Elizabeth Ajetunmobi, is a Human Resource consultant, educator and CEO of Aymie Staffing Solutions; Africa’s leading Domestic Staff Agency and Africa’s foremost finishing school for Domestic Staff. Asides this, she is the Chairman at Imagine Global Solutions Limited; a micro lending institution positioned to eradicate poverty by providing low interest loans to small and medium scale businesses, and author, of the acclaimed two-in-one book: The Domestic Staff Guide to Effective Work.
Hello Elizabeth!, It’s great to have you on LLA, Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?
Thank you for having me on Leading Ladies Africa. My name is Elizabeth Ajetunmobi, a wife and mother of two beautiful children, and the CEO of Aymie Staffing Solutions; a domestic staffing agency. Prior to this, I worked as a teacher in one of the international schools in Nigeria and I also worked in a Consulting firm and finishing school. I went into the domestic staffing business because I saw a huge gap in the industry.
While working as a teacher, my experience with parents and their domestic staff alarmed me and gave me a burden for the way domestic staffing industry is typically run in Nigeria. I thought it would be great to solve this problem and I believe the major solution is to professionalize domestic staffing business, and that’s what Aymie Staffing Solutions is all about; professionalizing Nigeria’s domestic staffing industry. And not just Nigeria, but Africa’s staffing industry, because I realize that we have similar patterns with other African nations when it comes to domestic staffing.
What does the name “Aymie” stand for or mean? And what inspired this business?
The word Aymie simply means dependable. Imagine in Nigeria where we have reliable domestic staff. Now this doesn’t mean parents can dump all their responsibilities on domestic staff, the domestic staff’s job is to assist with domestic affairs, she/he is not expected to take the place of the parents. Like I said earlier, Aymie means dependable so we just pictured a Nigeria where we have dependable domestic staff. I can image that a whole lot of stress will be taken off parents, especially in our day and age where both parents are out working in order to make ends meet.
When you launched your business, did you have prior knowledge on how you could run one? How did you make it work?
When I launched Aymie Staffing Solutions, I had experience in consulting and training because aside working in a school for almost ten years, I had also worked in a consulting firm and finishing school. That’s why Aymie Staffing Solutions, is Africa’s foremost finishing school, because what we try to do is help domestic staff gain the experience and composure they need to deliver effectively at their job. So, I think my previous experience and knowledge in the consulting business helped a lot.
Why entrepreneurship? and why this particular line of business?
I believe entrepreneurship is a higher calling, a higher purpose where you see a need and you go all out to solve it. As an entrepreneur, you see problems and your mind goes to work to create solutions. I believe that today we need entrepreneurs in our society like never before. I also come from an entrepreneurial background, my mom was a business woman and through her business she singlehandedly catered for seven children. Entrepreneurship gives one some financial leverage.
I chose this particular line of business because I see a huge gap. In Nigeria we have adequate human resources so I don’t think we need to be in a situation where we bring in domestic staff from the Philippines and other countries. So since we have the numbers, I think we just need to take training and empowering our domestic staff seriously. That way we don’t have to bring in expatriate domestic staff that we pay an arm and a leg for when you can employ a citizen who we can pay well and get effective service from if given the proper training which we offer at Aymie Staffing Solutions.
What new innovation have you introduced to your business?
We have introduced an end to end structure and a verification process which we take very seriously. We do verifications and background checks on the staff and their guarantors and also run medical exams to ensure the staff is medically fit for employment. We have technology to capture the biometric data of the staff and the guarantor which ensures that whoever we’re sending out is not a danger to employers. We also train our domestic staff with a very rich curriculum so each student who graduates from our academy is fully equipped to deliver on the job.
Your line of business requires you to meet different kinds of people, what have you learnt most and what will you say has been the highlight of your journey so far?
The highlight of my journey so far has to be the testimonials I get from my clients. Just seeing how we’re able to introduce an HR approach to solve the domestic staffing needs in Nigeria brings so much joy. Another thing would be the feedback from the domestic staff. Hearing their feedback about how the exposure they get during our trainings and from my book; The Domestic Staff Guide to effective work, encourages them and helps them perform better at work.
What will you say is responsible for your success?
There are three things I would say are responsible for our success. Consistency, Persistence and Professionalism. Working in this industry is not an easy task however, we have been consistent in delivering excellence. We’ve also persisted in consistently delivering professional services to our clients. Aymie Staffing Solutions is a world class organization with best practices that stand us out and keep our clients satisfied.
In your opinion, would you say that there are any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and what’s kept you going?
I would say for me there are no unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face. I think the challenges that apply to females also apply to males. I just wish there was more government support and policies that would help the domestic staffing industry.
What has kept us going is the vision. Just like Martin Luther King who said I have a dream. So for Aymie Staffing Solutions, Elizabeth Ajetunmobi has a dream that one day our domestic staffing industry in Nigeria will be truly truly world class.
What’s your five-year plan for your business?
Presently, we cater to over 200 clients and in the next five years we want to be able to cater to about 10,000 families. We want to provide domestic staffing solutions to the whole of Nigeria and the whole of Africa in five years. So that’s our plan and we’re working hard to achieve this vision.
What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in this path?
Upcoming female entrepreneurs need to be hardworking. There is no substitute for hard work. You need to be consistent. Sometimes you might get discouraged but you need to be consistent through it all.
The LLA 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.