‘Nigerian Women Are One Of The Most Entrepreneurial All Over The World’ ~ Efe Ukala
Many Nigerians believe that when you ‘live in the abroad’, there is a huge possibility of being successful than those in Nigeria. Today on Your View, the focus was on ‘living the American dream as a woman’.
We had on the show, US based investment lawyer, Efe Ukala whose organization ‘ImpactHer’ has trained African female business owners on how to build scalable best-in-class businesses and to be investor-ready.
Efe Ukala was born in Nigeria, where she also had her Secondary education. After she became a successful Lawyer and the legal officer for Investment companies, she noticed a lack for women and decided to be the solution to a problem, rather than be among those that complain.
She and her team found out that lots of Africans, especially women have been encouraged to start businesses but finance is always an issue. According to her,
“African Women can actually start a business but statistics have shown that within the first 3 years, there a lot of failures in businesses. About 44% fail in terms of African Female Entrepreneurship as a result of not making profits or not getting access to finance.”
This spurred her to start the Organisation, ImpactHer, which comes in to teach women in business how to tackle operational issues, teach them the necessary know-how and when they get to a point where they are ‘Investement-ready’ and an investor could take them seriously, they make the introduction. “Even if the business is not profitable, so far you’ve stayed 2 years in business and you don’t know where to go, we come in.”
She noted that the backbone of any economy is the SMEs not the startups, therefore, the focus of ImpactHer, which is now about a year old, is on SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises)
“We jump in to help women that probably have no western education, but seem to be doing great in their business. Education is not a barrier for us.”
Co-host, Nyma asked what it means to be ‘Investment-ready’ and Efe responded that it entails the strength of the team, the product, how well the entrepreneur understands his customer base etc. It also means the business has gotten to a point where people would take it seriously, and they now have the ability to access capital and get free grants.
Train you enough to be capable of getiing somone trust you enough to invest in the business
Guest co-host, banking expert and aspiring politician, Funmilola Dosumu-Ayoola noted that a lot of people go into businesses without having adequate training and Efe explained that ImpactHer gives people intensive training, but it’s structured around what works for women. Over a hundred women have been trained for free and they also apply for free.
Asked what keeps her going, Efe Ukala said that:
‘Being grounded and having the right support system which has been amazing and it is what makes it look like I’m living the American dream with a successful career.’
On a final note, Efe declared that Nigerian women are one of the most entrepreneurial women in the world except that they don’t have the necessary finances and background to how a business is run.
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