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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Mary Ebunoluwa Ewedemi - How She Built Her Business With Just ₦300

While many women sit down and murmur about how tough life has become, one woman shares her amazing journey of how she built her business now worth millions of naira with just ₦300. Mrs. Mary Ebunoluwa Ewedemi is one of the leading distributors of Flour Mills products in Nigeria, a venture she started with just ₦300. That humble start-up has steadily grown to become a multi-million naira business today. Read excerpts of her interview with The Sun below:

How did all this begin?
I spent 2 years to learn trading, and went on to establish my own venture. In those days, I was given pocket money, and I ensured I saved as little as I could. That was what I used to start up as my capital. When I needed a shop, my mother-in-law informed me of a vacant shop at Daleko Market in Mushin, Lagos. I got the shop and started selling semovita. I was the first person to sell semovita in Daleko.
But, I want to point out that I started my trade with ₦300, today my business has become great. I have sponsored my children through private universities. I have sent one to Canada and other places through my Semovita trade. I used to tell them that if you don’t work hard, you will not enjoy later. I started buying landed properties at the age of 18. I thank God today because everything comes from God.

Can you mention some of the difficulties you passed through?
As a child I used to wake at 3.30am, it wasn't easy. I was very smart and active. I learnt trade from my mother’s friend who took me to sell flour for her younger sister. I loved the woman so much and was attached to her. Whenever I had issues with her, my mother would insist that I go back and reconcile with her, since it was my choice to be under her tutelage. I used to leave home 4am everyday and trek to the market. Which child can you subject to such training today? If you send them on an errand to a short distance, they would ask you for transport fare. In those days, it wasn't like that; I would walk a long distance every day from 4am.


At what age did you get your freedom from serving your madam?
It was at the age of 18. In those days, they were giving us pocket money. I had friends then, who would use theirs to buy clothes, but I would save mine and if I wanted to buy clothes at all, I bought used clothes.

What’s your advice to youths, especially the unemployed?
I advise them not to be lazy; if you don’t work hard, you can't excel in anything. These days, I see youths sleep till 2pm; which is bad. In my house, everybody, including the youngest child, wakes up at 4am; and they are used to it now. My mother was a strong businesswoman; she was not lazy.

With the wealth God has given you, how do you give back to the society?
I give a lot in my church and the society at large. I have 2 adopted children. I don’t know their parents, but I chose to train them. And today they are doing fine. The Yorubas say that ‘anyone who is up there and can’t point to anyone he or she has lifted is a no-body’.

At 50, what is your message to Nigerian women?
Any woman without endurance cannot last in our present day society. My mother was quite supportive; she encouraged me to stay in my marriage despite all challenges. So, mothers should stay with their children. A Woman must not disclose every issue she has with their husband to her family. 

And families, especially mothers, should encourage married couples to stay in their matrimonial homes. If I bought a yard of cloth for my mother, she would advise me to go and buy 6 yards for my mother-in-law because that would help me to last in marriage. If I bought her anything, the first thing she would ask was whether I have bought for my mother-in-law. My advice for married women is that they should take care of their mothers-in-law.

2 comments:

  1. Youths don't be lazy; don't sleep till 2 pm: Women endure and Mothers, support your children and encourage them to stay in marriage. That's INSPIRATIONAL...

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  2. The Yorubas say that ‘anyone who is up there and can’t point to anyone he or she has lifted is a no-body’.

    ReplyDelete