AfriGrowth Foundation Shelevates Series II- Growing Young Women Entrepreneurs

…Mentoring Young Women on Innovative Entrepreneurial Principles

“If you want to leave a Legacy, invest in those that will inherit it.”

Mrs. Dayo Keshi, President AfriGrowth Foundation (March 28, 2019)

Presently, many young women in developing and emerging markets, like Nigeria, have the ideas and ambition to become successful entrepreneurs but are held back by barriers such as lack of access to business skills, guidance, networks and finance. Small and Medium Enterprises are the economic engine of growth for a nation and more is needed to imbibe in young women entrepreneurs running start-up enterprises, the innovative entrepreneurship principles skills required to create successful and sustainable businesses.

The Shelevates Series is an online mentoring program developed as a signature project by AfriGrowth Foundation to support young Nigerian women in achieving their full potentials and advancing their status in all social domains. This online mentoring series draws on the expertise of accomplished women leaders of valor who have distinguished themselves in diverse endeavors in the public and private sector to mentor and guide a new generation of young Nigerian women. The Second Edition of Shelevates Series (Shelevates Series II) anchored on the theme: Growing Young Women Entrepreneurs, which held on Thursday March 25, 2021, was designed with the objective to equip young female entrepreneurs engaged in start-ups with key entrepreneurial skills that will make them succeed in business through high standard mentoring delivered by high profile and successful business women professionals. 32 Young Female Entrepreneurs participated in the Shelevates Series II.

The Virtual Online Mentoring Session, which commenced promptly at 2.00pm, was indeed most strategic and highly interactive, as it created a veritable platform for experienced women entrepreneurs, who have distinguished themselves in their fields of business to create a bridge for the next generation of 32 young women business builders who will follow in their footsteps, through the power of mentoring.

In her opening remarks, the President and Founder of AfriGrowth Foundation, Mrs. Dayo Keshi said that Women entrepreneurs are actually becoming more successful and ambitious in today’s business world; even though more efforts were needed to boost and accelerate female entrepreneurship, especially for young women running start-up enterprises. Mrs. Dayo Keshi said that the Second Edition of the Shelevates Series was designed to support young women entrepreneurs operating start-ups with high potential progress in enhancing their business skills by giving them guidance, motivation, emotional support and role models to grow successful businesses.


Amaka Ofili, the CEO and Founder of Vie Saine Foodz Limited facilitated the first session of the Shelevates Series II. Her session was anchored on best way female entrepreneurs can grow their business and build the buy-in and partnership of staff and business partners. She said it was imperative for female entrepreneurs to first identify the reason for venturing into business. She posited that female entrepreneurs should strive to enlighten their personnel on the mission and vision of their businesses and equally dictate the rate of growth, by continuously forging and building reliable business relationship with important business partners and stakeholders.

The next session, which was based on how female entrepreneurs can live and sustain their passion in business, was facilitated by Kemi Damola Samuel, the Program Director, JCSI Nigeria. She asserted that passion was most imperative in running an enterprise, because at times when everything seems to be failing in business, it’s the passion of the female entrepreneur that keeps things moving. She said female entrepreneurs should be passionate about their businesses, as without passion, the business could face the risk of failure. She introduced participants to a concept tagged the ‘SPOT ON’ Technique, which is an acronym for Strategy, Positioning, Opportunity, Transform, Optimize and Normalize. She advised participants to imbibe this philosophy in sustaining their passion in business.

Konbor Moses, the CEO and Founder, Kayfitz Design, based in Lagos, facilitated the next session, which was based on how female entrepreneurs can carve a niche for their businesses in their industry of focus. She encouraged participants to always be excited about their chosen businesses. She said that being the best at something you do is harder than being the first to start something new. She advised participants to always strive for excellence as profit making is the major focus of any business.

The last session, which was on how to develop and apply a business model was facilitated by Lilian Iwelu, Team Lead, Business Advisory And Support Services Unit, Abuja Enterprise Agency. She stated that the importance of business models helps Enterprises understand their customers, keep employees motivated, attracts investments and provide a sustainable competitive advantage by identifying opportunities to grow. She advised that when female entrepreneurs are developing a business model, more focus should be on the sections of customer segment and value proposition. She asserted that a business model was important as it will guide female entrepreneurs in running their businesses and above all gauging profitability.

As the curtains were drawn on the Shelevates Series II, Mrs. Dayo Keshi thanked all the resource persons for their plausible facilitations. She encouraged participants to embrace the art and act of mentoring. She said mentorship amongst African Youths will direct and channel them towards achieving success in life so as to make positive impact in society, open doors for better information sharing and partnership, which is most imperative in growing a business. She said: “AfriGrowth Foundation will continue to provide the opportunity to boost confidence, improve business performance and ultimately create wealth for young women entrepreneurs.”

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