• Friday, July 12, 2024
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How young Freda Anyanwu is fulfilling her dreams in event industry

How young Freda Anyanwu is fulfilling her dreams in event industry

To think that success is about age is to miss the mark. This is because there are young, smart and visionary entrepreneurs who are rising today because they draw inspiration from those before them.

One of such is the founder of Kaycee’s Events, Freda Anyanwu. Anyanwu’s love for creativity and hospitality has brought her into the event space, though her background is Computer Science Education, having graduated from Benson Idahosa University, one of Nigeria’s top private universities around.

Anyanwu was nominated this year by The Entrepreneur Africa Awards under the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category. She is also an awardee of the Ladies of Honour Awards for Entrepreneurship.

Also, in 2019, she was nominated for the Under-25 awards of SME100 Africa under the event management category – an award that recognises young entrepreneurs under the age of 25 that are redefining their industries.

Anyanwu is the convener of the annual event business summit known as The Future of Events Africa Summit.

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Giving details of how it all began, she says, “I have always loved creating beautiful concepts and I have also loved organisation. This led me into chasing my passion for hospitality. While in the university, I would eagerly participate in organising social events at school and several times found myself in one planning committee or the other.

“Back then, I had always admired the likes of Funke Bucknor of Zapphaire Events, Bisola Borha of TrendyBE Events and so many others like 2706 Events, whom I saw as sources of inspiration and role models in the event industry.

“So, in 2017, I boldly braced up to officially start my event business which today is known as Kaycee’s Events. It’s a full-service event management company based in Benin City, Edo State.”

In a bid to further develop herself in the business, she had to obtain an event management certification from Brentwood Open Learning College and a project management certification from Project People Limited.

She says for her, learning is a life-long process and she does not toy with it.

Describing what makes her brand unique, the event expert explains that Kaycees Events is all about creating unforgettable experiences. “We do our very best to deliver beyond the expectations of our clients,” she says.

“The truth is, people will forever remember their best memories or experience, so we take our time not just to plan and manage events, but to create a moment that keeps our clients in awe and it stays with them almost indefinitely,” she notes.

Speaking about how she has been able to give back, Anyanwu says the outfit started an academy earlier in the year to provide training and other valuable resources to help event entrepreneurs.

Due to the pandemic, the academy created a platform to assist the growth and development of event businesses across Africa and that was how ‘The Event Business Hub’ initiative came about, she recalls.

The Event Business Hub is a social enterprise that provides valuable support and resources to event entrepreneurs across Africa. And so far, it has been able to help over 200 African event entrepreneurs through trainings, coaching and mentorship programmes to foster business sustainability.

She says that the idea of the academy was borne out of a passion to meet a need of helping aspiring and budding eventpreneurs to overcome basic pitfalls in the business, having had her fair share of mistakes and failures and now using her experience to lift others.

Explaining some of the challenges since inception and how she overcame them, she recalls that as someone in the people-business, she has had to deal with the inability to run a business successfully because of the lack of knowledge to carry out major responsibilities such as accounting, financial management, and effective negotiations, among others.

“From clients who think your job is so simple and want to under-price you, to others who think they are doing you a favour, you will hear comments like, “do this for me and use it to gain popularity or exposure.”

To tackle these issues, she had to spend time educating and giving value orientation to clients.

“But for every business to function well, it must have guiding principles.”

Sharing her success secrets, the entrepreneur says she considers value creation, consistency and hard work as factors that contributed to her success.

There were days she felt like quitting due to the overwhelming nature of the job.

“As I grew in the business, my love for the job increased and seeing how happy I make my clients through the delivery of my work, I became so determined to keep thriving for excellence. I have also realised over time that there are a lot of young people drawing inspiration from me and I cannot afford to let them down.”

Concluding, she advises budding entrepreneurs to keep striving for excellence.

“Excellence is not a one-day activity but a series of activities obtained from the willingness to keep learning and growing, the ability to remain consistent and the eagerness to deliver great results.

Learn to enjoy your progress and always show up no matter how hard it is.”