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Interview With Fatima Ali, Founder and CEO At Trim & Prissy

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Fatima Ali, Founder and CEO at Trim & Prissy, an Abuja-based beauty and makeup firm, is a lady passionate about seeing people look beautiful right from her teens. In this exclusive interviews with Priscilla Philips of Business Africa Online, Fatima sheds light on her company’s brand and how it is empowering Nigerians. Excerpt.

 

Priscilla: Tell us about yourself and your business?

Fatima: I have always loved makeup and giving my friends makeovers right from my early teens. I attended a diploma course at London school of beauty and makeup. Though, both degrees at the university were in the sciences. Also, I went to etiquette school in Switzerland where i learnt a lot about appearance and suitable makeup for every occasion. These experiences all went into a melting pot where the brand, Trim & Prissy was born.

 

Priscilla: What are the challenges, competition and how are you overcoming them?

Fatima: Multiple levies and taxes which in my opinion should not apply to start-ups. Particularly with regards to international shipping and logistics. Also, the beauty industry can be very fickle but once you have your market research down to a tee and you are able to carve a niche for yourself, you can become a disrupter rather than follow the traditional methods of brand building.

 

Priscilla: What is your business model? How are you able to break into the market?

Fatima: It’s an online business model, dependent on the proven power of social media and other traditional marketing channels. Our audience are women in the workforce who are in offices with little time or space on visiting physical stores.

It definitely has not been an easy ride. But i am thankful to have been able to carve out a niche for my luxury brand, an online destination for skin care and makeup lovers to read our blog post and shop recommendations in the confines of their offices or homes nationwide.

 

Priscilla: What is the future for Trim & Prissy and what steps are you taking towards achieving it?

Fatima: I want to prove that shopping online is not always a daunting experience (especially in Nigeria). Also, to show that luxury is more accessible than ever without breaking your bank balance for it. Hence, our products are affordable and very easily accessible to our budding customer base nationwide. They no longer need to shop abroad for luxury makeup skin care.

 

Priscilla: What advice would you give entrepreneurs looking to start a business or invest in Africa?

Fatima: Be a disrupter rather than follow the traditional methods of brand building such as brick and mortar stores. Do what you believe in, be yourself and your audience will gravitate towards you.

 

Priscilla: How is your business contributing to the development of Africa?

Fatima: By forging partnerships with other start-ups, we are able to promote growth and development within the entrepreneurial space which in turn creates job opportunities for the unemployed in our country.

 

Priscilla: What inspires you?

Fatima: I am a perfectionist. I enjoy honing my craft both in blogging and creating new products. So, really there is no limit to the potential of brand as there will always be room for growth.

 

Kindly visit: Trim & Prissy

Afripreneur

Viero: A SaaS Platform Enabling Entrepreneurs Create Food Delivery App Without Code In 60 Seconds

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Viero & Zistify Founders, Basheer Phiri and Hopewell Fakude

Launching a food delivery start-up requires an entrepreneur to manage 4 aspects; Restaurants, Delivery Agents, Customers, and the most costly of them all, an application. Building a food delivery application can cost up to $60 000. There are also additional costs that need to be paid on a monthly basis to maintain and improve the application. “This is a major barrier to entry into the food delivery industry in Africa” said Basheer Phiri, the founder and CEO of Viero.

“Because of these high costs, we see a lot of food delivery Startups all over Africa serving the urban market, because it is big, and has enough customers to cover the development and maintenance costs and make a profit.” Basheer believes that food delivery Startups do not target township and non-urban areas because these markets need to be built from the group up, which means additional marketing costs and slower growth and adoption rates.

Therefore, coupled with the need to cover maintenance costs and the demand for growth and traction from investors, food delivery Startups prefer competing in the already established urban markets. This has led to high concentration in urban markets while non-urban markets remain relatively untapped.

“We saw this and realised that there was value that could be created” said Basheer. “After speaking to a few interested entrepreneurs, we saw that they could manage every aspect of the food delivery business, but could not afford to pay for an App. That is how Viero was born”

Viero is a SaaS Platform that enables entrepreneurs to create a food delivery web application with no code in 60 seconds. (Here’s how it works – https://youtu.be/1T9oxNtRDpM).

The platform built a standard food delivery application template and enables it to be cloned, rebranded and hosted through white-labelling. Entrepreneurs can use the application under a monthly subscription and have access to many features depending on their chosen plan. Entrepreneurs can also make changes to the layout and design of their app, all without any code.

Launched in South Africa on 1 June 2020, the platform has achieved amazing uptake thus far. 22 Apps in total have been created with 2 Food delivery Startups that are live and operating in South Africa and 20 other Startups preparing for launch. 108 orders have been delivered, with R4700 processed in transactions, 200 customer users, 16 listed stores and 45 delivery agents. 

Viero was launched by UCT students Basheer Phiri and Hopewell Fakude. They met in their first year in 2018 as residents of Smuts Hall Residence at The University of Cape Town, when they were introduced by a mutual friend who noticed their passion for entrepreneurship. Since then, they have worked together on several Startups and projects.

