Livemarket showcases SMEs, entrepreneurs to celebrate Nigeria’s Independence
Ginikachi Ekwe is an entrepreneur and CEO of Jaunty Products. Ekwe started her company three years ago after leaving the university. She specializes in making products such as hair cream, and coconut oil. She was one of the SME owners that exhibited their products at Livemarket on 2nd October, 2017 to celebrate Nigeria’s independence anniversary.
Livemarket is a platform designed to promote products made by SME owners and entrepreneurs through various activities. The October edition entitled: “Proudly Nigeria” was designed to encourage Nigerians to buy indigenous products. Like Ekwe, other entrepreneurs participated in the exhibition held at the Zone Centre in Lagos.
The event was a beehive of activities as various locally made products such as clothes, shoes, and hand woven baskets were on display. People went around to check products at different booths. There were also game activities for fun lovers beside the exhibition ground.
Ekwe who spoke with Outrepreneurs at her booth explained that the materials she uses for her products are locally sourced. “We make hair cream, coconut oil, and more,” she said. “We source our materials locally and make use of shea butter, coconut oil, ginger, and olive oil.
“I have been doing this for the past three years. I was in school when I started. I was making the product for my hair and it was working. My friends and family saw the effect on my hair and started demanding that I should make for them.”
She said the business has been profitable because people love to patronize naturally made products. According to her, the company has two staff that help with production from extracting content, packaging, and labelling the products. Ekewe’s dream is to see her products on the shelves of different stores across the country.
Azad Abdullahi, who is a senior marketing specialist at the Zone said Livemarket recognizes SMEs play a crucial role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. He said it’s a platform that showcases SMEs and what they have to offer the Nigeria market. He added, “Today, we are having the proudly Nigeria edition. What that means is most of the people that have booths here have things that are made in Nigeria. It is Nigeria’s Independence Day. We wanted to celebrate the SMEs and what they have to offer.”
He further explained that most young entrepreneurs are faced with challenges like capital acquisition, finding market, and getting customers but Livemarket helps to solve these problems. “We have supported SMEs in the past,” he added. “Last month, we had a winner that was given some money. Livemarket is part of SME 500 that catalogues SMEs and put a spotlight on upcoming SMEs because a lot of banks are looking to invest in them but don’t know the ones that are trustworthy and have the prospect to grow.”
Photo: Deji Aroloye
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a graduate of Linguistics and a staff writer at Outrepreneurs, Deji's forte includes tech, startups and innovations. Years back, Deji wrote on Entertainment and Lifestyle for a tabloid. If he wasn't a writer, Deji would be a photographer or teacher.