Winning Wednesday with Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, Nosa Oyegun of Eat.Drink.Lagos
If you love food, live in Lagos and haven’t heard of the Eat Drink Festival, then you’ve been missing out on a whole lot! It is THE food festival for African foodies in a busy, bustling city. The Second Annual Eat Drink Festival took place in Ikoyi last week with 6,000 Lagosians in attendance. Yes, 6,000. Eat Drink Festival started out as a blog called Eat.Drink.Lagos, with Nosa, who is a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, and his co-partner, Folly.
Nosa Oyegun was among the 20,000 applications received for the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015. He was selected as one of the 1,000 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs where he passed through our intense 12 week learning programme with a mentor to provide guidance to his business plan. Following this period he attended the bootcamp in July, 2015 with other Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs across Africa. Fast forward to 2016, he was among the few entrepreneurs selected to meet with the US Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker. (Read about the Penny Pritzker event here).
We caught up with Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, Nosa, co-founder of the Eat Drink festival and CEO of Nsogbu Media to get more insight into Nigeria’s biggest food festival. Enjoy!
TEF: How did you come up with the idea for Eat.Drink.Lagos?
Nosa Oyegun: Folayemi, my partner came up with the idea for the most part. Well, maybe just the name. I pitched the food blog idea and she ran with it.
TEF: What were you trying to achieve in building the blog?
NO: I was thinking of building a platform that comprised of a number of websites, Eat.Drink.Lagos would have been one of many niche sites. I applied for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme with the platform in mind actually. Folayemi was just my partner on Eat.Drink.Lagos and the platform Nsogbu media, was the real product. As Eat.Drink.Lagos grew into something neither of us foresaw, I had to rethink my strategy around the original idea and focus just on Eat.Drink.Lagos. It’s one of the best decisions I ever made.
TEF: Tell us about the first festival.
NO: There are lots of food vendors without physical locations in Lagos. Most of them are side hustles with owners that don’t feel brave enough to take the plunge and take the side hustle on full time, others are chefs who do private dinners or pop-up restaurants. The festival was all about bringing people like these under one roof and having them showcase their stuff. You might be a banker all week, but for one day, you run your mini restaurant. We’ve had a couple of businesses “launch” at our festivals and I’m really happy we could be part of a fellow entrepreneur’s journey.
TEF: How many employees do you have?
NO: Just two of us. On the odd occasion, we have a friend that helps when it gets overwhelming.
TEF: How does your company help the community where it is located?
NO: We help a lot of small businesses get the word out. Help them get noticed especially through our festival because we have a bias for small business.
TEF: When is the next festival?
NO: December. Not picked a particular date yet, but it’ll be in December.
TEF: What was the feeling like in being selected to participate in this programme by TEF?
NO: I was pretty surprised especially because I applied with an idea and not an established business that had already started generating revenue. I certainly didn’t expect to be selected simply based on an idea which a part of me was not that confident about.
TEF: How has participating in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme helped your business and you as a person?
NO: The programme helped me get a better understanding of what the business was and where I wanted it to go. It also helped to redefine the business to what it is today.