Jumia Nigeria marks six years of creating sustainable impact

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Nigeria’s #1 Online Shopping Mall – Jumia Nigeria is SIX!

Jumia’s six years anniversary celebration taking place throughout the month of July, aims at celebrating major milestones achieved over the period of its operations in Nigeria. These include, for instance, the listing of over 5 million unique products on the platform, supporting the growth of MSMEs (over 10,000 merchants active on the platform), and granting local customers access to new services in Nigeria.

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“Over the past six years, we have created a sustainable impact on the Nigerian economy, enabled access to new services on our platform, such as food ordering, hotel and flight booking, as well as finance solutions with Jumia Pay. We’re especially excited about these milestones; yet we’re challegened to do more and be more to our local vendors and customers,” said Juliet Anammah, Jumia Nigeria’s CEO.

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Jumia Nigeria’s CEO – Juliet Anammah

Reminiscing on the history of the company, Anammah noted that since inception in 2012 in Nigeria, “the company has now become Africa’s largest e-commerce platform selling goods and services to millions of customers. We have expanded from four to 14 countries, and our vendor network – from Lagos, Nigeria to Cairo, Egypt, and other African countries – has grown to 50,000 businesses offering their goods and services online.”

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“It is important that we give credit to our team of dedicated and hardworking staff. Our story today is incomplete without mentioning the real drivers of the business. So our anniversary this year is a celebration of the Jumia talents who have worked tirelessly over the years to grow the business into what it is today,” she added.

 

According to Boston Consulting Group research, just 0.5% of all retail on the continent takes place online compared with about 15% in China—home to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. —and 5% in India. But companies like Jumia are changing the economic landscape for many African entrepreneurs.

 

As part of the celebrations, Jumia has also launched an anniversary campaign titled, “Salebrate With Us”. The goal of the campaign is to appreciate Jumia customers with over 1,000,000 exclusive deals, 500,000 free shopping vouchers, daily flash sales exclusive to Jumia app and free delivery on any item above N10,000 via Jumia Express in major cities (excluding large items). In addition, customers who make payments with Jumia’s secure payment platform ‘Jumia pay’ get 5% discount off their shopping during the anniversary. The Jumia anniversary sales commences on July 16th till July 29th.

 

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Young African leaders arrive in the United States for 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship

20 June, 2018 – 700 young Africans arrived the United States to participate in the fifth cohort of the summer-long 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship program.

Fellows were warmly welcomed in Nebraska

These young people (ages 25 to 35) from sub-Saharan Africa are up-and-coming community leaders in their home countries, which is why they were selected by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and its implementing partner, IREX, to participate in the highly competitive Young African Leaders Initiative.

25 Students were placed in Wagner College, New York

The YALI program — 6 weeks of study, service, fun and fellowship – empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and local community engagement. Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has brought 3,000 young leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa to the United States to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaborations with U.S. professionals.

60 young Nigerians were selected for Cohort Five

The 2018 Mandela Washington Fellows will be hosted at 28 institutions focused on public management, business and entrepreneurship, and civic leadership across the United States this summer. They will meet at the end of their Institutes in Washington, D.C. for the fifth annual Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

After the Summit, 100 competitively-selected Fellows will join private, public, and nonprofit organizations across the country for a six-week Professional Development Experience, which are substantive, short-term placements that allow Fellows to contribute their skills and insights to American organizations. From 2014 to 2016, Fellows contributed nearly 80,000 work hours to 173 U.S. host organizations across the country.

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Nnadi Ebuka Emmanuel is placed at Rutgers University.

