We met up with our entrepreneur, Nkechi Alade, CEO of Elvaridah to discuss all her business has been up to since the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Forum in 2015. Here’s how it went.
TEF: How did you get the concept for Elvaridah? What was your mission from the outset?
Nkechi Alade: Elvaridah is a Business Building Platform for Startups, Entrepreneurs and Work-Preneurs as I fondly call them. The Idea came about as a result of meeting a lot of entrepreneurs with failed businesses and individuals who wanted to start up businesses but could not because they really did not know how to go about the whole process. We provide Business consulting services from the Idea stage to the reality phase. We do this by offering one-on-one coaching, mentorship programmes, online courses and grants. We aim to build a business that will become a household name for Entrepreneurship and Business Building in the country. Where they can be sure their ideas will become reality. Nigeria has come to the stage where youth need to be self-aware and encouraged to follow their passion. Elvaridah is here to bridge the gap between FEAR and REALITY for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.
TEF: How has participating in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme helped your business and you as a person?
NA: The Programme was an amazing experience. I met people I’ll know for the rest of my life as well as knowledge which cannot be quantified. I went in for the Programme with a dream, now I have reality. For that, I am grateful and only anxious as to what the future holds.
TEF: How does Elvadirah help the community where it is located?
NA: Elvaridah is currently speaking at schools, seminars to encourage young people to develop ideas and encourage entrepreneurship at a young age. As we expand, we aim to provide grants to aspiring and intending entrepreneurs who meet the requirements.
TEF: What was the feeling like in being selected to participate in this programme by TEF?
NA: It was really amazing! I remember the application process and then going online when the list was out, I saw my name I looked and looked and looked again and then I screamed! I was really delighted.
TEF: How has TEF impacted your career and life in general?
NA: TEF has been very impactful in my life in the areas of developing my talent, networking, believing in myself and structuring out my business. The weekly tasks and assignments were very impactful for me.
TEF: How do you rate the quality of the networking/collaborations that have come from being involved in this programme?
NA: After the program, I met a lot of people who have been more receptive towards me because of my association with the TEF brand. I would rate the networking and collaborations being established as excellent. I have attended a number of seminars and events since last year that I might otherwise not have had an opportunity to attend. My experience during the program was enlightening, educating and pleasant.
TEF: What’s your advice for intending participants in the programme?
NA: First, I would say congratulations. Do not take it for granted. It is a BIG DEAL! Make the most of the opportunity, network, build relationships and believe in your DREAM.