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Friday, August 28, 2015

Funding, Mentoring In 2015 WIMBIZ Competition - 2 days to go!! Apply now

Applications are now open for the WIMBIZ 2015 Impact Investment Competition!

Theme: Women in Technology

The Award:

1,000,000 NGN will be awarded to the top 3 businesses.
The top 10 applicants will be granted scholarships to attend the Annual Conference
Awards will be presented to the winners during the closing ceremony of the Annual Conference
The winners will be assigned mentors on the platform of the WIMBIZ mentoring program

What is the Impact Investment Competition?

This is a business plan competition for start-up businesses in the impact investment niche.

The 2015 competition will equip 3 female owned startup businesses in the technology industry with the necessary support to ensure their success and sustainability.

For a business to participate, it must:

  • Have clearly defined goals and objectives
  • Be sustainable and profitable
  • Impact society
  • Be in the start-up phase and should not be more than 12 months old (new businesses are welcome to apply)
  • Be a technological start-up

Application Deadline:

Monday, 31st August, 2015

How Does One Apply?

Fill in the online application here

You will be required to upload create and upload a 1-3 minute(s) video marketing your unique product and/or service, upload to YouTube and paste the link to your application

Who Can Apply?

To apply for this award:

  • You must be a citizen of Nigeria
  • You must be a woman between the ages of 21-30
  • Your business must be situated in Nigeria and should have a sustainability component for Nigeria
  • The value of your request should not exceed 300,000NGN
  • The business must be in the start-up phase and should not be more than 12 months old
  • The owner must demonstrate commitment and interest in the business

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

First Clarias - Esan Teniola #inthespiritofenterprise

Been a while.....

I am more on instagram these days. If you are on instagram, let's catch up. My handle is @mofolusade. I met Teniola at a conference a few months ago. I was thrown off, when he introduced himself as a farmer, because your first picture of a farmer is that of a rugged looking, not so dapper person, #justsaying. This, I have come to find is so not true.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Esan Teniola. (Barr.) I am the manager of First Clarias, Nigeria's First Fish Farming Company.

Academic Background:

I graduated from the Faculty of Law University of Benin where I obtained my LL.B Hons (Bachelor of Laws. Afterwards attended the Nigerian Law School where I was called to the Nigerian Bar as a Barrister and solicitor (B.L Hons). I also hold an advance diploma in Business Administration (Pgd.B.A) from the National Open University, and am a certified Project Management Professional (P.M.P) and Dispute Resolution Specialist.

Life Philosophy:

I live by one word- Wisdom. "Wisdom is the principal thing, and in all thy gettings, get understanding."~Proverbs.

Tell us about your business

My business name is FIRST CLARIAS and we are Nigeria's First Fish Farming Company. We were registered in 2013 however we have been actively involved in fish farming since 2008

We offer three core services:

1. Partnership Farming (Easy Farming(r)) where we help people who want to get into fish farming but do not have the time, know-how, resources or convenience to do so themselves. We make it easy through partnership.
2.We do Fish Farming Consultancy for people who want to startup their own fish farms, we encourage them by rendering consultancy services and publishing materials to help them
3. Supply of Commercial Quantities of Fish to buyers.

Stemming from our extensive experience in the fish farming industry, particularly in the Niger Delta region, we discovered that there was a looming gap in the way fish farming was being conducted, not just in the region but in the larger part of the entire country; lack of professionalism, poor farm management, shabbily structured operations, poor farm yield etc amounted to a lot of people making loss from what is in fact a very profitable industry. Plus a general lack of leadership in the industry was a call to duty to me as a young entrepreneur with a professional background to bring in the much needed professionalism into the industry. So we came in to set the standard. it is a work in progress, but we are making big strides.

What was your inspiration for starting this business?

My inspiration for fish farming is borne out of my business sense. I have always had a keen interest in business and business processes so I am sort of like a serial entrepreneur. I have in fact ventured into a lot of other business ventures and was successful in most of them. I constantly examine various types of business, metrics and probabilities of success. however, I feel very at home with fish farming for various reasons the first reason being that there is no king in this country...the crown is right there for the taking.*smiles*

How did you get funding for your business?

1. The seed funding for my business began from my pocket. I have always had the culture of saving money. In University, every time I was given pocket money by my folks, I saved a part of it. It wasn't much, but it was enough for me to get started on my journey as an entrepreneur. Fish farming is a very capital intensive business and at the time I didn't even think I would ever be involved in it. So I tried a lot of other businesses, which I succeeded at until I finally found fish farming which I fell in love with.

