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Lending A hand To Fashionpreneurs

NAOMI NDUBUEZE

One of the emerging sectors in the economy, fashion, was again put on the spotlight on Thursday by Funke Susan Medun, CEO of LeapWorld and Shola Dawodu, CEO of SMETT (Small Medium Enterprise Tink Tank) at the Hangout for All Fashionpreneurs held at Mosesola House, Allen Avenue, Ikeja.

The event offered a platform for aspiring fashion designers and those in the fashion business to build a strong network with top fashion designers, as well as educate all fashion designers on steps in making the fashion business go forward.

Addressing the participants, Medun, emphasised the importance of the event to the development of the fashion industry. According to her, it is necessary for anyone to have a basic understanding of a business before they start it.

“The main aim of this event is networking. It is important we meet each other and know where we can help ourselves. The importance of this is for us to really have a good knowledge about the fashion industry. This event is to prepare us for the bigger event that will be coming up soon,” she explained.

There are over 100 participants present at the event with two panel sessions. The first session was for experts in the fashion industry who shared their success stories with the participants including the steps needed to attain the level success in the fashion industry. The second panel had experts in the corporate industry who talked about the pecking order in running a successful business.

In her keynote speech titled: ‘Fashion as a Keynote Driver of the Economy’ Kafeel Shittu, explained the role of Bank of Industry (BoI) in promoting the fashion industry. She said: “the fashion industry is an immerging sector and it is therefore necessary we participate in moving the industry forward. As an industry, we are business service providers and seek to assist you with the necessary requirement you need to start your business. We as BOI, we are fully involved in growing any fashion start-up business with the intent for fashion to take its rightful place in the economy.”

While explaining how to get a loan from BoI, she said the bank is willing to put applicants through the process of securing the loan. “You must have all the required documents requested by the bank. We have been able to set up a digital SME mobile app that helps in facilitating the role of BoI. You can always access the App”, she added.

During one of the panel sessions, Sola Babatunde, CEO, OSC College of Fashion, advised the participants on the need to have a proper structure for their business to prevent it from crumbling. “The fashion industry is a wide one, it is necessary you find out where your skill fits in the industry. You can’t be everything. It is necessary you specialize in a particular skill and perfect it. The most important thing is your finance. You don’t spend every money that enters your business. Don’t spend it at all,” she advised.

The importance of building the right team was the focus of Adetola Adebowale CEO, Wapa Apparels at the event. According to her, a business person cannot achieve her desired result without having the right team. According to him it is necessary to always ask yourself this question “what role am I to play in the industry”.

Bisola Adeniyi, CEO Lady Biba, delivered a presentation on how fashion entrepreneurs can grow their businesses. Most business crash because they go to the bank to get a huge loan for start-up and when it is time for them to pay back, they start having difficulties. Start small with little income you have, when you have gained ground and need to push ahead, you can think for signing up for a loan”.

On her part, Florence Olumodimu, CEO, LDN Productions, educated the participants on the importance of marketing in promoting their businesses. She emphasised the importance of social media in selling products and services.

“You need to understand your customers and be where your customers are. If you have a business and you are using a phone, you should be on all social media platforms to sell your products. It is important that your social media contents should be engaging and genuine,” she explained.