For International Women’S Day, 4 Nigerian Entrepreneurs Tell Us How They Have Chosen To Challenge The Status Quo

We interviewed 4 Nigerian women who are entrepreneurs, including the founder of Shoepify Store for International Women’s Day and here’s what they had to say.

Q: What is your understanding of #ChooseToChallenge?

Okikiola: Living life, choosing happiness and personal development on my own terms. Paving my own path to self discovery, not living by some convention or stereotypes

Jennifer: I believe it means challenging every aspect that is unfair, misrepresented, misunderstood or biased to/for women in every sphere of life.

Omowunmi: It means that as women, we have a collective responsibility to challenge the status quo; challenge the world we live in. We are here today because the ones before us didn't sit still and neither should we. Instead we should strive for a world equally beneficial to us and the women who will be here long after we are gone.

Sharee: It’s choosing to speak up and act against injustices against women and unfair status quos, not only on the occasion of this International Women’s day but every day.

Omowunmi Kolawole

Founder: Shoepify

Q: Over the last 5 years, have you challenged the status quo that is unfair to women?  If yes, how?

Okikiola A: I recently started an NGO that is concerned with the development of a girl child mentally, socially and emotionally, it is usually said to catch them young, I am using my knowledge with a few of my friends and volunteers to go to schools to train girls to not just see themselves as mere beings but to show them they’re capable of so much more. We’ve created few workshops to help develop their skills and it has been yielding positive results which I am very proud of.

Jennifer: My business is all about embracing your sensuality and loving your body. For years, women have been body shamed and made to believe that a particular physique is the best or most desirable. I started my brand to let women know that they deserve to feel sexy and embrace their curves wearing lingerie, bikini and more if and when they want to. We also sell toys for enhancing pleasure in women because we know that for years women’s pleasure is usually not taken as something important by most men. Also, I have started a procurement service which encourages women to start businesses and have side hustles and be financially independent.Jennifer Agwuegbo 

Founder: The Intimates Place

Omowunmi:  I am such a big fan of women, totally and absolutely in love with women. Our power, strength, and energy are indeed a force to reckon with. I am committed and invested in everything that makes the life of the next woman brighter, better and exciting. I am constantly involved in conversations that open the woman to the endless possibilities of liberation and freedom. Shoepify is a women-focused brand that caters to the fashion needs of women in all sectors.

I started and belong to a group of female entrepreneurs that is totally free where we engage in discussions and practical solutions on navigating this entrepreneurial journey. This group has successfully produced amazing women entrepreneurs doing well in their field of expertise

Sharee: I’m incredibly proud of our almost 16,000 strong online weight loss and wellness community called AspiringFitFam - a platform inspired by my own personal fitness and weight loss journey. Here, I share my personal routines and simple hacks to help the community of mostly women (90% of our followers are Women) to adopt and fall in love with fitness and healthy eating by positioning it as fun & doable to enable them live a healthier, wholesome life. This community has been impactful in the following ways.

- A safe space for sharing & learning where free resources are posted to help female individuals on their healthy lifestyle journey. Members of the community also get to learn from one another as they share experiences about their unique journey with one another.

Sharee Bakare

Founder Business Aspiringfitfam wellness

- We spotlight and showcase women’s weight loss stories via our #FitCrushFriday series. This inspires other women on their own journey.

- We celebrate women’s businesses to our following and also did a series called #WomenWednesday to spotlight women’s businesses which brought them exposure to our audience.

- I do my bit in giving back as well by patronizing women owned businesses for my use and giveaways, by mentioning their businesses where it matters, donating Aspiringfitfam merchandise and a recent event was identifying and co-sponsoring a higher learning opportunity for one of the members of the community with a more experienced business owner in her business niche. I reckoned she could benefit from this and she sure did!

I’ve met several incredible women who inspire me daily and couldn’t be more proud that the Aspiringfitfam community exists.

Okikiola Emaleku
Founder Skinfinity Esthetics Clinic / Beautyretailng 

Q: What is your advice for women?

Okikiola: Girl, you are important, your dreams are valid; I want you to constantly raise the bar and never give up.

Jennifer: You are stronger than you think you are and you can do any and everything that you set your mind to do. Also, be financially independent; you are able to make great decisions when you don’t depend on anyone for your survival financially. Let’s keep striving to make the world better for us all; don’t be an enabler of anything that is wrong, no matter how it might affect you. Don’t be the one to bring other women down or be a hindrance to her cash flow. The world is big enough for us all to flourish. Be a guide to as many women as you possible that need guidance. Be a great example too.

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