By Obinna Osi-Nelson/Port Harcourt
The founder and chairman, Board of Trustees of Fresh View Empowerment Initiative (FVEI) has urged female entrepreneurs in Port Harcourt to brace up for ‘mindset-shift’.
The CEO, a widow and champion for economic empowerment of women through entrepreneurship, Mrs Eugenia Marcus, admonished business owners over the tendency to waste many resources and factors for economic progress including time.
Mrs Marcus spoke at the second annual Fresh View seminar for women and youths with focus on interaction, learning and developing. The highlight of the business clinic was the thrilling but motivational talks of the queen of Moi-Moi, Mrs Ayodeji Megbope, MD/CEO of No Left Overs Nigeria Limited, who tried to break the inhibitive mindsets of female entrepreneurs.
Marcus, founder/chairman, Fresh View Empowerment Initiative, made it clear that; “Time is a currency, we waste it much in Nigeria in the name of African Time. Time lost cannot be recovered. Just as no sane person can gather money and throw it away, no sane person should waste time.”
She said a woman must step out of her comfort zone, only then can she conquer. “Don’t allow your fears or situation to define you. Don’t dwell on such lacks as lack of spouse, lack of money, lack of job or lack of education or sponsor to decide for you. Push out.’
In an exclusive interview later, Marcus Fresh View Empowerment Initiative is a Non-Governmental Organistion (NGO) set up to support female enterprises and be sure that such businesses are scalable and sustainable. “We realized that most women in business are allowing limitations to keep them back. They may complain, oh, I have no education, I have no capital, my husband would not allow, etc. We are showing them that they need to push out and break those limits. This made us to contact Ayodeji Megbope, who despite having a diploma in secretarial studies, has gone ahead to make a success of her life and her business. She started out with N1000, but today her business employs over 50 persons and she has gone to many places in the world, up to the White House, to motivate others.
“So, we are telling our women and youths, including men, that they can go beyond where they are now. She has shared her story from the beginning to now and one thing she harps on is, “Beyond Us”. So, it’s not about us but our generation.”
The CEO said Fresh View was looking at how to get support for women in business and grant seed capital to them. “We are calling on the Government and organisations that are interested in the cause of supporting women to please come partner with us to support these women. It is not because we have skills but for the business that can go behind the skills so these women can thrive because they found a soft landing in the things we offer. That is our dream and prayer so that women can go on to build generational businesses that can outlast them. Our guest speaker today said her daughter is already in her business, maybe learning to take over from her. It means that she is already planning for generational succession. That is what we must learn.”
In her speech, the guest speaker urged women to quit their comfort zone. “The time to prepare for war is in peace time, never in the war. Note that most things we cherish are no destinies. Getting married is not the end of destiny; having children is not, because there are those married or having children that have not found fulfillment. Find your purpose because purpose is all. Seek your plan, purse in life. That is what I did. I resigned as a secretary and thought for my self, for my life.”
She said unless a business is good enough to run without the owner, it was not yet a real business. She attended to questions and scenario case studies presented by entrepreneurs and urged them to ask for the next level of progress always.