Chigozie Bashua, is CEO of The Nut Place, a nut processing company and a Managing Partner at Baronet & George Advisory, a business planning, strategy and consulting firm. She has a Bachelors of Electronics/Electronics Engineering with a major in Telecommunications from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria. She is an Alumnus of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, British Council and the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC). She is a mentor at the Tony Elumelu and the Cherie Blair Foundations.The Nut Place has won different grants and is one of the top 100 emerging SMEs in Nigeria. Chigozie has an online course that teaches business owners how to develop a business plan for funding, clarity and direction.
The “Chigozie Bashua” that most people don’t know
Chigozie Bashua is an IT professional, a toastmaster and enjoys reading, singing and having intelligent discussions
Background story and Inspiration to Founding “The Nut Place Ventures”
Whilst on a trip, I went grocery shopping and discovered organic flours from nuts. I thought to myself, we have lots of nuts but we don’t give them the attention they deserve. The next day, I went to a medium sized nut processing company and fortunately, the owner was gracious enough to answer my questions and show me round his factory. What was a vacation trip turned out to be a crash course in edible nut processing. When I returned, I registered a business name and went into research and development. In 2016, we started operations.
Highlight since you founded, The Nut Place?
We have won some grants – Growth and Employment Scheme, an initiative of the World Bank, Tony Elumelu Foundation; launch of any new product is a celebratory milestone for us.
Impact over the years
We have been able to reach people that are diabetic, have terminal diseases, supported people within the autistic spectrum and we have customers from the health and fitness communities.
How do you stay innovative?
Research is our watchword. We strive for excellence so we continually ensure we give value
‘The Nut Place” In Five Years?
We are positioned to become a dominant force in nut processing in Nigeria and Africa. In 5 years, we will be a one-stop hub for edible nuts and gluten-free products processed from these nuts.
Challenges on your journey and Lessons…
At the beginning we had issues getting our Nafdac number but things have become easier now. Inadequate electricity is still a challenge for us. However, I have learnt to develop a thick skin and remain positive through our challenges.
Networking and collaboration is key.
Planning should never be taken for granted.
Tips on how to create and build an impactful business
Build structures and have a reporting line, your business is as good as the quality of people working with you so invest in your business and in your team.
Be humane and fair but instill discipline
Secret to your success
Discipline and good work ethics
Pray and ask God for wisdom
Final words to women in our community
Be true to yourself
Have a business plan, it will help you remain balanced so you are not tossed by every wind that blows around you.
If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.
The Lady Boss Series is a weekly interview series that highlights the achievements and entrepreneurial journeys of African female entrepreneurs. The idea is to showcase the Leading Ladies who are transforming Africa and the African narrative through enterprise and business.
It is an off shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes leadership, inclusion and diversity for women of African descent.
If you know any kick-ass women of African Descent doing phenomenal things in enterprise, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and she could possibly be featured.