Nigeria’s fellows represent the largest cohort from any one country. Nnadi Ebuka Emmanuel is one of the 60 young Nigerians to make the fellowship. He said:

“I am very excited to be one of the young Nigerian leaders to be selected for the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship, a flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in the United States of America. This is indeed, a dream come true after three consecutive attempts. Now, I look forward to the opportunities and challenges this program would present. But one thing is certain, victory is assured; because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”

Upon returning to their home countries, Fellows will continue to build the skills they have developed during their time in the United States through regional conferences, professional practicum experiences, and mentoring opportunities. Fellows may also apply for their American colleagues to travel to Africa to continue project-based collaboration through the Reciprocal Exchange.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship and the larger YALI program embody the U.S. government’s commitment to investing in the future of Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEGOTIATING FRANCHISE AGREEMENTS

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Buying a franchise offers advantages to entrepreneurs who are intimidated by starting a business from scratch and are unwilling to buy an existing business. In simple terms a franchise is the right granted by a business owner or inventor (franchisor) to another individual or company (franchisee) allowing the use of its trademark, name, processes, good will etc. in the delivery of a service or sales of goods.

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Whilst buying a franchise jump-starts your business by allowing you leverage on existing brand recognition, it is however important to pay attention to the contractual terms of the franchise agreement in order to avoid conflict or loss. This week we examine some of the basic terms a Franchisee should note when considering a franchise relationship:

A franchise agreement governs the relationship between the Franchisor and the Franchisee and typically documents not only the obligations, responsibilities and rights of the parties but also the licensing of intellectual property to the franchisee. In Nigeria, although there is no particular agency of government with the sole responsibility of managing franchises however the National office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has the mandate of registering technology transfer agreements which are typically a form of franchise business model.  Some of the important terms of a Franchise agreement include:

  1. Appointment – The agreement should clearly stipulate the appointment of the Franchisee and should also state the territory such an appointment would cover. The Appointment could be exclusive or non-exclusive
  2. Grant of License- The agreement should grant the Franchisee the right to use the trademark, copyrights, patents or industrial designs of the Franchisor. This right could also be exclusive or non-exclusive within the defined territory
  3. Duration and Renewal- The agreement should contain the duration of the license and terms of renewal. It is common for the Franchisor to include payment of a renewal fee as a condition precedent.
  4. Obligations of the Franchisor- This includes amongst other things the responsibility of providing trade secrets; operating manual; training for key employees; support system; specifications of office/factory plan, signs, fixtures and fittings etc. It is important to also note that the Franchisor is usually responsible for advertising the brand however the Franchisors might be required to pay some money to cover part of advertising costs.
  5. Obligations of the Franchisee- This typically includes payment of franchisee fees; compliance with operating manual; keeping of records which the Franchisor has rights to inspect; insurance; obtaining consent of franchisor before selling or sub-licensing the franchise; ensuring the availability of specified working capital; compliance with the structural and internal designs specified by the Franchisor; undertaking not to denigrate the goodwill of the brand; acceptance not sell/offer competing services or products etc.Image result for Buying a franchise

Due Diligence

Most Franchisors would typically assess the Franchisee before granting a license, in the same measure it is advisable for the Franchisee to also conduct checks on the Franchisor before executing the agreement. Some of the key things a Franchisee should look out for include:

  1. Profitability of the Franchise
  2. Goodwill and Public Acceptance
  3. Cash Requirements
  4. Monitoring and Support Systems
  5. Adaptability to local market

TAKE AWAY

Whilst the franchise model is a safe option for some entrepreneurs, it can also be tricky if parties are not on the same page which is why it is important to critically examine the contractual terms and conduct market research before commencing the franchise relationship.

CREDITS: This opinion is brought to you by the Iyiola Oyedepo & Company

info@ioclaw.com

Scramble For African Startups By Venture Capitalists: Yay or Nay?

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Like the scramble for Africa that saw European powers invading, occupying and colonizing African territories without their consent, venture capitalists seem to be re-enacting the same scenario today as they scramble for viable and scalable African startups to invest, acquire or fund.

Nearly, every month, Innovation-village reports that a venture capitalist with endless cash has invested millions of dollars in an African startup in some parts of Africa although they are more focused on Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt. – Favourite destination

This year…2018

January

Nigerian Startup Rensource Energy, a distributed energy provider, raised $3.5 million USD in bridge financing to expand its power-as-a-service renewable energy business.

