My role models? Strong women who combat stereotypes!

Chris Simoens
23 April 2018
Wanger Ayu is one of the promising talents in the fashion world of Abuja (Nigeria). How did she become a successful entrepreneur? She tells her story and gives us a few tips and tricks.

 

Today, I'm a pretty successful fashion designer in Abuja. But this is not my first business. I first started a business that delivered meals, then I tried to set up a trade fair, and finally, I designed jewellery and built a small store chain. I had to give up all of this. Failure is not fun, but I did learn a lot from it, such as planning more accurately, organising more efficiently and evaluating the impact of my efforts. This gives you a better idea of where you stand and where you need to make adjustments.

Nowadays, I design and make clothes for women. My fashion label Wanger Ayu stands for creativity, sustainability and innovation. My clients are very diverse: from career women to prominent individuals from various social classes. I'm very honoured that they put so much trust in our small team.

Failure is not fun, but I did learn a lot from it, such as planning more accurately, organising more efficiently and evaluating the impact of my efforts. This gives you a better idea of where you stand and where you need to make adjustments.

Plan, push, pray…

Managing a business is not easy, especially in Africa. To me, the biggest obstacles are the inadequate electricity supply, economic instability, the uncertain availability of skilled workers and the difficulty in accessing capital.

The key factors for my success include developing a coherent vision and constant evaluation and innovation. Some good advice for young people who consider setting up a business in my country: be prepared for the ups and downs! Do not get discouraged when you encounter setbacks. Plan, push, pray and do it all over again if necessary. One more tip? Support from family and friends. They gave me courage to persevere through tough times.

Some good advice for young people who consider setting up a business in my country: be prepared for the ups and downs! Do not get discouraged when you encounter setbacks. Plan, push, pray and do it all over again if necessary.

My role models are strong women who fearlessly combat stereotypes and are not deterred by anything. They manage to carry out traditional men's jobs. By doing so, they pave the way for other women. I am thinking of the famous Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Nyongo, Uber executive Bozoma Saint John, the Kenyan actress Lupita Nyongo and, more recently, the Nigerian women's team that took part in the Winter Olympics.

It is definitely possible to succeed, even in Nigeria’s current climate. But the government could contribute to a more favourable working environment. I am thinking of better electricity supply, incentives for business start-ups, such as tax breaks, and policies to encourage entrepreneurs. The Nigerian government already grants small and large loans, but it can do a lot more.

 

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About the same theme - Article 11 /12 Patience pays off