AW Women Series : For Business Development, Social Change, ‘She Learns Here’ Is Here By Olubunmi Fajuyigbe

By Onozasi

Above Whispers Women Series is aimed at showcasing women who are crusading for vulnerable men and women in the society. This is a platform for these women to share their journey with other women around the world and inspire them. On this platform, we love to share stories of inspiring women because we know that women are doing a whole lot in the society.  The purpose of this series is to keep you abreast of the amazing strides that women and young women are doing in Nigeria, Africa and across the World.

As we know that the digital space, especially in Nigeria, is gradually becoming a huge space for all. To businesswomen and men, social entrepreneurs, educators, mobilisers, etc the tech world like its fondly called is one of the biggest big deals of the 21st century and that’s why we have as our guest, a woman who crusades for the inclusion of women in this space. A woman who’s been training women in business to maximise the use of technology for online visibility and growth.

Olubunmi Fajuyigbe is the Founder of She Learn Here, a platform that trains women on the importance of technology for business growth and social change. We hope you get inspired by her journey. Do Enjoy the Interview.

 

 

AW : Kindly introduce yourself to us

My name is Olubunmi Fajuyigbe. I’m a 36-year-old woman. A wife to one and a mother of two.

I attended St Bernadette nursery and primary school, Abeokuta, Fédéral Government girls’ college Sagamu and I have a B.Sc in Geology from the University of Ibadan. ( I had a one year stint at the University of Ado Ekiti in 1999 but left for UI later).

I did my NYSC in Oceanic Bank now part of the Ecobank transatlantic group and I was retained there until I resigned for personal reasons in 2010.

While at the bank, I served as a sales relationship officer, a customer service officer and I also worked in the Treasury department.

After my resignation, I moved to Ibadan and set up my first business, Bee’s Signatures beauty studio and school. In 2016, I took some time off to rebrand, reposition and represent the business as My figure 8 wellness and events which now consists of a beauty and wellness centre as well as organizing wellness events.

In 2017, I started shelearnshere.com as a blog and it has now grown into a social Enterprise with Nationwide recognition in the tech and female empowerment space.

At the moment, I’m not actively involved in the business anymore because I believe I have competent hands there. So when I’m not checking the books or actively working on She Learns Here, I’m helping other entrepreneurs especially those who train to properly position themselves online in order to attract the right clients and opportunities.

 

IMG-20190522-WA0006Olubunmi Fajuyigbe, Founder, She Learns Here

 

AW : Why did you decide to be a tech entrepreneur? What inspired this journey?

I actually started by accident. When I moved to Ibadan and started my business in 2010, not many people appreciated beauty and Wellness as something to pay for. In addition to that, I was and sometimes still am a shy girl so it was a little difficult to get people to appreciate what I had to offer. So I took to blogging, studying digital marketing and applying what I learnt to my business. This made a huge difference and I was soon getting not only local but also international clients. I also used this knowledge to seek out opportunities in growth and learning and I was getting scholarships for training courses, and in 2016, I got funding and training from the Tony Elumelu Foundation. All the while, friends and acquaintances used to accuse me of not telling them about these opportunities. So I thought to myself, how can I help these women? I cannot possibly send a message to every one of them when I see an opportunity so once again, I started a blog.

 

 

AW : You cater to women and girls who want to be tech-smart, what exactly triggered you to want to fill this vacuum?

Actually, we cater primarily to women who want to learn how to use technology to start or grow profitable businesses. For girls, we collaborate with other organizations whose focus is on girls.  The trigger for this was my experience with my business and how digital technology changed my story and gave my business international visibility.

 

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AW : Do you think mothers are fully aware of the potentials of their female children?

 

I’m not sure anybody can be fully aware of another person’s potential. We can only just observe and try. On the other hand, it’s not the sole responsibility of the mother to steer a child in the right direction. I’ll give myself as an example. I wanted to be a lawyer because I speak well and oftentimes can hold an argument on something I’m passionate about. So after my Junior WAEC, I wanted to opt for Arts class. Both of my parents thought otherwise, they told me speaking is a gift that can be used anywhere and a court is just one of the places it can be used. They actually followed me to school to see the guidance counselor who asked me a few questions and after going through my results which was all As and two Credits in English and Yoruba language, she said I should go to science class saying if I wanted to change from science it would be easier in future than trying to change back to science.

