Meet GC4W’s Business Woman of the Year, Korede Edih. The Global Connections for Women Foundation (GC4W) celebrates Mrs. Korede Edih as the “Business Woman of the Year” — her business acumen, leadership, smarts, discipline, and commitment puts her on the very top of our list.
GC4W meet up with Mrs. Korede Edih in Nigeria, to learn more about her, her background, and business operations. “When I started the business, there were so many doubts that almost discouraged me. I spoke with some people already in the business and I had more negative talks than positive ones. However, I didn’t relent, I contacted more business owners and I asked so many questions. Armed with information, I decided to start up the business” said Mrs. Korede Edih, during the interview.
- Tell us about yourself:
- I am Mrs. Korede Edih, a graduate of Mass communication from Covenant University. I’m the owner of Edihs Groceries which is a franchise supermarket chain under a leading and fast growing retailing company, I’m also a professional network marketing executive. I have vast experience in marketing, sales, customer relations and relationship management, having worked in the corporate IT world for over 8 years. I have very strong interpersonal skills and commendable team spirit.
- Why did you decide to start your business? What have you learned about your customers?
- I decided to start this business because I needed to pull away from the norm. In this part of the world, a lot of people believe if you don’t have a monthly pay or a regular 8-5 then you may not be successful, I have a different mindset towards life. Having worked in the corporate world, gaining the necessary experience and imparting the company positively, starting my own business and being my own boss became very essential. It guarantees me more time; it guarantees openness to create a multiple streams of income. Being in the FMCG world (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), you get to meet all varieties of people. Some are satisfied while some may not be satisfied. I have been able to understand the needs of my customers, and I understand when they need direction or guidance on which products to purchase. Having worked in a call center of a telecoms company, I have experience in customer care and customer relations. However, it is a priority of mine to do all I can to make my customers happy.
- What has been the most valuable thing you have learned thus far? How do you promote your business?
- I have learnt that asides from the money you make, your staff and customers help make the business; so you have to apply hard work, love, compassion to your work. I make use of social media a lot to promote my business which has helped me; Facebook, BBM, WhatsApp, and Instagram. I also visit other stores who would like to purchase whole sale items, so they can retail them to their customers. I’m not afraid to discuss me and my business when I meet people, so ‘word of mouth” works too.
- What attitudes are important to have when you become a business owner in Nigeria?
- Discipline is the soul of an army. You must be strong and disciplined. When I started my business, a lot of people were not sure they could go into the business, and I asked why, they said because they will just keep taking one grocery or the other, and may never pay for the item. I personally buy from me, and I ensure I pay. My staff knows not to let me go without paying. If I take an item in a rush, she notes it and puts my name in the creditors book and reminds me until I pay. We have a creditors book for clients that are close family and friends that would have to do a bank transfer or that would order and ask us to deliver. One can’t thrive without it. Also, you should care about your staff and their wellbeing, knowing details about their life outside the business. My past experience has taught me that a boss that doesn’t care will let the business suffer. Also one has to be innovative. When it seemed like the economy was going to affect and slow down sales, we decided to try out gift baskets/ hampers. We decided to use every media we could to get clients and we have made considerable success. We had to try it out. Do not be afraid to try out new things.
- Is starting a business in Nigeria — something that it is encouraged? Do you receive subsidies for being a business owner?
- Yes, I strongly encourage every family to have a business, be it small scale or large scale, people should be encouraged to have multiple streams of income. The supermarket we run, which is a franchise, we get our items at good rates from the Retailing company, entirely different from the general market. So we also sell at good subsidized prices different from the general market.
- What advice would you give others who are looking to start a business in Nigeria or in their community?
- Think deep, research, get ready to work, pray, persevere and go for it. Go with all the strength, all the hard work, all the enthusiasm you possess because you will need it. When I started the business, there were so many doubts that almost discouraged me. I spoke with some people already in the business and I had more negative talks than positive ones. However, I didn’t relent, I contacted more business owners and I asked so many questions. Armed with information, I decided to start up the business. Note however, information is key to your success.
As a society, we must continue to uplift and recognize women with Mrs. Korede Edihs’s exemplary statue. We are also confident that this power woman’s story will give rise to more women across the globe — that they too can start a business of their own. We wish her continue success with her business, congratulations once more for being named GC4W Business Woman of the Year.
The Global Connections for Women Foundation (GC4W) is an award winning non-profit organization headquartered in New York, with programs and partners in various parts of the world. GC4W believes in the rights of women and girls to create new opportunities for themselves and their communities.