First published on Konbini
For all the noise about “buy Naija”, it’s important to note that good quality, made-in-Nigeria products are not that easy to find. Thankfully, Keturah Ovio is doing her best to change that.
Keturah, a trained software engineer, is the founder and and CEO of Qeturah, an online marketplace that helps people find and shop for quality products from Nigerian brands with just the click of a button.
5 years ago, Keturah got the idea for the website but she decided to gain some experience first. After working at a Japanese tech startup and exploring corporate Asia for a while, she moved back to Nigeria, where she applied with her idea to the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program in 2015, and got accepted.
But, according to Keturah, she still had to validate her business concept:
“The first six (6) months I spent it fully immersing myself in the training program provided by the Foundation and conducting marketing research to know who my customer really is, what challenges do they face, what mediums have they been using to transact sales, how they would want to improve this, if they would want to sell/buy Nigerian-made products online and what type of products would move the market.”
She finally launched Qeturah in November 2015 and now has over 200 Nigerian brands selling via the platform. Of course, she still has to compete with the Jumias and Kongas of Nigeria but according to her:
“I love what I do because my passion lies in technology and also helping people. My online marketplace uses technology to help people; it allows just about anybody with a remarkable handcrafted product to get their businesses online to compete on international level. That sets it apart.”
Keturah has been mentored by Sir Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group, and received sponsorship to be trained at the Branson Center of Entrepreneurship in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has also emerged overall winner at the British Council-organized enterprise challenge.
She is constantly hacking together the how-to’s to grow to the next stage because her overall goal is to allow anybody with a remarkable Nigerian-made product to get their businesses online to compete on international level.