Mrs Awosika is an award-winning business magnate and the chairperson of First Bank, Nigeria, and is indeed one woman to reckon with. She ventured into entrepreneurship with the carpentry industry selling hand made furniture. Although she graduated as a chemical engineer from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), she tried sending her application letters to financial institutions around the country, but after waiting for too long, she never had the opportunity to work with a bank in the early stage of her life.
However, Awosika fulfilled her dream of working in the financial sector even in a higher position. Aside from leading First Bank, she has various business investments.
Ibukun Awosika sits on the board of several thriving companies and she is known for her integrity.
Here are 5 lessons every entrepreneur should learn from Ibukun Awosika:
1. Find your niche and challenge yourself to be the best in your area. In her words, “My challenge to you is that whether you produce one product or a thousand; make the best of the best from number one so that if you get to the last, it would still represent the best that you are capable of doing. When you deal with one customer, do the right thing”.
2. Invest in people. In her words, “Your investment in people matters. The people I dealt with many years ago, doing their babies’ chairs and beds, are still around. Even when I said I was not doing any house furniture again, people thought I was crazy.
3. Take the risk. If you can’t take a risk you cannot survive in this world, because entrepreneurship is about taking a risk. Awosika said, “every individual who is positively engaged is a person of risk in the society.” She took so many risks in her career while starting up. With this way, entrepreneurs should be keen about taking a risk and expect it on their ladder to success.
4. Take a personal decision to be excellent in whatever you do. In her words, “Seek knowledge to whatever extent possible and take it seriously” she once said.
5. Always learn to create value in whatever business you venture into. Starting her first enterprise so many years ago to add value to society and fulfil her dreams, Awosika always advises young entrepreneurs to follow in the same line, because business is about adding value. She said ‘as young people, there are so many areas for you to create value for yourself and the community.’ This advice is the bedrock of contributing to the society, unlike most young people who have money as the first thought, Awosika advise that young people should think first about creating value.