Life of a Nigerian Female aquarium designer after a CNN Interview: Meet Bukola Dawodu.
Bukola Dawodu is the founder of Benefits consults. She recently got a feature interview on the CNN African Start up.She is an expert at making aquariums, water fountains and integrated fish farming. The CNN interview has been a big showcase of her business in a male dominated industry. Mrsceonaija caught up with her on Weds April 8th 2015. This is what went down! Can we meet you? My name is Bukola Dawodu, I studied Fisheries for my 1st degree and Marine pollution management for the 2nd. So i guess you can imagine I am passionate about what I do and I love it. How do you feel about the CNN African start up interview? WOW! It is an experience I will never forget. It has propelled my brand awareness. I am emotional about it, it is mind blowing! I always knew I was going to grow the brand but CNN !! WOW! That’s all I can say. Thanks to CNN, to all the supporters, friends, family, bloggers that have shared the story.I am Speechless. What are the challenges of the business? The first is marketing- the skills, the network needed to market the business across Nigeria. The second is managing the artisans. In this business, I work with several types of people with different orientation, skills; reliability so managing them is not easy. It is a physical intensive business so most of the workers are men but I know how to manage them better now. What inspired you to start this business? My parents are my first role models. They are entrepreneurs per excellence and I learnt a lot from them. They inspire me. I am also inspired by my environment. I love to make a change wherever I find myself, I love to solve the needs in my environment. I see creativity and opportunities everywhere. How did you raise funds to start up? Funds is mostly mentioned as barrier for start up. I started really small. I saved money during my NYSC period and from my 1st job, sometimes I borrow from friends and family, sometimes, I get little donations from family and friends. Simply, start with what you have. I have a functional office that didn’t cost a fortune but was good enough for a CNN showcase. Why aquariums? Why should anyone buy one? Aside from the aesthetics and lovely ambience, it is especially good for children in homes. It teaches them responsibility at home, they learn to care for the fishes. These days, aquariums come with with Bio-Filter so they are easy to maintain, no need to change the water frequently. How do you feel being a female in a male dominated business? I feel unique. I don’t feel threatened. I am here to give the men a run for their money. So help me God.