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March

Nigerian based data analytics firm, Terragon Group led by founder and CEO, Elo Umeh, received a $5million investment from African venture capital firm, TLcom Capital.

April

MFS Africa, a leading Pan-African FinTech company, secured a $4.5m Series B funding round led by LUN Partners Group, a China-based global investment management group.

TradeDepot has received $3-million in series A funding from Partech, an investment platform for tech and digital companies. It’s the global investment firm’s first commitment from its €100-million Africa fund launched earlier this year.

Kenya based startup, Africa’s Talking has raised a new $8.6 million funding led by IFC Venture Capital, with participation from Orange Digital Ventures and Social Capital.

Kenya’s mSurvey, the mobile-first consumer feedback platform for businesses and consumers in Africa, received $3.5m investment.

South African Edtech startup SkillUp Tutors secured an undisclosed Series A funding from Knife Capital

May

Piggybank.ng raised $1.1m in seed funding led by LeadPath Nigeria

May Lidya raised $6.9 million in a Series A investment round led by Omidyar Network. Nigerian Startup 

Thanks to technology, these solutions are being developed by either brilliant homegrown talents who have braved the unfriendly African environment to find solutions to African problems or by Africans groomed in foreign lands who are returning home to solve African problems.

Clearly, these solutions are attracting a huge interest from venture capitalists considering the millions of dollars raised so far. Of course, predictions

To give more insight, let’s look at how much venture capitalists and angel investors invested in African startups in 2017… 

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Partech Ventures’ latest annual funding report shows that venture capital funding in 2017 reached $560 million, recording 53% year on year growth. The scale of growth in funding is seen in the number of investment rounds participated in by startups: in 2017, 124 startups participated in 128 funding rounds compared to 77 rounds in 2016. Partech’s reports include startups that have a primary market in Africa whether or not they are headquartered or incorporated on the continent.  The Top 3 markets, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, absorbed 76% of the total funding, down from 81% in 2016.

 

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According to the report, Fintech continues to lead the way in Africa’s booming funding scene, Cleantech follows next

 

Some Venture Capitalists that have invested in African startups

*Knife Capital                                   *Village Capital

*LeadPath                                          *Ventures Platform

*500 Startups                                    *Omidyar Network

*Algebra Venture                             *Kalon Venture Partners

*Angel Investment Network       *TLcom Capital

*YCombinator                                  *EchoVC

*IFC Capital                                     *Partech Ventures

*Investment AB Kinnevik

The Scramble for African startups-Good or Bad?

Funding or capital is a major problem encountered by every startup in Africa and other parts of the world.

Indeed, only a handful of startups can scale or attain a level of growth without the much-needed funds. This is why when startups have products that can scale and have groomed it to a certain level, they will definitely be unable to resist the juicy carrot dangled at them by these venture capitalists. No thanks to the lack of support by the government and banks.

So, since, the venture capitalists have the funds and the startups need the funds, they have no choice than to parley with them and come to an agreement on the structure and vision of the startup considering the new funds.

As such, no one can categorically say that venture capital funds are not good. They have contributed millions of $ to the African economy, created jobs and accelerated expansion.

A very good example of this is Jumia, which pride itself as Africa’s Alibaba and is now worth $1 billion. It was founded by Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Afaedor in 2012. They had a $50 million wall chest from foreign VCs to build the startup. They later resigned from Jumia and today, Jumia is Africa’s number one eCommerce platform.

Five Questions An Entrepreneur Must Ask Before Accepting An Investment

  1. Why are you interested in investing in this company specifically?
  2. What do you know about the market that the company is operating in?
  3. Who do you know that could help this company?
  4. How will you help raise follow-on funding at the next round and or additional capital for the current round?
  5. What is your track record as an investor both in this space and overall?