Also Read: Radisson Hotel Group announces new appointments to drive its expansion for Africa

Basheer and Hopewell are not new to the food delivery industry. In 2019, they launched Zistify, a food delivery start-up for the university market. Zistify delivers food ordered from food vendors on campus through it’s app to university students and staff. 

Viero is in capable hands and is ready to disrupt the food delivery industry in Africa. Currently raising a $100 000 seed round to incorporate logistics into its business offering, to bring in more talent to the team, and to continue building and improving the platform.

Connect with them here Website|Instagram|Twitter |Facebook

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Meet The Resilient Black Brothers Saving The Planet One Car At A Time

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AutoSparkle Owners, Jesse and Genesis Onomiwo (Image by: Jesse Onomiwo)

According to UNIDO’s Investment and Technology Promotion Office in Nigeria, only 20% of SMEs manage to survive in Nigeria. The studies further states that “although everybody in Nigeria desires to become an entrepreneur, only 40% of the dreamers get to start, but no more than 20% survive. But one innovative Lagos-based company seem to have gotten the winds in its sails instead.

Founded by Jesse and Genesis Onomiwo in 2010 in Lagos Nigeria, Autosparkle is currently the world’s only waterless luxury car interior-only detailing company with an option of waterless engine cleaning. As a fully integrated professional operation that combines convenience with environmental sustainability, the company takes their services to their clients without messing up the environment with water and soap.

The AutoSparkle Team (Image by: Jesse Onomiwo)

Autosparkle was selected and named one of Nigeria’s Top Emerging SMEs for 2019 by ConnectNigeria. And just last month, the company also got selected as part of 200 businesses out of 5,000 others to take part in the first ever Forbes Digital Accelerator Program for Nigerian businesses. This has further opened the company up to top venture capital firms, successful founders from Silicon valley and a host of highly respected resource persons from Google, LinkedIn and other renowned credible organizations.

But the journey for the founders of Autosparkle hasn’t always been rosy. One of the company’s founders, Genesis Onomiwo, had to drop out of school for a whole year in order to come establish the company in Lagos. His brother and co-founder also had to push his National Youth Service forward by one year. When the business failed to pick up as envisaged, Genesis eventually had to return to the university where he completed his first degree in Architecture. In all, Autosparkle failed more than 8 times before finally picking up. But all that is history now as the rewards of their perseverance and exceptional business acumen is now starting to pay off beautifully well.

The AutoSparkle Team (Image by: Jesse Onomiwo)

Autosparkle spotted a critical gap in the car care market and has so far exploited it richly. The common neglect by car wash shops that popularly dot the roadside in Nigeria and the observed dissatisfaction of most customers with often rushed jobs made the brothers decide to start focusing on waterless cleaning of what they term the two most critical parts of the car; the interior and engine. Their approach to car cleaning is based on nanotechnology and covers everything from stain removal, vacuuming, leather and upholstery treatment, dashboard conditioning, roof cleaning, plastic/rubber/chrome trim polishing, to deodorization, and more.

The level of personalized attention given to the details is based on the fact that Autosparkle treats each car according to its unique needs. That’s why it could take up to 3-4 hours to get one car completely detailed. They do not overlook any part because no one sees them. As a mobile unit, they take their pampering experience to homes and offices in Lekki, Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Ajah axes of Lagos Island and beyond in Nigeria. From the most executive to the most luxurious of cars, Autosparkle continues to renew the interior of cars for Nigeria’s affluent class and those expatriates living in Nigeria. And now a replacement for the word interior detailing.

The AutoSparkle Team (Image by: Jesse Onomiwo)

Also Read Dr. Varun Gupta: Enabling Innovators To Revolutionize Education

Ultimately, the company is building the largest chain of environmentally friendly and convenient cleaning operations out of Africa. This covers waterless detailing (thorough cleaning) of luxury cars, aircrafts, boats, furniture and fittings in homes and other types of spaces. This company is certain one to look out for in the coming years.

Visit: Autosparkle

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Afripreneur

Black Founders: Here are some fundraising and networking opportunities

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In the past few weeks, the world has witnessed one of the largest civil rights movements in recent history. People across races, religions, geographies and social economic classes have joined together to demand justice, opportunity and respect for black people. As an African woman living in the US, I have personally seen and sometimes witnessed the ugly side of racism and racial bias. To make any meaningful difference, we must support each other in stamping out racism from not just the United States, but across the world. I am hopeful that this movement will bring practical solutions to the fight for social justice.

On the positive side, this movement has brought a renewed (and hopefully lasting) vigor and focus on black entrepreneurship. From venture capitalists to retail companies and professional communities, many institutions have committed to supporting black entrepreneurship in some way. If you’re a black founder, or looking to start a venture, now is the time to tap into new and existing resources and opportunities.

It might be difficult to keep track of them all, so I have curated some key resources.

Workshops

Funding

Mentorship

Networking and Community

Also Read: Cornerstone Partners focused on black and diverse businesses invest £170,000 in Coordinate Sport

This is a dynamic shortlist of resources I could gather online and from my networks- will continue updating. Are you aware of any great resources or opportunities?

Please comment below.

Article By: Dami Olagunju Founder, Lagos Young Professionals Innovation Club (LYPIC)

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