Our Mumpreneur of the week is Seun Sangoleye is an experienced Nutrition Educator and manufacturer of packaged Infant meals and snacks made from grains, fruits & vegetables called Baby Grubz Nigeria ®.
Seun has published eBooks on child nutrition and provides online mentoring to over 68,000 Nigerian Mothers.
As part of her passion about reducing force-feeding and high levels of malnutrition in Nigerian children, she started video project which teaches preparation of local staples into healthy meals.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Lagos State University; Programming for Infant and Young Child Feeding at Cornell Nutrition Works.
She creates income opportunities for women.
WHAT INSPIRE YOU TO START BABY FOODS BUSINESS?
I had my son and I had to resume work after maternity leave. I introduced him to infant formula but he refused to take all the 4 varieties I bought. I started researching and then I discovered the dearth and alost non-existence of natural African-inspired baby foods.
Meet our Mumpreneur of the Week -ADERONKE ONIPEDE
CAN WE CONSIDER YOU AS THE PIONEER OF BABY AND TODDLER FOODS IN NIGERIA?
I believe that babies in Nigeria were eating before I started Baby Grubz, else, you and I will not be here. I would answer by saying that I pioneered Natural African-Inspired Baby foods.
FROM HAVING AN IDEA TO STARTING YOUR BUSINESS, SHARE YOUR JOURNEY WITH US?
I nursed the idea of the baby food business carefully and I was so determined to make it work. I took a study leave from work to attend Entrepreneurship development center to hone my entrepreneurial drive. When I shared the idea, I was laughed at often but this simply strengthened my resolve to make it happen. I often had to explain to people what all I did was.
It is a remarkable journey that is exhilarating and I would not choose otherwise.
BRILLIANT IDEAS DON’T ALWAYS MEAN GREAT SALES, HOW HAS IT BEEN MARKETING YOUR PRODUCTS?
Good products speak for themselves. Fortunately also, we have an army of women who are our distributors. They continue to spread the reach of our products especially to the most needed areas.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO? THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER BUSINESSES YOU COULD HAVE EXPLORED, WHY BABY FOODS BUSINESS?
I’d like to quote Steve Jobs words, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” I have always being a foodie but knowing that I was transforming the future through my foods is really humbling. I am like Clark Kent only behind a jar and not a desk! Testimonials and the joyful messages I receive from mothers who see the visible transformation in their children also give me indescribable joy. This are one of the many reasons why I chose this business.
Also it is paramedical, sort of. I have enjoy playing Nurse and caring for people and this affords me the highs without the gory sight of blood.
DID YOU DISCOVER NEW THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF IN THE COURSE OF STARTING AND RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS?
Yes I did. I learned how much I care and how resilient I am.
I did not know my hidden strengths and I have learned more weaknesses that I have too.
HOW DID YOU RAISE THE CAPITAL TO START YOUR BUSINESS?
I bootstrapped! I did a broadcast on BBM to announce the company and what we do. Instantly I got orders from mothers who were curious and wanted to give the products a try. They ordered but I could not produce because I had no funds. I simply told them to pay into my account and I told them when their order will be ready and delivered.
They paid in, I withdrew the funds and I went to get raw materials. I processed and I delivered and then I continued that way saving all my profits till I could afford little equipment for expansion and I have been growing ever since.
WHEN YOU STARTED THIS BUSINESS, DO YOU ENJOY SUPPORT FROM OTHER FEMALES?
Yes I did and I still do. I would be no where near where I am now without support from the women folk. Thank you mummies!
HOW ARE YOU BEING ABLE TO TRANSLATE FROM PAID EMPLOYMENT TO STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I took a study leave and went to business school, wrote my business plan and just handed in my resignation letter. I was already putting some of my working hours into researching about my business and I felt really guilty about using my employers’ time for personal work so I quit to concentrate full time.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF HAVING A MENTOR IN BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES?
It is invaluable.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU FACED AS A YOUNG BUSINESS WOMAN AND MOTHER?
Too numerous. I still face challenges as I am still young, still a mother to 3 kids all under 5. Juggling the roles is not easy but I take one day at a time and draw strength from God’s word.
I also am blessed with an extremely supportive hubby – Olawale is my special gift from God.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR WOMEN TO START BUSINESS IN NIGERIA?
I would say survival skills/instincts but then to live in Nigeria, we probably already are survivors! Negotiation skills and people management skills top my list.
HOW PROFITABLE IS BABY ORGANIC HOMES?
As with all business, knowing all the secrets of the trade will help increase profitability and every business is profitable including baby food business.
DO YOU THINK BEING A MUM CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR SUCCESS IN BUSINESS?
Yes it did, in more ways than I can imagine.
Being a mother consciously helps me to think of others first before myself.
I put my adorable customers’ needs first also my staff too.
Meet our Mumpreneur of the week – Bukola Afolabi
HOW DO YOU MANAGE FAMILY WITH RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I try to manage. It is not 100% but I am coping well by taking one day at a time and not try to be super woman.
Facebook: Baby Grubz
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