For Nigeria to drive its economic growth and development, it would require the ability of its citizens to develop and harness their skills to fulfill their potential and make meaningful contributions.
For Nneamaka Nwosisi, CEO and founder of Mak Nisy Collections, that was her inspiration for building a niche business model.
Nneamaka is talent personified, and her great eye for design together with a deep appreciation for African culture and leather, has allowed her to create handbags and accessories that have wonderful visual appeal.
“Handbags are signature accessories for any woman, but I have a particular fascination with them. What I could create with my hands sparked the passion for bag-making,” she says.
She says her initial start-up capital was N5,000, which she got from her savings. “I raise the funds by creating, selling, and reinvesting my profit.”
Since its establishment in 2011, Mak Nisy Collections has emerged as one of the leading handbags and accessories businesses in Abuja and has also expanded its operations to Ghana.
“Our company has expanded so far over the years; when I first started, my startup capital was N5,000 with an employee. We had no factory and a small production space,” she explains.
“Currently, we employ more than 50 young men and women in our production facility, and we have sold thousands of the company’s products nationwide and abroad,” she says.
“This shows our growth trajectory over 12 years,” she notes.
According to her, her business sources most of its raw materials locally. “Our raw materials come from both domestic and international sources. We obtain about 80 percent of the raw materials we need for production locally, while we import the remaining 20 percent.”
She states that her business plans to expand its production capacity and open more retail stores. Also, the business plans to sign more distributors of its brand both locally and globally.
Speaking on the challenges confronting the business, she says finding the right employees is a big problem for her business.
She noted that pioneer employees that have constantly undergone a series of training have helped the business address the issue.
She adds that the country’s infrastructural gaps are also another major challenge. “My line of business requires a 24-hour electricity service that the government has not been able to provide. This eats into our running costs.”
According to her, the recent surge in the prices of inputs owing to inflation is affecting her business.
To deal with the impact of the country’s accelerating inflation on her business, she noted that the business has adopted cost-cutting measures while focusing on diversifying into other businesses to generate more revenue.
On how the business has survived in a highly competitive industry, she says Mak Nisy Collections constantly innovate to outperform its competitors, adding that doing so has made the business quickly respond to opportunities and challenges in its journey.
“Additionally, we make every effort to maintain the quality of our product so that it can stand at par with other products available in the market,” she says.
“The fashion industry is constantly evolving, and staying on trend has helped us identify new opportunities in the industry and seek new areas of growth and development,” she notes.
“In business, it is impossible to predict when a new trend will become commonplace. Consequently, our company accepts these changes in the business world,” she adds.
On her advice to other entrepreneurs, she says, “Running a business in Nigeria is not an easy task, so we need to be ready and brace ourselves for ups and downs.”
“Set your course. Don’t let other people’s definition of success make you deviate from the course you worked so hard to take. Keep in mind that Rome was not built in a day,” she advises.