The scramble for African startups by VCs will continue as long as viable and innovative solutions are being developed to solve Africa’s problems. The only admonition for startups is to be thorough and exhaustive before accepting any venture fund. You do not just accept money hook, line and sinker

 

Meet the first in the world hand-woven car that was made by Ojo Obaniyi, a Nigerian artisan

Ojo Obaniyi is one of the most talented Nigerian inventors!
Ojo Obaniyi, a 40-year-old resident of Ibadan has applied his skill in weaving in an unusually creative way to advertise his business – raffia palm cane weaving services.
Ojo Obaniyi is one of the most talented Nigerian inventors!

Obaniyi has covered the interior and exterior of his Volkswagen pickup with raffia palm cane, including the entire car body, the wheel caps, chairs, steering wheel and dashboard.
Ojo Obaniyi is one of the most talented Nigerian inventors!
Ojo Obaniyi is one of the most talented Nigerian inventors! Before creating hand-woven car he has practiced the craft for 20 years. Ojo Obaniyi is one of the most talented Nigerian inventors!

“I wanted to prove a point that it is not only the educated elite that can make positive changes in society. We, the artisans, also have talents to effect a change and make a positive impact in the society,” Obaniyi says.

Ojo Obaniyi is one of the most talented Nigerian inventors!

“That is why I decided that I too must do something that will make people to recognize me and to know me across the whole world.”

Ojo Obaniyi is one of the most talented Nigerian inventors!

“I decided prove to the world that African and indeed the entire black race have very talented people.”

Ojo Obaniyi is one of the most talented Nigerian inventors!

Ibadan (where Obaniyi is from) is the capital city of Oyo State and the third largest metropolitan area by population in Nigeria.
Ojo Obaniyi is one of the most talented Nigerian inventors!
Here there are a lot of raffia palm cane weavers. But only Ojo Obaniyi due to his car has managed to attract the global attention of the whole Internet.
Ojo Obaniyi is one of the most talented Nigerian inventors!

Source: https://www.naija.ng/642896-one-of-nigerian-inventors.html#642896

25 Nigerian undergraduates for global entrepreneurs’ awards

Image result for global entrepreneurs’ awardsTwenty-five undergraduates from various tertiary institutions in Nigeria have qualified for the grand finale of the 2018 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, which will hold today (Tuesday) at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The top three entries are from Olarewaju Fadodun of the Department of Microbiology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Aliyu Bello Aliyu of the Department of Pharmacy, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; and Emmanuel Tishion of the Department of Business Administration, National Open University of Nigeria.

The Entrepreneurship Organisation, organisers of the awards, said in a statement on Sunday that the business ideas and products of Fadodun, Aliyu and Tishion would be showcased at the event.

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“These undergraduates have made in-roads in the world of agro-allied ventures, manufacturing, services, construction, real estate, software design and Information Technology, arts and crafts, etc.,” the firm added.

According to it, the objective behind the project is to tame unemployment and bolster the capacity of Nigerian university graduates to become net employers of labour.

“The event, which is a premier global competition for undergraduates and graduate students, who own and operate businesses, will see these budding entrepreneurs compete against their peers around the world for the chance to win capital from sponsor organisations.”

The Chairman, GSEA of the Lagos chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation Nigeria, Mr. Ayodele Aderinwale, said that the competition, which started last year, had uncovered many potential employers of labour.

“Many of them are doing businesses worth hundreds of millions in naira,” he added.

The EO is the world’s only peer-to-peer global network exclusively for entrepreneurs. Founded in 1987, the EO enables business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.

CREDITS: This work is originally published in punchng.com

The Best Place To Engage Your Customers Is On Social Media, Says Jumia Travel MD

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Owing to the fact that Nigeria has a youthful population and many of them are on social media, it is now an unwritten rule for businesses including those in the hospitality sector to have a strong social media presence. This is because the best place to engage customers is on social media according to Omolara Adagunodo, the Managing Director of Jumia Travel , Nigeria’s No 1 hotel booking portal.

