• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Meet women entrepreneurs from AWEAA exhibiting at FITCC Houston

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The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) gives enterprising women the knowledge, networks and access they need to launch and scale successful businesses.

By promoting women’s economic opportunities and ensuring that women have the capabilities and resources needed to participate in the economy, the AWE program directly supports the U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality. At a local level, AWE harnesses the power of public-private sponsors, local partnerships and U.S. Exchange Alumni networks to help women and their businesses grow, driving localized prosperity in communities in more than 100 countries worldwide.

The women from Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Alumnae Association (AWEAA) has continued to grow, building women that have continued to lead in various innovative businesses. As a testament to their consistent growth, 16 members of AWEAA would be exhibiting at the Fidelity International Trade & Creative Connect (FITCC).

FITCC is a worldwide platform dedicated to facilitating connections between Nigerian exporters and international buyers.

Its goal is to drive the integration of Nigerian enterprises into global supply chain networks through strategic partnerships and foreign direct investments (FDIs), thereby fostering a vibrant marketplace for Nigerian products and services.

The expo provides a platform to address pressing issues that impact the competitiveness of Nigerian exports in the U.S., and offer practical and effective solutions.

Read also: Odu’a Foundation: Empowering South West youths through digital education, entrepreneurship

Here are members of AWEA that would be exhibiting at the FITCC:

1) ADEBISI ODELEYE – MOORE ORGANICS

Adebisi Odeleye is a multi-award winning entrepreneur, gender advocate and development enthusiast. She is the founder of Moore Organics (now Moore Beauty and Lifestyle Limited), a female-led social enterprise that operates on the farm-to-skin concept converting plant oils, leaves, fats, back and herbs into active natural skincare products using African ethically sourced botanical produce backed with science to create safe, mindful, and holistic skin beauty items.

Adebisi is an alumnus of Regent Business School South Africa and Enterprise Development
Center, Pan- Atlantic University, Lagos. She is the Star Entrepreneur of U.S Consulate Lagos and a Laureate for the Beauty Industry by Woman in Africa Philanthropy WIA 54. She is the
President of Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Alumnae Association Nigeria.

2) FUNMI ADENIYI – BODY PANTRY INTERNATIONAL

Funmi Adeniyi is an astute Dentist with over a decade experience is the founder of Body Pantry International Limited. Body Pantry International Limited is a pioneering African fashion brand dedicated to the preservation of culture. The company is renowned for its sustainable fabric manufacturing practices, which prioritize the efficient utilization of resources, resulting in fabric that is not only eco-friendly but also easy to recycle. Their commitment to environmental responsibility extends to the use of biomaterials in the manufacturing process, ensuring their products are long-lasting, multipurpose, reusable, and ultimately recyclable. The company has a strong focus on emission reduction and showcases innovation through the application of unique African production method.

3) JULIET OBI – HOUSE OF EBONY

Juliet Obi is a serial and creative entrepreneur, social innovator, and certified business mentor who has served in different capacities and projects within and beyond Nigeria. She is the CEO of a fashion and art brand House of Ebony Fashion Limited, which creates sustainable Africa Art infused unique designs, by intelligently leveraging on her knowledge of Africa’s vast culture to tell an African story. Juliet is also the founder of the first
Kidpreneur Academy in Nigeria and Africa, Kidpreneur Africa is tackling the low level of financial literacy among young people in Nigeria within the ages of 6-15 through FLIP (Financial Literacy and Inclusion Program) which empowers them with financial literacy and entrepreneur skills as a tool to increase economic growth. With her team, she has conducted financial literacy awareness impacting over 30,000 children in 120 schools in Nigeria, 10 schools in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Juliet launched her latest collection “AFRICAN WOMEN UNITE” at Fidelity International Trade and Creative Connect (FITCC). This collection serves as a rallying call for all African women to unite in strength and solidarity, working collectively to improve the world around them.

4) OLUWAYEMISI ADESHINA – AGRICBUIZ WITHOUT BORDERS

Oluwayemisi Adesina is a lawyer and dedicated creative professional. Her journey led her to a more profound involvement in the agricultural sector, where she began to offer legal services to farmers and agricpreneurs, subsequently branching out into consultancy services. This journey ultimately gave rise to the establishment of Agricbuiz Without Borders Ltd, an agro-service company specializing in providing diverse training programs,mentorship, consultancy, and facilitating local and international market access for individuals and entities operating within the agricultural sector.

