#LadyBossQuickFive: Aishetu Fatima Dozie Says Entrepreneurship Requires Grit and a Willingness to be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Aishetu Fatima Dozie is the former General Manager and Division Head, Investment Banking West Africa, Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria Limited.

Aishetu’s passion for global finance began in the equities division of Goldman Sachs on the international desk in New York over 20 years ago. She went on to work for a USAID-funded project with the Nigerian government in its privatization program. She worked closely with President Olusegun Obasanjo and his economic team of cabinet ministers in crafting the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, which drove several successful reforms including the $18 billion Paris Club debt write-off.

Her passion for demonstrable development impact and understanding the intersection of the public and private sectors ability to stimulate economic growth led her to the World Bank in Washington, DC, where she focused on financing businesses in the manufacturing, infrastructure, and service sectors in regions such as Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and Eastern Africa.

Aishetu has worked for Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered Bank, and Rand Merchant Bank as a senior investment banking executive, having closed $130 billion in M&A, financing, and capital markets transactions.

She transitioned into entrepreneurship founding a first-of-its-kind children’s play and activity center in Lagos and authored a children’s picture book entitled “Paloo & Friends in Imaginaria”.  In 2017, she began filming ambitious and successful African women on the continent and in the diaspora to showcase their lives and amplify their voice.  The project is called African HERstory (www.africanherstory.com). 

She recently founded Bossy Lipstick, a mission-driven brand that specializes in the creation of lipsticks that make women look and feel good whilst supporting and partnering with agencies that promotes the advancement of women and girls in the society. 

Aishetu Fatima Dozie takes our Lady Boss Questionnaire.

What does Entrepreneurship mean to you?

Living in a constant state of exhilaration and fear! As the founder of a young company, it’s incredibly scary to be the main decision-maker before you have the resources to build a team.  You have to be strong-willed to expose yourself to the market and try different things in order to see what works. This means there will be successes and failures. It’s both exciting and terrifying.  Entrepreneurship is essentially being comfortable with being incredibly uncomfortable and not allowing fear to cause you to freeze.

If you weren’t an entrepreneur, you would be…?

Doing something that I enjoy.

If you could have a lunch date with one Lady Boss you admire – who would that be and what would you ask her?

Beyoncé. I want to know the exact moment that she knew she could run the world and dominate in her field.  I do believe in this notion of putting 10,000 into something but she has a special grace to her and I’d love to tap into it.

3 book recommendations for entrepreneurs?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

The social media platform that has helped your business the most is?

That would definitely be Instagram.

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