So you see, seeing potential in children is a community effort.

 

AW : Tell us about She Learns Here

It’s a non-profit initiative currently undergoing registration with CAC as an NGO that was created to train and support women to improve their lives and businesses using digital skills.

We do this through free education and information about digital skills, business management, funding opportunities and more on our social media platforms (primarily Instagram and Twitter @shelearnshere), on our blog www.shelearnshere.com and Whatsapp group. Though only our whatsapp training is free, physical classes aren’t.

She Learns Here is certified by the United Nations Industrial development organization to offer Business and It trainings to students entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs under the scope of the UNIDO HP-LIFE entrepreneurship program which is supported by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

 

AW : How well would you say the technology space has evolved In Nigeria?

We’ve come a long way since the days of Nitel phones but there’s still a long way to go. In my opinion, the way we teach and what we teach in schools these days should prepare the younger generation for the tech explosion we are experiencing and the ones to come.

 

AW : Who are your mentors in and out of the industry?

I have quite a number of role models for different purposes and seasons. I particularly admire the guts and work of Mrs Funke Opeke, the Founder of Main Street technologies, and Mrs Tolulope Aladesanmi Who runs a Non-profit that supports pregnant women and nursing mother’s and is a part of our board of trustees. I also admire women like Afua Osei of She leads Africa and Osayi Alike of Act Foundation.

 

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AW : We also know that you are passionate about female entrepreneurs maximizing the digital world on social media and outside social media, tell us how far you’ve gone on that journey?

We started training women in 2018, and between then and now, we have reached nothing less than 800 women both in physical training and online classes

 

AW : Do you think female entrepreneurs in Nigeria have the market they need to thrive in business?

The opportunities are becoming more available for women to grow in business. It’s just that there’s still a knowledge gap. This is why initiatives like ours exist to show women what they can achieve and become.

 

AW : How do you challenge yourself to be better in your chosen field?

I’m always learning. I don’t mind paying hundreds of dollars for training if it’s going to help me be better in what I do. Beyond paid training, I do a lot of Moocs from websites like Udemy and Future learn. I also read books a lot and attend relevant events.

 

AW : What’s the future like for SheLearns Here?

The future is to have the first tech-driven, women-focused co-working space in Ibadan, to have an annual 3 months online incubator program for female entrepreneurs in Nigeria which will culminate into a 3 days physical training and seed funding for 3 of the participants. We hope to have the support of state governments, well-meaning individuals and tech Giants like Google and Facebook to make this happen.

 

 

AW  : Share some of your success stories with us

We have been able to train and certify over 50 entrepreneurs using the UNIDO HP-LIFE modules.

We have trained women to improve their online marketing and so much more

 

 

 

AW : What have been the challenges so far?

Funding. Most of what we’ve done has been funded by my husband and I. Even when we have had to charge for some physical training, we’ve had to augment with personal funds and this will not help us achieve our aim. This is why we are making it official by registering as a non-profit so we can source for external funding to be able to empower more women in business with digital and business skills.

 

 

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AW : Have you ever felt like giving it all up? If yes, how did you get over it?

Yes! I actually deleted both the blog and the website at a point but I just couldn’t get my mind off it. I think when you are supposed to do something, that thing won’t let you rest until you do it. Both of them are back up now and there are now volunteers who help to lessen the burden, I’m really grateful to have them and I hope that they can be converted to staff when we get the funding this requires.

 

AW : What keeps you going?

God, purpose, love

 

AW : What’s your advice to women?

Whatever you consistently attach to the words”I am”, you will eventually become. Keep doing what you need to do, someday soon, it will all fall into place.

 

AW : Share your social media platforms

@olubunmisays on Instagram

@olubunmifaj on Twitter

www.facebook.com/olubunmi.fajuyigbe

www.olubunmifajuyigbe.com

 

 

Source: Above Whispers

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