5) ATA ASHIRU – INKHEART STUDIOS

Ata Ashiru is renowned as the founder and creative director behind the establishment of Inkhearts Studio, a comprehensive custom design, printing, and production company. She has forged a prominent reputation within the luxury stationery design and creative packaging sector. With an extensive client portfolio that spans from high-net-worth individuals to multinational corporations, Ata’s bespoke and adaptable designs are consistently sought after.

On a dedicated mission, Ata aspires to redefine the standards of bespoke stationery andbbranded packaging through the art of graphic design. Inkhearts Studio is committed to kindling enthusiasm within each client, ensuring they embrace the potential of their creative projects from inception to fruition by providing end-to-end design, printing, and production solutions. Their overarching objective is to enhance life stories through the medium of graphic design while upholding unwavering values of quality, integrity, and exceptional
service.

6) WINNIEFRED UWUJELE – WINNIECENSE FRAGRANCE

Winniefred Uwujele is the founder of Winniecense Fragrance Nigeria, a unique perfumery that specializes in the creation of an extensive range of hypoallergenic and eco-friendly scents. Remarkably, her enterprise proudly holds the distinction of being the sole Kid-Scent manufacturer in Nigeria. The perfumery was born out of the essential need for enhancing environmental fragrances, promoting personal hygiene, nurturing psychological well-being, and averting respiratory and skin allergies. Winniecense Fragrance Nigeria extends its reach through an academy dedicated to teaching the art and business of perfumery.

Winniefred herself is celebrated for her acute sense of olfaction, often recognized as an innovator with an innate ability to identify opportunities for enhancing company management while proactively addressing and mitigating business process risks. As a testament to her expertise, Winniefred has organized and led numerous international perfumery workshops, making her a highly sought-after trainer in the field.

Read also: Being tenacious, professional key to running successful businesses – Entrepreneur

7) OLUWATOYIN ISSAH – MY BEADSWORLD

Oluwatoyin Issah is the founder of Beadsworld Accessories and Fashion LLC, a registered fashion accessories production company in both Nigeria and the United States of America which specializes in the creation and distribution of distinctive, high-quality fashion accessories and embellishments tailored to meet the requirements of fashion entrepreneurs worldwide. Their vision extends to the establishment of a global fashion empire that can effectively address the ever-expanding demands of the fashion industry.

9. HALIMA UMARU – KURUX CRUNCHIES LIMITED

Halima Umaru is a dedicated farmer and the founder behind Kurux Crunchies Limited, an indigenous snack company. Her mission was sparked by a desire to offer health-conscious
snack options that honoured cultural heritage while simultaneously empowering the women involved in the production process. Kurux Crunchies specializes in transforming an indigenous species of groundnut into a wholesome, handcrafted protein delight, free from preservatives and artificial flavourings.

Their goal is to provide a healthy snacking alternative for adults in a society saturated with unhealthy snack options.

The production of these groundnut crunchies, also known as Kulikuli, is carried out by a group of women boasting over 60 years of collective experience. This endeavour not only guarantees a sustainable livelihood for the women but also extends to support their families in the community where the snacks are produced.

10. VICTORIA AJAYI

Victoria Ajayi is the co-founder of Chow Noodle Bar, a quick-service Asian wok restaurant known for delivering a distinctive taste of Asia in every meal. The restaurant offers a fiery culinary experience that has garnered recognition for its fresh, high-quality Asian stir-fries, crafted with signature sauces and featured on various media platforms.

Chow Noodle Bar has also established a prominent presence at major festivals, rapidly gaining popularity for its innovative creations and service style. Leveraging her expertise, Victoria has harnessed her knowledge to develop wholesome, nutritious meals that promote a healthy lifestyle, catering to consumers on the go. Victoria serves as the VicePresident of Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Alumnae Association Nigeria.

