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Nigeria

Transforming Nigeria’s agricultural value chain

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Agriculture was the mainstay of  Nigeria’s economy before the discovery of crude oil. From 1960 to 1969, the sector accounted for an average of  57.0% of GDP, and generated 64.5% of export earnings. From 1970 to late 2000s, the sector’s contribution to GDP and export earnings steadily declined, because Nigeria’s focus shifted to petroleum exploration. Over the past five years, the sector has contributed an average of 23.5% to GDP, and generated 5.1% of export earnings. Due to the recent fall in crude oil prices, export earnings from crude oil has reduced significantly. This has triggered conversations around the critical role agriculture has to play in diversifying the economy.

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Why One PR Expert Moved Her Successful Company To Nigeria

By Ann Brown

Public relations is vital to growing a successful company. In Nigeria, entrepreneur Bukky-Karibi Whyte and her lifestyle PR firm, The Bobby Taylor Company, has attracted major clients who hire her to get the word out about their products and services. The Bobby Taylor Company  handles public relations in the lifestyle and luxury sector, and counts among its clients Estee Lauder, MAC Cosmetics, and SPAR. Whyte recently opened Invicta Africa, which is dedicated to the corporate sector. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Whyte, 35, studied African American History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the United States. Prior to returning to Nigeria, she worked in the educational sector for about seven years. Whyte, who is married with three children, actually started The Bobby Taylor Company in 2007 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, before moving operations to Nigeria.

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Success is an attitude: A bootstrapper’s approach to nailing the fashion industry

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When Bisola Edun’s business partner unexpectedly moved out of the country, she was left holding the baby. In this case it was their newly-launched business, Taé, a Nigeria-based clothing and accessories company. At the time, Edun was working as a relationship manager for Afrivest and had not considered being a full-time entrepreneur. “I was looking for options in stockbroking and finance, which was my field. But when the situation arose, I thought, ‘Why not?’”

In December 2002 she quit her job in the financial sector and took a six-month break to finesse a business plan she had been incubating. She also took time to learn from those who had been successful in the industry, visiting factories and learning the nitty-gritty details of how to run them. By June 2003 Edun was ready to jump in. “When I started, I worked from home. I had two staff members, and little clue of what I was doing, or how I was going to sell. But I had some strong encouragement, which helped silence my fears. People admired my bravery.”

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Nigerian entrepreneur grows trendsetting jewellery business from scratch

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If you ask Gbenga Ayo-Dada, the founder and creative head at Artsmith Collections, how he started his business, he will tell you “I started with nothing”. Ayo-Dada got his start-up capital while he was still training to be a jewellery designer. He would take some of the items off his trainer’s shelf and sell them at the bank branch where his sister was working. “For instance, if my boss gave me a set of jewellery at a retail price of N1,500, I could sell it for N2,500 or N3,000. I saved some of the profits and that was how I was able to get the capital to start my own business,” he recalls.

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