Ono Bello

Digital magazine OnoBello.com recently hosted 60 young entrepreneurs at her newly launched project ‘Get Motivated with Ono Bello’ (#GetMotivatedwithOB), an exclusive event aimed at hosting young entrepreneurs across Nigeria.

The event took place at Sappers Waterfront Lounge in Victoria Island, Lagos. It featured a day of inspirational talks and business tip on how the young entrepreneurs in attendance can start and grow a business. The event kicked off with a verification process for attendees. She spoke on her “Inspiration” as an entrepreneur, a theme for this maiden edition.

Her speech highlighted crucial points in her life and career. She said: “My inspiration for going into my business came after I completed my Master’s Degree, I felt I was full of so many ideas and I knew they were being underutilized in my place of work then, I would say I was not totally fulfilled even though the job looked interesting to outsiders, it had become boring to me, I wanted more. I needed a place where my ideas were being put to good use, I wanted start and grow them, I would say I had some big ideas but they were not being utilized and most of you working in organisations might be able to relate to that. So, I decided to start something small and put in everything I had to make it grow.”

“At the time, I was living and working in the UK, so I made a decision to move back to Nigeria, with no money, nowhere to live in Lagos because prior to this I had sold my car, all my belongings and moved out of my small mini flat to study in the UK and chase my dreams working for a magazine there. My parents don’t live in Lagos, so it was not a question of moving back with my parents, I had graduated with my first degree six years prior to that time and I couldn’t see myself asking my parents for money because I had been quite independent and taking care of myself all these while. However, before I quit my job, I started putting things in place to kick start my dream, started building my website with the help of a friend that knows how to build websites and doing a lot of research on what I wanted to do.”

“I then moved back to Nigeria and was staying with a friend for a few months who I had asked to give me three months to get my place. I was a squatter. I only had money to transport myself, around and buy food for four months. The pressure was on. I was hopeful I had something to offer, I worked hard, had sleepless nights, stay consistent, hopeful, surrounded myself with people that inspired me, validated my dreams and make me want to strive for better. Most of all I prayed fervently. I still do all that today, I haven’t hit it big yet to relax, I haven’t achieved my vision yet. So, you see I can relate with a lot of the struggles you are going through to start off and grow in your businesses.”

Speakers that also spoke about their inspiration and tips on how to start and grow a business were; Lanre DaSilva Ajayi, Creative Director of fashion brand LDA, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, CEO Zapphire Events, Oke Maduewesi, CEO Zaron Cosmetics , who was represented by Mary-Jane Ohubu, the General Manager for the brand, Seun Tayo-Balogun, CEO Brief Essentials & Co-Founder of Techmonks Limited, Tunji Ashiru, Executive of Strategic Policy Engagement, Interswitch Group and Ibikunle Bolorunduro, Fidelity Bank SME Business Advisor.

After the talks, attendees were given the opportunity to ask the speakers questions, there was also networking over drinks, plenty of food and fun entertainment.

The day ended with Ono Bello giving away N500,000 shared among 10 Entrepreneurs- N50, 000. 00 each with the hope that this money will help them grow their business in a specific area highlighted during the registration process.