Today let’s discuss a subject many of us can totally relate to – being a female entrepreneur in Nigeria. We’ll begin with a short story about Stella, a Nigerian blogger, writer, and entrepreneur born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. She had fallen in love with writing at the tender age of 12 and had dreams of someday becoming a successful writer. To achieve this dream, she got into university to study Mass Communication.
While in her final year at university, Stella discovered blogging, and began putting her talent and training to use by creating a blog. She started off writing about topics that interested her, such as fashion and social events on campus and it really took off. Fellow students wanted to know the latest fashion trends, where the best parties and events held and who was in attendance.
Soon, her blog became very popular on campus through her witty writing style, that event organisers started sending her exclusive invites to cover their events. Other readers began placing ads due to the wide readership of the blog. Things were really looking great until a series of events that changed the course of her life and business happened.
Stella’s grades began to suffer with the growth of her blog that she once got invited by her faculty Dean to discuss her failing grades. She also got in trouble with some students she’d written about. But stories like those even made the blog more popular and spread like wildfire. Every other week, there was a trending topic and within 8 months Stella had become the center of attention, a reality that made her both beloved and a target at the same time.
She’d realised that the more controversial a story was, the more interest and curiosity it sparked among readers within the community. So, she wrote more intentionally, expanding her content beyond university life and ensuring the stories covered were always fact checked. This earned her lots of credibility and helped build a cult following among her numerous readers, mostly 18- to 45-year-old women.
But there was still the problem of failing grades and the risk of not being part of her graduating class. This was the turning point for her as she had to act fast! She had grown her little blog from a hobby and passion, into a thriving business that was earning her hundreds of thousands of naira in advert revenue monthly, not bad for an undergrad. Stella had stumbled on gold and wasn’t about to lose this, but she also didn’t want to fail at one of the reasons she’d achieved this success – her university degree in view.
She decided to look inward and seek counsel from her community and tribe, a group of small business owners she’d met at a digital media conference, during the social media week in Lagos, months earlier. So, what did she do next? Next time, we will review Stella’s journey and share some lessons we can all learn from it. What would you do if you were in her shoes?
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