11. BENITA AFOLABI

Benita Afolabi is a maritime entrepreneur who has amassed numerous accolades and championed an increase in female representation in the heavily male-dominated maritime industry. She is the founder and Managing Director of KAYSTONE Global Resources Limited, a
Nigerian customs brokerage firm (Nigeria Customs License Clearing and forwarding Agent IMPORT & EXPORT) which provides supply chain solutions for onshore and offshore needs.
Benita’s experience in the maritime sector spans customs processing, shipping/terminal operations, haulage/logistics, warehousing, and more. Through her work at KAYSTONE, she has decentralized these competencies across her 100-man team, ensuring that Nigerians who want top maritime services can access them readily.

12. OLUWAYEMISI OGUH

Oluwayemisi Oguh, a pioneer in the natural skincare industry, is the founder of Demamy
Concepts Limited and CraftTech Fusion Global. With her roots in English Language Education, she has smoothly transitioned from the field of teaching to achieve remarkable success as an entrepreneur. Her ventures include the provision of Grade A Raw Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, and the introduction of innovative products such as the All-Natural ChocoaSpread and Nutties. Oluwayemisi’s contributions have earned her international recognition, including her role as a stockist on Amazon.

Read also: Women should support women to build a better society – Onyegikei, Nigerian author

13. FIRO ELHASSAN

Firo Elhassan operates as a fruit and vegetable processor in Abuja, Nigeria. Driven by a profound passion for food, her company, Laalfi Farms Nigeria Limited, was established with
the primary objectives of mitigating post-harvest losses, fostering nutrition-driven health, and empowering small-holder farmers. The products offered by the company encompass an assortment of all-natural dried fruit pieces and vegetable powders, devoid of any additives or preservatives. Additionally, Firo Elhassan boasts a background in Logistics and Supply
Chain Management.

14. VERONICA OBENDE

Veronica Obende is the founder of Ronnid Outfitters Limited, leads the corporate outfitter and production hub specializing in fashionable, elegant, and comfortable outfits. The company offers a diverse and authentic range of clothing suitable for all occasions, genders, and age groups. Their distinctive outfits feature a fusion of African aesthetics with a touch of European styles, utilizing specially crafted African Ankara fabrics with lycra, ensuring better stretch, enhanced comfort, and long-lasting durability. These garments maintain their vibrant colours and original size, as they neither fade nor shrink over time.

15. OLUWATOSIN SODIMU

Oluwatosin Sodimu, the visionary behind Hannah Ephraim Jewellery, stands as a prominent figure in the sustainable stainless steel jewellery sector. Hannah Ephraim Jewellery is steadfast in its commitment to revolutionize fashion by offering exquisite, customizable
jewellery including necklaces, bracelets, and earrings all while upholding eco-conscious principles. The brand exclusively utilizes top-notch stainless steel, celebrated for its
longevity and recyclability, in its jewellery crafting process. Central to their ethos is the art of personalization, allowing customers to create unique pieces that mirror their individuality or to offer heartfelt tokens to loved ones.

The company goes the extra mile in its dedication to environmental responsibility by utilizing eco-friendly materials for packaging, reducing its carbon footprint, and ensuring
that the materials are reusable

15. OLUSOLA SOWEMIMO

Olusola Sowemimo, renowned as the founder and Lead Strategist of Ope Farms, holds certifications as a trainer, has received prestigious awards, and is a sought-after international speaker. She is a prominent figure in the field of agribusiness, deeply committed to advancing health and well-being through her organic farm and its produce.
Her Seed-to-Fork initiative has been instrumental in successfully educating over 2,000 women on home food cultivation, alongside the continuous development of products that
champion wellness and environmental sustainability. Ope Farms stands as a certified organic farm at the forefront of organic food production, cultivating nutrient-rich soil. The farm’s product line aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 3, and 12, underscoring its dedication to nurturing both individuals and the planet.

16. AMINAT ADERAYO ANIMASHAUN

Aminat Aderayo Animashaun is an award-winning entrepreneur and founder of De’rayo, an Afrocentric fashion brand dedicated to telling the African story through integrating its
unique designs into everyday wear.

Aderayo is the lead instructor at De’rayo vocational limited, dedicated to helping young people acquire vocational skills for self-sufficiency and contribution to national development. Her vision is to see the institute metamorphose into a degree awarding institution.

She recently started “Switch It On”, an entrepreneurial development training event to build a strong community of entrepreneurs for networking and harnessing business
opportunities.