2. Beyond my personal savings, I was fortunate enough to have parents that believed in me and are willing to invest in my dreams. Don't get me wrong, my parents are not rich; but they always did their best to encourage me. So when I went up to my folks and said I wanted to start business, they did the much they could to assist me. As a young person you have to be wise too. Most young people would go up to their parents and ask them for money for something, and use it for something else which would not benefit them positively, perhaps to buy a new phone or to go out with their friends. I would ask my folks for money to do something, and instead of spending it, I would divert it into trying out a new business venture or adding to my capital base. I've always been very frugal. I think i still am.

3. Within a short time I gained the reputation of being very business minded and very good at handling money. Along the line when I began to venture into fish farming, I realized that the money I had saved up was not sufficient to venture into fish farming, so I approached a couple of friends to borrow money. They knew me for my prudence and my sense of responsibility so they didn't hesitate to lend to me if they had. I have always been selective about friends. Most of my friends are in fact business minded. Birds of the same feather I guess. So I would always return money with interest on it. Even if something went wrong, I would make sure that I took care of it so my friends never worried when they borrowed me money.

4. In 2014 I was fortunate to become a YouWin3 awardee under the Goodluck Ebele Jonathans Administration. We received funding from the Federal Ministry of Finance to push our business forward, so we leveraged on that to make our business what it is today.

What opportunities have you been able to leverage on in your business so far?

Fish farming is not a very developed industry so there aren't many institutions that give recognition or award to effort in the industry. Fortunately the country is now be re-oriented towards the importance of agriculture so I guess soon we might start getting recognized for our effort.

In terms of funding opportunities however, sometime in 2010 we were beneficiaries of the World Bank FADAMA program, through the Edo State Ministry of Agriculture. It wasn't much, but it was good to know that we were reckoned with. Later on we applied for the YouWin3 program in 2013 and we were fortunate to be among the awardees. The YouWin Program was in fact a real game changer because of the mentoring and monitoring aspects. It really helped.

What Challenges have you faced so far and how have you been able to overcome them?

The major challenge I have faced in my business is creating something that has never been done before. So every day is a challenge when you are doing something absolutely novel. You have a lot of fish farms all over the country and you have agro-allied ventures, feed production companies but there is no fish farming company.

We are the very first and we are just starting out. Nobody handed us a road map. So doing things that have never been done before is a challenge. Thinking things that have never been thought- or even if thought of have never been actually carried out. Every day we dare.

How will you summarize the journey so far?

The journey has been fun. I wish I knew then what I know now. I would've gotten to where I am now in half the time. However I have no regrets. I wake up with a smile on my face everyday because I know I have something no one can take away.

Given the Chance, will you do this again?

I definitely would. Its the struggle that builds you. I didn't get here by luck.

What lessons have you been able to learn from your journey so far that others should know?

If I could tell young entrepreneurs valuable lessons they would be:

1. Learn a valuable skill. Education is overrated. Certificates are overrated. Your skill is what is important; what can you do? (Please note: This is not to downplay the value of education. It is important)

2. Learn how to run a business. Theres a difference between sewing clothes and creating a fashion label. Know the difference- one makes you self employed the other makes you a business person.

How can people connect with you?

Visit our website on
phone No: 08023026229 (my personal phone number)
address: Queen Mary Plaza, Mofor Udu LGA Warri Delta state.

The Bella Community August Meet Up

Based on a research and survey we carried out recently amongst creative entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, we have come to the conclusion that to sustain an online community of African made products and services, an offline community will strongly enhance the growth of the online vision. Bellafricana (a company that promotes African made products and services) hereby presents “The Bella Community”.

The Bella online community is growing very healthily and in fact we are so excited and convinced that an offline community will richly benefit and add more value to our community members. We are a community of creative entrepreneurs, but we also want to connect with intrapreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.

When you are running a business, your business inspiration can come from almost anywhere. However, a few small business owners forget to use one of the most important tools readily available to them. One of the most important tools that you can use is community. In any city there will always be a community to connect with, and as an entrepreneur, you need this.

Calling all CREATIVE MINDS; artrepreneurs, handmade crafters, fashion designers, interior decorators/designer, bakers, shoe makers, musicians, poets, oh dear the list is endless and all other entrepreneurs and working professionals, wonder why I started listing (phew). You are a creative entrepreneur if you have a business how about that, hmm!

