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African most Passion-Driven Social Entrepreneur

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Allow us present to you the African most Passion-Driven Social Entrepreneur. Iamafropreneur team with intense focus on her gathered the most in a unique interview with Mrs Fotabe Elmine. Our goal is to have you motivated, encourage and intensify you taste and hunger towards influencing and impacting the lives of the African communities through your entrepreneurial skills.

Who is Fotabe Elmine, how did you start your career, what kind of education did you have ?

Fotabe Elmine is a passion-driven Social Entrepreneur, lecturer and corporate trainer who believes that young people and women with the right training are the future of the African continent. Elmine was born in Kumba, South West Region of Cameroon, where she grew up and attended most of her primary and secondary school. Elmine’s father was a businesses man, and her mother a civil servant/Politician.

Elmine began her professional career as a teacher of Entrepreneurship in 2008 and has since then taught over 5000 students, courses like Human Resource Management, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Business Leadership, Personal Branding and more. She has also trained hundreds of corporate employees all over the country. In 2009, she founded Job Shop, a human resource consulting and placement agency.

In 2011, Job Shop became a partnership and grew to serve clients, not only in Human Resources Management, but also in Finance. The firm expanded that same year and the partners created a Higher Institute of Learning. When the vision of the Organization began derailing from her initial vision, Elmine took the bold step of leaving an organization she created and worked hard to nurture for six years! A few months later, in December 2014, Elmine founded Fotabe University College, which later became Fotabe Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy. In 2015, she founded an association called “Association for the promotion of decent work for women and girls (ASSPRODEC).” That same year, she founded and Fotabe Universal Higher Institute of Cameroon. In 2016, Elmine founded a web platform to enable young people from all over the country have access to FREE examination preparation lessons and materials. Fotabe Elmine holds two Masters Degrees. One in Human Resource Management and another in Marketing and Communication from Rome Business School. She also holds an Associate degree in Business Administration, and honours group Diploma in Mnagement
and Administration, a Certificate in Psychology and Mental health, and is currently undertaking and MBA in Finance. This Mbo native from the Kupe Muanenguba Division of the South West Region of Cameroon spends her free time talking to neighbours about he kingdom of God.

You are one of the most outstanding women in Cameroon with different portfolio what is your secret?

My secret is my appreciation for the creator’s gift of intelligence, my passion for the things I believe in, and my desire to work hard in order to bring out the best in others. I am very convinced that Cameroon has the potentials, not only in terms of natural resources, but most especially in terms of Human capital, to emerge.

3- What are your challenges and successes?

Well, the greatest challenge I deal with is not having the financial means to touch all the lives I’d love to touch. Besides the financial constraint, I am also seriously challenged by the mentality of the young people and the families I try to support. Many of them plainly do not believe an individual like myself can bring any meaningful and lasting contribution to their existence. They trust the government to do it. However, staying consistent to our mission is gradually changing their mindset of many. I’ve had many successes I’m thankful for. Top amongst them is the fact that I’ve been able to share my passion, knowledge and experience with thousands of young people and corporate entrepreneurs. I’m happy to
have helped small businesses to grow and thrive. Even though the current crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon have slowed down our work, I’m particularly happy I led the initiative called “Kansas Hill” aimed at making Bamenda the most Socially Responsible city in the Country.
We provided a FREE internet-equipped space for young people to enable them develop their knowledge and passion in social Entrepreneurship. I’m also happy to have helped women and young people discover their full potential. But most especially, I’m thankful I am lending my little contribution to encourage women and girls to take back their dignity by raising my voice against illegal migration to some Middle Eastern countries and to other countries in the world where women’s rights are not respected.

You are the initiator and organiser of FELA’s Entrepreneurial leadership forum, what are your objectives?

Simply to inspire and train young people to become entrepreneurs and leaders in their communities. I believe that Africa needs to focus on raising more entrepreneurial leaders.


With the Iamafropreneur team

I want every young person who attends the forum to understand that and to put it into
use. And so far, the almost 400 youths who have passed through the forum are creating
great impact in their communities.

What advice do you have for our readers and the young girls who want to follow your path?

My advice to young girls: “You have enormous potentials. Work hard, do what you’re
passionate about. Keep your dignity and do not be afraid to stand up for what is right. And
remember the most successful woman is the woman who helps other women to be successful.”
To young people all around the country, be responsible, law abiding and daring. We have a country to build. If not us, who? If not now, when?

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Afro Success Stories

African Entrepreneurs creating Jobs and Employment in Their Communities – Olasupo Abideen

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Olasupo Abideen ” My greatest achievement is being a 25yr old employer who employs 35 people and has trained 475 Others” as one of african entrepreneurs.

