What do you do at Fish Arena Nigeria?
At Fish Arena, we smoke different species of fish under healthy conditions and package them to make them attractive to customers.
What is your educational background?
I attended Aunty Lizzy Nursery and Primary School, Abule Egba, Lagos, and Oke Odo Senior High School, also at Abule-Egba. I had my first degree in Mass Communication from ISFOP-BENIN University, Cotonou.
What motivated a graduate of Mass Communication to start a fish business?
My mum used to smoke fish. I was aware of the amount my mum made on it on a daily basis and I saw the physical things she had acquired just by selling fish. That propelled me to start Fish Arena Nigeria and I thank God it’s growing gradually.
Did you try seeking a job after school or has it always been entrepreneurship for you?
Yes, I did work for some establishments. I had my internship at the Lagos Television and my national youth service at the Ogun State House of Assembly. Also, I briefly worked for Reohob Nigeria Limited in Surulere, Lagos. I worked for a while but it just wasn’t my thing.
How did you learn to smoke fish?
I learnt fish smoking from my mum. I grew up seeing her smoke fish every day. So, it practically became part of me because I used to help her out. Gradually, the love I have for the business grew.
How long have you been in this business?
Well, literally, I would say since I was born.
How much was your initial capital and how did you raise it?
My initial capital was approximately N50,000. I discussed with a friend about my idea and he was really impressed. So, he gave me the money.
What are the major challenges you have faced in the business?
A lot of people tried to discourage me because I am a graduate. Some even called me names and said it was a dirty job. They always say a pretty girl like me shouldn’t be selling fish. But that is the path I have chosen and I’m happy I took the bold step. Their criticisms became a huge challenge. I did not let it bother me. I rather took it as a motivation to push harder.
Was there any time you thought of quitting and seeking paid employment?
No. I love what I do. Even if I’m getting a job, it’s just basically to make more money. I’m never going to quit this at all.
Is your business registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission?
Yes, it is. I registered it in July 2017.
How profitable is the business?
It is quite profitable; at least to a reasonable extent.
Have you had any accident in the course of smoking fish?
No, not at all.
Do you have any employees?
What would you say is the most influential factor in your business success?
The most influential factor is the social media, especially Instagram. It has really helped me a lot. Many people have contacted me via Instagram and my twitter handle.
What other skills do you possess?
I can cook. I’m also gifted at counselling people.
Where do you see yourself and your business in the next five years?
In the next five years, I see myself as a source of motivation and inspiration to other young people, having the resources to empower and train them to be their own bosses. I see my business as one that would be accessible to both the rich and the poor; one that would be of benefit to everyone.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Prepare your mind because people will try to discourage you; thicken your skin because they might throw hateful words at you. You need to stay focused always and never procrastinate.
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