#LadyBoss Interview: “There’s never been a better time in the history of women in business and entrepreneurship to step into leadership” – Elizabeth Owei-Oladepo, Founder, 07 Foods.

 

 

Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?

I am dependable and detail oriented. I really enjoy working with variety of people to achieve a common goal efficiently. I graduated with a distinction in Business Administration and Management from the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, served in Lagos Nigeria and worked as a Management Trainee with Chevron Nigeria Limited.

07 Foods was established in 2018 but we started operations officially in Feb. 2019. It is a company established for enabling the sustainable  production and value addition of agricultural produce.

 

What is it like being a female entrepreneur, and why did you chose to be one?

Empowering. There’s never been a better time in the history of women in business and entrepreneurship to step into leadership, using their voices and work to create big impact. I find it deeply fulfilling to be a female entrepreneur. In leading my own company,  I am able to set the culture, policies and priorities.

What new innovation have you introduced to your business?

We have invested in Machineries and equipment that will allow us to make productive improvements. We have also revised the structure of our business through developing strategic relationships with suppliers, distributors, and customers.

What will you say is responsible for your success so far?

Continuous learning and Discipline. I have and will continue to invest in knowledge as it affords me the luxury of implementing changes in my business and drives us for growth.

 

In your opinion, would you say that there are any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face?

To an extent Yes. Some female entrepreneurs face the challenge of Work-life balance. Personally, being able to manage the home front and running an enterprise seems a herculean task. But there are lots of women out there that are able to do this and we are taking baby steps in learning how to achieve this balance.

 

What values and principles have helped you so far?

Authenticity and Responsibility. This is important to me as an individual. I don’t act differently in front of different people, I am true to myself and never afraid of other peoples judgement.  I own my actions, mistakes and life’s situation fearlessly.

Why did you decide to go into this particular line of business?

After I was turned to an errand girl. LOL   In 2018, my daughter got food poisoning from the consumption of bad flour. It was devastating as a new mom. I would travel to Oyo state to purchase raw materials and other moms would also request for me to get for them. I then decided to do an extensive research and here we are. Running 07 foods.

 

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and what’s kept you going?

Logistics.  Food processing as a business is really tasking especially in Nigeria where we don’t have good accessible road networks. There are times I had to pay way higher sums for raw produce to get to the factory due to the bad roads. But the fact that I am impacting the lives of the local farmers in my catchment area has kept me motivated.

 

What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in this path?

Collaborate and seek opportunities. You will go far when you work with people. There are loads of opportunities out there thanks to social media. You can apply from whichever part of the world. Always stay informed.

 

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 lead@leadingladiesafrica.org, and she could possibly be featured.

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