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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Thoughts From A 21 Year Old Female Entrepreneur Chineye Okoro Onu

Meet 21 year old female entrepreneur Chineye Okoro Onu, a Nigerian and co-founder of the Mosaic Inspiration Project, an initiative she launched while studying at Radford University College in Ghana. Mosaic Inspiration Project’s signature artworks are paintings and mosaics of people who have brought positive change to the world.

The start-up brings together struggling artists to produce creative pieces from recycled material, such as plastic and polythene waste. The aim is to empower young artists with entrepreneurial skills and training, who then generate a monthly income off the sale of art and exhibitions. Last year she was named one of the 12 finalists for the Anzisha Prize, a pan-African competition for entrepreneurs aged between 15 and 22. Read her thoughts below from a recent interview:

What has been your biggest mistake, and what have you learnt from it?
One was taking certain things for granted and almost giving up on my dreams because of a financial situation I found myself in. But as an entrepreneur you need to be able to think outside the box. If you think you are losing focus, take a deep breath and try again. And be creative. In line with the old saying: ‘If life throws you a lemon, why don’t you start up a lemonade factory?’ The most important lesson I have learnt is to never give up.

What is the best advice you have ever received and would like to pass on to other young entrepreneurs?
As a young girl from the west coast of Africa, where young women usually have to really strive to be great people in their society, my parents would always say, and I quote: “Chi, your destiny is in your own hands – if you want to be somebody in life, make yourself useful.” I must say, those words keep ringing in my head every day of my life.

Describe your most exciting entrepreneurial moment.
Definitely being featured on media platforms such as CNN, CCTV Africa and Al Jazeera as one of the 12 finalists at the Anzisha Prize. I felt so blessed and like I could help change the world and inspire young people like me to never give up on their dreams.

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