Odumaran Kemisola embarked on a venture selling women’s lingerie and fragrances to strengthen her financial stability while pursuing her education. Nevertheless, she faced formidable challenges in elevating her brand and boosting sales, grappling with financial constraints and steep expenses.
Social media is employed for marketing by 71% of small-to-midsized businesses; among those, 52% maintain a daily posting frequency to increase brand awareness. Kemisola faced challenges in growing her business, Kermes Vintage, until she crossed paths with Precious Akintulubo in 2022.
“Her initiative has helped me widen my horizons about digital marketing and advertising, which includes graphic design. It helped to know where to focus my attention as a business owner and know how to reach my target audience,” Kemisola said.
Thanks to the training she received, She can now design her graphics for her business and can create strategies to make her business known to her immediate environment.
Digital Amazonite is a female-focused digital upskilling centre aimed at empowering digitally equipped female entrepreneurs across educational institutions in Nigeria, especially undergraduates in tertiary institutions.
Akintulubo, the founder of Digital Amazonite, is a multimedia journalist and also serves as the director of Horeah TV. She spoke about her belief in women’s superhuman ability to multitask and build their brands.
“I noticed that girls use practically all of their income from small businesses to build their brand when they can actually do it themselves. But they don’t need to give their businesses to men, especially to build their brand. They pay for logo design; they pay for flyers; they pay for advertising.”
When recounting how the initiative started, she said that as a member of the Girls Leading Our World Cohort, she was expected to empower other women like myself. Fortunately, as part of my engagement with Leap Africa, she proposed this idea to her teammates, and that marked the beginning of its reality.
“We focus on girls who are business owners because they shouldn’t have to wait for a job after graduation. Our goal is to equip them with the skills needed to brand and grow their businesses,” she said about the training sessions that are organised for female students.
The initial cohort lasted one month and was conducted entirely online, focusing on Olabisi Onabanjo University. Subsequently, the second cohort spanned three days and was held in person at Abraham Akinsanya Polytechnic.
Digital Amazonite’s primary focus is empowering women with essential digital skills, including content creation, graphic design, and branding, to bolster their businesses. This emphasis stems from the recognition that many of these young women lack the financial means and capability to hire such services.
Akintulubo said, “We assist girls with solid, forward-thinking business ideas, not just those who talk without a clear vision.”
With a team of six individuals, each person is designated as a mentor to oversee and support the work of the 40 beneficiaries they have trained and equipped.
Over 85% of Nigerian graduates lack digital skills, according to a recent survey by GetBundi, an online educational technology company, and this is one of the issues that Precious and her team have chosen to tackle.
Expanding on their work at Digital Amazonite, they are actively aligned with three Sustainable Development Goals:
SDG 4, Quality Education, serves as their cornerstone, with a primary focus on empowering girls in tertiary institutions. They aim to enhance educational opportunities for these young women through tailored programmes and resources, paving the way for a brighter future.
Digital Amazonite is committed to addressing gender inequality (SDG 5) and promoting decent work and economic growth (SDG 8). By actively working towards breaking down gender barriers and supporting students in establishing prosperous businesses, they contribute not only to gender equity but also to the overall economic advancement of their community and beyond.
According to Statista, in 2022, an estimated 88.4 million people in Nigeria lived in extreme poverty. Of this population, approximately 44.7 million were men living on less than 1.90 U.S. dollars a day, while 43.7 million were women, which can be reduced through digital skills.
“Physical training proves more effective than online. Unlike the one-month training of our first cohort, participants in the second three-day physical training achieved faster and more tangible results.”, Akintulubo told Prime Progress.
She said that they haven’t registered the organisation yet, which has been hindering the ability to seek external funding. Initially, the initiative relied solely on Precious’s personal funds, but recently, they have established new partnerships to support their programs.
Futuristically speaking, Precious concluded that she hopes to raise a generation of digitally literate and skilled women, saying, “I look forward to nurturing 5000 Digital Amazonites”.