Adagunodo made this statement while speaking on the topic ‘‘Connecting the Dots: Hospitality, Social Media & The Customer Experience” at the panel session organised by Women In Hospitality Nigeria (WIHN) at the Social Media Week Lagos held at Landmark Event Centre.

She affirmed that: “As an online travel agency, you cannot overstate the importance of meeting your customers where they are – and that is on social media. So, connecting the dots aren’t that far-fetched because we all know that the key to gaining a key or loyal customer base today is by engagement and the best place to engage your customers is on social media.”

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The MD who was on the panel with Kayode Abass, Managing Partner, usabitest.com/dptrax.com; Iyadunni Gbadebo, Sales Manager, Eko Hotel & Suites; Wonuola Lamidi, Co-Founder, Diamond and Pearls Travel; Anthony Shishler. CEO, A Simple Management Solution Ltd; and the anchor, Obianuju Onyia, Training/Career Development Coordinator, WHIN stated that what social media is doing today on a much cheaper scale is equivalent to what flyers and billboards were doing 20 years ago just by engaging customers on social media. Hence, “We use social media as a tool to increase and improve customer experience in hospitality.”

Contributing to the discussion, social media consultant, Kehinde Abass said social media should come as a natural tool to businesses in the hospitality industry. His words: the hospitality and tourism industry thrives on word of mouth and reviews. Hence, social media should come as a natural tool since it is e-word of mouth. If I had a good experience in a nice hotel, I will definitely go on social media and talk about it.”

Abass advised social media managers not to ignore or delete comments as this action may escalate to a social media crisis.

Social Media Week Lagos is a week-long conference that provides the ideas, trends, insights and inspiration to help people and businesses understand how to achieve more in a hyper-connected world.

7 Bootstrapping Tricks For First-time Entrepreneurs

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Not all startups have the luxury of getting investors from the very beginning. So, you have to fund your business out of your own pocket. This is what is called bootstrapping.

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While this is a good way to start a business, bootstrapping is more difficult than it might seem especially for first-time entrepreneurs.

Here are 7 bootstrapping tricks to make funding your own business easier.

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1.Carefully pick your co-founder

When bootstrapping, the majority of the work is done internally, so co-founders need to complement each other’s skill sets. If you’re good at different things, you have a better shot at being able to do everything between the two of you thus keeping expenses low.

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2. Have a business model that generates cash ASAP

The most successful bootstrapped companies have a business model that generates cash as quickly as possible. Without any cash inflow, you will exhaust your cash pool before gaining any serious traction.

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3. Reduce personal expenses

Without a salary, you won’t have money to spend–so don’t expect to live a luxury life when first starting your company. Consider every purchase and only spend what’s necessary.

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4. Do not outsource jobs you can do yourself

When bootstrapping, hiring someone for a job you could do yourself is a foolhardy expense. So, whether you are very busy or not, you should never outsource jobs you can do yourself.

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5. Watch out for intending investors

Bootstrapping does not mean you should not watch out for prospective investors. So, keep an eye out for people who may be willing and able to invest in your business. Build relationships with them, but don’t ask for money until the time is right.

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6. Start marketing before you think you’re ready

Many entrepreneurs wait until their product is ready before they start marketing. This is not advisable especially if you are offering a product that people are interested in. Therefore, find good, cheap, effective ways to reach your potential customer in the early stages of your business. And whatever profits you do make, put as much back into marketing as you can.

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7. Invest instead of spending

Don’t spend money on anything that doesn’t have the ability to put money directly back into your business. View the expense of these items as an investment, but be sure the investment has the ability to provide you with a positive Return On Investment.

Welcome to the new Green World of Farmcrowdy

The Nigerian agricultural sector is gradually becoming a focal point of discussions as the economy continues to recover from recession.

On today’s edition of Office Tours, we visit the headquarters of Farmcrowdy, a digital agricultural platform that is simplifying the level of involvement of corporate and non-corporate Nigerians in the agricultural sector.