Meet Olasupo

I am a 25year old one of Nigerian african entrepreneurs, founder/CEO of OPAB Gas with over 6 years of transnational experience leading and working with diverse teams to facilitate youth empowerment, development projects and youth involvement in policy. I am a UNESCO ESD Young Leader, a WEF Global Shaper and a Fellow, Young Africa Leadership Initiative.

Since receiving the $5000 Seed Capital in December 2018, my Company has created employment for thirty-five (35) University undergraduates (through our Work Student and Student Ambassadorship Program), opened ‘four (4) new Gas stores’, and trained ‘four hundred and seventy-five (475) unemployed youth and corps members‘ (through our #Gasprenuer Initiative). As a means of giving back to the community, we have also helped ‘five (5) kids’ return to school through our #StreetToSchool programme for our Community.

My Humble Beginnings

I watched my mother walk long distances to gather firewood and buy coal to cook for my family in my growing up years in my village in south-west Nigeria, where I was raised. It wasn’t peculiar to my mother; this was commonplace for all families. We all knew it wasn’t safe. We knew that if it made them this uncomfortable, there was no way it was safe, but we didn’t know there were alternatives. After all, this is how our grandparents and their parents before them lived.

It bothered me to see my mother’s red eyes, and the wet eyes of other women in our rural community bothered me a lot. Even though I did not know until recently that cooking with firewood is equivalent to smoking 400 cigarettes per hour, and is one of the three causes of mortality among women and children, I knew there had to be something I could do, but I couldn’t figure it out; or better put, I did not have enough education nor access to information to figure it out.

 

My Business Idea

The Idea to start my business came from a need that I identified and solving that problem meant a business opportunity. As a student of chemistry at the University of Ilorin, I was exposed – through volunteering – to MDGs (and subsequently SDGs), and I took a keen interest in clean, renewable energy, that could be used instead of orthodox fuelling options, and one of them was Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

After a long time of advocacy for SDGs, as an undergraduate, my SDGs advocacy and youth development organization, Brain Builders International, signed an agreement with the Kwara State University’s Community Development and Entrepreneurship Centre to train young Nigerians african entrepreneurs on the Sustainable Development Goals, their benefits, and ways toward actualisation.

I noticed that every time I took the 55min trip to Kwara State University to facilitate these training sessions, I would encounter students carrying gas cylinders: either going to fill Gas in Ilorin or coming back from Ilorin after filling Gas. I later learnt that the only cooking gas supplier in the community at that time was exploiting the students by using a manual scale that could be manipulated and also selling at a rip-off price.

 

Solving the Problem

In 2017, I took a soft loan from a friend, added some of my own moneyand after conducting intense market research, filing necessary papers, and satisfying ethical and professional standards, we opened our first OPAB Gas station. The services we offered hinged on three things; convenience, safety, and trust. Students could now focus on academics, as we did not only sell gas at the standard rate, but we also offered pick-up and delivery services. We used safe measures alongside a digital scale to address the issue of trust. Within three months we had broken even.

The TEF Intervention

In 2018, I applied for the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme but was only selected for the GIZ list to be one of the 210 beneficiaries of the training and $5000 funding. The training provided by the foundation on business planning, financial intelligence, scalability, among others could only be likened to a mini MBA.

Immediately after the training myself and my team we started discussing how to dominate the market in which we operate and capture new markets.

With the seed capital, we were able to expand our business.

 

Our Growth and Milestones as one of african entrepreneurs

  • Expansion: We have expanded the business to 6 stations in two townships to target the student populations and made over $25,000 since receiving the seed capital from the foundation.
  • Employment: Staff strength – 2 (in 2017), 35 people (2019).
  • Gas on Wheels: We now own delivery vans and offers delivery services
  • Digitization: We now take orders on the business’ website in both cities where we operate.
  • Introduced Customer Loyalty service
    • Health safety card – to educate users about safety measures.
    • Customer reward: Points reward system.
    • Holiday Promos
  • we also have a few impact initiatives that we run.
  • OPAB Gas has trained 450 Youth Corps members, unemployed youth in Kwara State on the economic merits of the Gas economy and the many opportunities that abound in the sector.
  • In line with the UN SDGs, OPAB student work experience – an internship programme where we train students. During this internship, they work on Sundays for a stipend. They then receive N10,000 for every 1000kg of gas sold.
  • OPAB gas student ambassador scheme – delivery service.

 

The Future

The vision for OPAB Gas has always been to solve energy availability and ease of use for everyone across Nigeria so we are constantly working on ways to reach out to more Nigerians.

Our OPAB telemetry solution will allow people to monitor and manage their gas usage, notify them when it is almost finished, connect them to the nearest gas stations and pay for gas with existing mobile money applications.

 

 

Contact Details

Website: https://opabgas.com

Instagram: @opabgas_

Phone call/WhatsApp: 07068775529.

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