Wondering what benefits you get joining the Bella community? Here are 5 reasons;

1. Learn from other’s mistakes: Hearing what is going on with other people’s businesses enables you to really understand the real story of what is happening in their business. This may serve as a guideline on what to avoid in your business and the opportunity of being able to use their tricks for some great success tactics in your own business.

2. Exchange tips of business: For any entrepreneur, intrapreneur or aspiring entrepreneur, just starting out is so exciting, but this time of ideas and beginnings can also be confusing. Having other people that have had some experience be there to give you tips and secrets that you can use helps tremendously. You will be able to start off smoothly and keep growing strong during tough times.

3. Pass on knowledge: One of the biggest functions of the bella community of entrepreneurs is to pass on the knowledge that has been gathered from experienced professionals to the less experienced entrepreneurs. This is also a great place where you can find a mentor, and/or become a mentor for someone else. You meet a group of trusted entrepreneurs which grows to become a valuable business partnership and establish yourself with each other as a safe place to gather advice when you have a challenging decision to make.

4. Make valuable connections: Meet with like-minded creative minds. Networking is a skill that is essential in business and in your personal life. If you don’t know how to do this naturally, learn about it. Making these connections within the bella community is the greatest reason the community is here.

5. Learn new business skills: You get to learn new business skills together with real-life entrepreneurs and professionals.

Let’s make this official, join us at our first meetup on the 20th of August. This will be a monthly meetup. Every 3rd Thursday of the month from 5pm- 8pm.

Get ready to swap ideas, business cards, resources, shortcuts, strategies, traditional/digital marketing tools & tactics, put your business online, meet other key professionals and get valuable introductions to various thought leaders.

This is a real community, coming to you soon, so get ready and tell somebody…

There’s a limit of 40 seats, and they’re sure to be snatched up quickly, so register today and share this link.


August Theme (Let’s Discuss): “Creating an outstanding brand in a competitive market”

Guest Speaker: Mr Lanre Adisa, CEO Noah’s Ark (A Creative & Brand Expert)

BIOGRAPHY: Lanre started his career as a Trainee Copywriter at MC&A: Saatchi & Saatchi in 1990. He left as a Copy Group Head in 1994 and later joined Rosabel (Leo Burnett) Advertising as a Copy Manager in 1995.

He moved to Franchise Communications as a Senior Copy Manager in 1996 and joined Insight-Grey as a Senior Copywriter in 1997 and was later made a Joint Deputy Creative Director in charge of the Creative Department in 1999.

He left Insight-Grey as an Associate Creative Director in 2003 when he joined TBWA/Concept as a Creative Director and was appointed to the Board of TBWA/Concept as an Executive Creative Director in 2005.

Under him, TBWA/Concept was adjudged the most creative agency in the country dominating the local award scene. He left TBWA/Concept to start Noah’s Ark in 2008. Within its first five years of existence, Noah’s Ark has scored a few first for Nigeria.

In 2012, Noah’s Ark became the first agency in West Africa to have its work published in Lurzer’s Archive. Noah’s Ark also became the first Nigerian agency to be recognized at Cannes Festival winning two national diplomas in craft for two of its entries.

Noah’s Ark ended the year 2013 as the second most awarded agency at the local LAIF Awards
Lanre has vast experience working on brands like Indomie Noodles, Malta Guinness, Samsung, Peak Milk, First Bank, FUMB (now Fidelity Bank), MTN, Econet, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Nigeria, UAC among many others.

He’s the first Nigerian Creative Director to attend Cannes Advertising Festival as a delegate in 2004. He served as a member of the Management Board of the Lagos Advertising & Ideas Festival (LAIF) from 2006 to 2012. He currently serves as an Adviser to the LAIF Board. He’s the President of the newly formed Creative Directors Circle (CDC)

Noah’s Ark is now evolving into a group of marketing communications service providers with the launch of Integrated Indigo and Underdog Productions in 2013. While the former provides PR, Events Management and Experiential Marketing services, the latter is focused on Audio-Visual Productions and Content Creation.

Beyond advertising, Lanre and his wife ventured into the Quick Service Restaurant sector in 2014 with the launch of Roots Foods Limited. The flagship restaurant of the company, Labule, opened its doors to the public on May 29, 2014.

ENTRY FEE: ₦3500 (Comes with a free meal and drink)

Venue: Labule Restaurant, 42A Ogudu Road, Lagos.

Call Bukky or Blessing on 08086363970 to become a member of the Bella Community and to Register!

This is a real message, so get real and tell somebody