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25 Nigerian-Based Women Business Owners Share Their Stories – A Review of Ibukun Awosika’s The “Girl” Entrepreneurs

Title: The “Girl” Entrepreneurs (An Expanded Version)
Authors: Ibukun Awosika
Publisher: Grace Springs Africa Publishers
Year of Publication: 2014
Number of Pages: 655
Category: Business

People like Ibukun Awosika are familiar to many readers, and many have already had the pleasure of listening to her speak or read her first book. She is an inspirational figure, a game-changer, a lady entrepreneur admired by many, and certainly considered one of Nigeria’s best-respected business leaders. But, what does it take to become a successful woman entrepreneur like her? The “Girl” Entrepreneurs is her encouragement to women entrepreneurs that yes, they can achieve outstanding things and overcome challenges women entrepreneurs face.

With a strict and no-nonsense demeanor, Awosika’s writing wakes readers up to face their lives with courage and boldness. The book offers some great tips on how women can start, and grow their businesses in these difficult times. As well as, words of wisdom that provide you with the energy to continue doing what you love to do.
Written in two parts, the book jumps from one successful female business owner to another. Awosika and 25 different Nigerian-based women business owners unfold their stories. But they are not all “feel-good” stories, then again those intrigued by businesses that began by humble beginnings will find this book fascinating and keep turning the pages to discover what happens next.

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From one of the famous event planner Yewande Zacchaeus to Betty Irabor, renowned writer and Publisher, Mo Abudu, media mogul; Tara Durotoye, a pioneer in the bridal makeup profession in Nigeria to late Amaka Igwe popularly known as the foremost woman filmmaker in Nigeria and many more famous names from other industries. Disappointingly, all but one or two of the faces are young, and it appears like only older women succeed in business in Africa. Or does it take age to turn business ideas into success stories?

The “Girl” Entrepreneurs effectively hooks readers with the vivid childhood memories of these women, and some readers may be surprised that most of these women are from normal backgrounds.
The stories are written to be enlightening, easy to understand, and seems infused with a sense of honesty. And, they are likely to interest both female and male entrepreneurs.
Another fascinating thing about the book is the connection between the author and a few of the ladies. It reminds readers of the importance of a strong support system. Beyond that, Awosika’s strength is her willingness to talk about female entrepreneurs and the myth of having it all.

The women dole out words of wisdom, then in another moment, a drama that will make you glad you are not a CEO. One story brings attention to one of the women making a tough decision to shut down her business, a choice that doesn’t favor her friends and clients. However, the book wraps readers in images of hope, many of which still reveal the realities of business life.
Some other women leave readers laughing out loud. Beneath the humor, however, readers encounter strong-minded women, who often prioritise their happiness over others and aren’t bothered by critical remarks.

For decades, religion played a big role in Awosika’s business operations, and those particularly interested in sticking to their biblical principles will appreciate this book for its tips.
By the book’s end, readers may feel fear or excitement and be eager to run their own business or abandon the idea completely. And, while the book is full of wisdom, it would be difficult to recommend this book to somebody not interested in business.

The “Girl” Entrepreneurs would be a perfect book for the person (male or female) who always says they wish they could start a business but just don’t know how to start out.

About the reviewer
Titilade Oyemade is a business executive in a leading organisation and holds a degree in Russian Language. She’s the convener of the Hangoutwithtee Ladies Event and the publisher of Hangoutwithtee magazine. She spends her weekends attending women conferences, events and book readings. She loves to have fun and to help other women have the same in their lives. Email: Social: @tiipree

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