Farmcrowdy matches indigenous farmers with sponsors and at the end of the farm cycle, the proceeds are shared between farmers and sponsors.

So far, Farmcrowdy has sponsored 6,170 farm units with the help of 996 sponsors. The platform has engaged 3,088 farmers across eight Nigerian states through the company’s outreaches.

 Join me as we see the new space where the humans of Farmcrowdy work out of!

On arrival, you are greeted by a map of Africa artwork

The faces on the map are those of farmers, field specialists and individuals impacted by the platform.

A walk through the entrance reveals the comfy reception area

The carpet grass on the wall is a deliberate choice because Farmcrowdy is about agriculture. Early spoiler: There’s green in almost all parts of the office.

We move on to the ‘Engine Room’

The Engine Room is an open space that is void of cubicles or dividers. Every table represents a department.

The empty seats are those of field specialists who are barely in the office

The field specialists engage farmers and help them in various capacities for optimum farm production.

A screen on the wall shows realtime updates on milestones reached

The company’s motto is clearly visible on the wall to remind everyone of the collective goal of ’empowering farmers’.

There’s an indoor event space that doubles as an interview area

And here is the Community Wall, which represents the 23 early team members of Farmcrowdy

Each member has been promised a bottle of champagne in their name if the company reaches the desired valuation as a business in 2018

Green Room / Meeting Room

For every busy office there’s need for some privacy and that is what the green room is meant for. Cozy furniture surrounded by tree imagery on both sides of the wall.

Private office

Sleeping Pod

Most tech companies are known for long extended work hours. To cater to the need for a nap, there’s a room designated for that purpose.

Meeting Area/Private Workspace

Working in an open space can be distracting sometimes. Employees who require less distraction can use the private workspace.

The Yellow Room

Eating takes place here. There’s an in-house cook that uses a menu created by the staff to provide lunch meals.

Staff Lounge

The staff lounge is a display of Farmcrowdy’s flexible work structure.

Employees are encouraged to ‘play hard and also work hard’. The space is a large room with bean bags, a couch, snooker table, console games and everything fun. It’s a relaxation centre or, rather, a cool off zone.

Conference Room

Balcony/Outdoor Events Space

Outdoor company events happen here. Employees who need some fresh air while working with limited level of disturbance can also use this space.

Our tour through Farmcrowdy’s office shows a company culture that embraces openness and a lot of employee interaction. The interior design of the office space is based on input from various members of the team. Big thumbs up to Farmcrowdy.

CREDITS: Office Tours is a production of techpoint.ng

NIGERIAN ENTREPRENEUR SHORTLISTED FOR BRITISH SAFETY AWARDS

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Ugochi Obidiegwu is also known as The Safety Chic

Nigerian safety entrepreneur, Ugochi Obidiegwu, popularly known as The Safety Chic, has been shortlisted for the Rising Star of the year category in the Safety and Health Excellence Awards 2018.

She made the shortlist of 75 entries across nine categories from more than 150 entries.

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Ugochi, a cabin crew and safety officer for Nigerian airline, Aero Contractors,  is passionate about increasing safety consciousness in Africans, providing a one-stop solution for all things child safety.
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Through her Train Them Young Initiative (2TYI), she provides a one-stop solution for all things child safety – an annual School Safety Summit which happens in May, Movie Day with The Safety Chic; child safety story book series – The Adventures of Muna 1 & 2; creating innovative safety products – poster packs which serves as a visible reminder of safety precautions, and social media advocacy via @TheSafetyChic where she shares tips, articles and videos that help people become safety aware.

Rising Star of the year

The awards will be held at the prestigious VOX Conference Centre on 11th April 2018 at the NEC, Birmingham.

Print

The Safety and Excellence Awards, an initiative of the Western Business Exhibitions, will encompass the long-established British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) Awards that promote the importance of innovation and underline the highest standards of excellence within occupational safety and health.