Diamond Okoh, Founder, Hello Founder, created the platform to help as many aspiring and starting entrepreneurs navigating launching and building new businesses to achieve this goal with less risk of failure, setbacks and pain. Diamond says …
“ After launching my second business in 2016 right out of the university, I hit the first million in sales within 6 months along with my partner, grew from a team of 2 to 7, got a million in angel funding, had a growing customer base and then 2 years in, I shut down the business. That experience left me broke, physically and emotionally exhausted and after some months of dread and under the duvet crying, I came across crushing it by Garyvee, read it and realized I could use the lessons I have learnt to make life a lot easier for other aspiring and starting entrepreneurs’’…
What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
It means creating a solution to a problem or a better way for people to do things and then, building a business out of that. Without a valid value proposition, people willing to use it, and a valid way to make money offering that value proposition, one cannot say they are practicing entrepreneurship or are an entrepreneur.
Tell us the inspiration behind Hello Founder?
I failed at my first businesses when I started and by the time we were shutting down I was so broke I couldn’t afford 1k airtime. I was mentally and physically exhausted and it was during this time I said to myself, “I wish starting was easier”. This has become my mission, to make it easier for aspiring and starting entrepreneurs in Africa and Hellofounder is one of the ways I intend to do this.
I want to decentralize information and skills that will help African entrepreneurs grow enough with all the hoarding. Google is white, we want to create information and teach skills in such a way that what is learnt can be used on thus continent. Which is why we call Hellofounder, a learning platform for African entrepreneurs by African entrepreneurs
What “Oh, Shit!” moments have you had since establishing your business and how have these mistakes shaped you to become better?
Creating features that no one wanted: When I first started Hellofounder, I launched using a platform called mighty networks. It allows you to build a social media like tool where people can post images and articles, follow and unfollow, send direct messages as well as leave likes and comments. I thought this is what I want to build and we need these features. I didn’t fully grasp what I was trying to solve and how, and so, I created what I thought people wanted and I made it free. I realized over time I hate managing communities in that way and we are not a community. I also realized that people didn’t need a lot of what I was offering, we already lost money but it was a lesson I needed to learn.
If you could have a lunch date with one Lady Boss you admire – who would that be and what would you ask her?
Maya Horgan Famodu: She is the founder of Ingressive capital, a company that invests in African tech startups from what I know, I would love to know how she started, the steps she took to raise an investment company and how it works.
This is something Hellofounder will tap into someday and I would very much love to learn from her how she got started, what to do/ not to do and the key things to focus on. PLUS, how she stays so put together through it all
Your top 3 book recommendations for entrepreneurs?
The lean startup, Crushing it by Garyvee, and Zero to one by Peter Theil.
These books will teach anyone about building a startup and using social media to get started.
BONUS BOOKS- Traction and Sell like crazy by Sabri Suby
These will teach how to start getting users and clients because this is a huge part of building a business and most people don’t know how to do this.
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 email@example.com, and she could possibly be featured.