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Tricia Ikponmwonba | Nigeria | Add Value!!

I grew up not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I studied a dreaded course, English and Literature, and everyone said I would become a teacher like my mum. So, the fear of teaching drove me to work hard and forge a career in brand strategy. Funnily enough, I am a teacher now but a business teacher and it is extremely rewarding. In 2017, I noticed the trend that Nigerian businesses do not last the first 3 years, so I did some research and I started testing my results by training 3 young business owners on sales and marketing techniques I had learned over the years and their businesses made profit of over 300% within the first 6 months. Afterward, I decided to dedicate myself to helping entrepreneurs grow past the 3 years and more. In early 2019, I recorded training over 10,000 entrepreneurs across 6 countries. I decided to broaden my vision and reach out to more entrepreneurs through my company. Business Lab Africa is an EduTech company dedicated to offering tailored and customized business knowledge to African businesses at affordable rates and so far we have empowered over 300+ businesses since we launched in July 2019.

What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?

I don’t really face challenges momentarily, however initially when we started some people were reluctant to participate - financially because they wondered if they would get the value for what they were paying for. But we were able to show our track records and businesses that we have helped developed. So, it is no longer a challenge.

What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?

My recommendations will be; Shoedog by Phill Knight, The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason and Higher is waiting by Tyler Perry.

Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?

How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?

No, I didn’t.

What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?

All the experiences gotten in my 9-5 life and my ability to partner and collaborate.

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?

Team Building.

Due to my excitement and quest to train as many entrepreneurs as I could reach, before I founded Business Lab Africa, I took on too many projects, trainings and coaching clients in the early stage of my career as a business coach — Q3 & 4 2017. I slowly began to burn out, was unable to give quality information to clients and participants and eventually ended up in the hospital.This resulted in a major set-back, loss of money and clients. It helped me understand the value of working with a team and the need for proper planning. To resolve this, I founded the Business Lab Africa and created a team to put proper processes in place to ensure that clients and participants get value and there hasn't been any clashes and burnouts.

What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?

As a young person who wants to be successful, always apply yourself and add value first before anything. Also, be willing to learn.

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