream.

The 4 most impressive dreams will receive support from inspiring African mentors to pitch their ideas to the grand jury. The ultimate winner’s dream will get started by NESCAFÉ.

Check out the winner of NESCAFÉ Get Started 2014

2014 Winner
Muazu, Nigeria


1. Your dream must not be of material benefit to oneself.

2. Your dream should focus on one of these categories: Technology, Arts and Culture, Community Development, Environment or Health.

3. Your dream must have an action plan.

4. Your dream must start something big for you and people around you.

5. Make us fall in love with your dream and we’ll help you to get it started.

You can also watch +Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. CFA s inspiring video for the project here

All the best fam!

Monday, April 27, 2015

APPLY NOW! - Etisalat easybusiness millionaires hunt

This is the season for entrepreneurs! It appears the world can't get enough of us. Don't let this season pass you by. You should apply for any one of these funding opportunities flying around. What's to lose? If you hold back because you think someone will steal your idea, while you are hustling to raise the money through other methods, you will wake up one day to see your idea implemented by someone else. Ideas are cheap.....

Easybusiness millionaires hunt

Just like it was Last year, this year’s Hunt for Nigeria’s next small and medium business millionaires will reward the Top 10 business ideas with a N2,000,000 financial grant each.

Also, contestants with the Top 50 business ideas will be rewarded with brand-new office equipment and 1-week entrepreneurship training at the prestigious Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos.

Call for entry opens on Thursday 12th March, 2015 and closes on Friday 12th June, 2015.

To participate in the Hunt, 

Interested subscribers must:

  • Recharge their Easybusiness line with N3,000
  • Dial *345*3# to pay for 3 months’ subscription upfront
  •  Text YES to 5885 from their easybusiness lines to opt-in for the competition.
  • An SMS would be received indicating a unique code and a URL where the business idea should be forwarded to.

Existing Easybusiness customers who have subscribed for a minimum of 3 months in advance are also eligible to participate.

Also, every interested Easybusiness customer who texts YES to 5885 will be automatically entered for a daily draw to win phones, with 5 phones up for grabs daily throughout the entire call-for-entry period.

In addition, all customers who successfully submit their business ideas on the designated online portal will be automatically entered for a monthly draw to win brand-new office equipment such as all-in-one scanners, printers, and photocopiers – with 5 winners emerging every month.

For more information on the Easybusiness Millionaires Hunt Season 2:



Visit the nearest Etisalat Experience Centre


Contact the enterprise marketing team by email 

Huawei - She Leads Africa Fellowship Application

Hello Fam,

You must forgive me. I have been lazy and maybe quite tired a bit too. Health is wealth, so I had to slow down a bit, I can't come and die on this hustle. Lol.

So this opportunity is urgent, if you haven't seen it. It closes on thursday, if you want to give it a shot, please hurry and submit before thursday. All the best....


The Huawei-She Leads Africa Fellowship is the first program of its kind to provide female tech entrepreneurs from across Africa the opportunity to visit China to receive a behind the scenes experience at the technology giant, network with peer entrepreneurs and develop relationships with investors and companies interested in doing business in Africa.

Eligible applicants must be women between the ages of 18-40 who are building a technology business focused on Africa.

Applications close on April 30, 2015.

Questions can be sent to with Huawei Fellowship in the subject line.

Click here to apply.

Also, please email a pitch deck to with the subject line: Huawei Fellowship - First Name, Surname by April 30th.

A pitch deck is a presentation, usually powerpoint, that summarizes your startup idea and business model for potential investors. 

For more guidance, you can find examples at and

Other useful articles: + How to pitch your startup in 3 minutes: + 3 simple ways to pitch your startup today: + 5 practical tips to perfect your startup pitch:

Calling all entrepreneurs – CcHub’s Call for Ideas is open!

Remember +BudgIT NG ? In my early blogging days, I made quite a bit of noise about them, hehe. It was their success story that made me fish out the +CcHub Nigeria in Yaba. They recently graduated from the incubation centre and are doing great.

In case you haven't noticed, collaboration, co-creation is the new cool. Let's face it, if we want more companies to last, we need to work together, to find synergies, to build teams, to leverage on each other's strengths. This is why you can't afford to keep your idea to yourself. There are tricks and tips for protecting your idea though and you can listen here, to what Wunmi and I had to say about this on the episode before the last of strike the anvil. At the end of the day, you are better off sharing.

Anyhoo, so the Hub is calling for ideas again and if you have been looking for a platform to leverage on, here's your chance........

Read all about it;

Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) is a launch pad for start-ups, transforming ideas to sustainable ventures that solve real Nigerian problems. To date CcHub has supported the development and launch of more than 50 innovative technology startups solving social challenges in Nigeria.

Will the next golden idea come from you?

You can submit an innovative idea that solves a real Nigerian problem to the CcHub Call for Ideas for up to $25,000 in investment as well as networks and market entry support to get you kick-started.

The aim of the programme is to encourage the development of Nigerian led solutions for real Nigerian problems, focusing on six key areas – Governance, Transportation, Healthcare, Education, Food Security and the Environment.

We believe that by engaging a community of progressive stakeholders (end-users, subject matter experts, government agencies, businesses, academics, civil societies etc.) who bring their creativity and knowledge to play we can co-create solutions to social challenges faced by the average Nigerian.

These are our 5 tips for creating innovative solutions
  • Solve ONE clear problem: focus on one problem and not many
  • Understand the problem: observing the environment, infrastructure, culture and lives of people by being there.
  • Think creatively: start big, use constraints as a filter and find the simplest solution.
  • Identify a service gap: is there a service that isn’t being provided or not being provided to a satisfactory manner
  • Deliver value: what are the benefits for people using the end product, does it improve a persons life?
Submit an Idea

Ideas should be submitted here by Sunday 31 May 2015. Ideas will be assessed by a panel, and those whose ideas are selected will be invited for an interview. Following this, the most viable ideas will be taken into the CcHub Pre-Incubation and Incubation Programmes.

1000 ideas have walked through our doors but is yours the one that will make it through and stick?