Oyedeji Adedolapo: The Nigerian mixologist
Some months back, Nigeria’s president said that the country’s youths were lazy. However, a quick glance at the economy and the business world gives a contrary view to that assertion. Gone are the days when youths took their credentials from one place to another in search of jobs. These days, while in school, many of them become millionaires venturing into one business or another. Now is the era of fashion designers, cobblers, caterers, event planners, hair stylists, and many more.
Adedolapo Oyedeji is one of those transforming the entrepreneurial space. He is a mixologist and chief executive officer (CEO) of D’Oye Edibles, which mixes and makes different kinds of drinks and quick edibles such as popcorn and other snacks.
Though a graduate of the University of Ilorin, she started her business on a part-time basis in November 2017 while still serving. After her National Youth Service, she went on to fully establish her business.
She started with N150, 000, which she got from her savings and grants from friends and families.
Adedolapo was motivated to establish this business for want of freedom. She also wanted to become her own boss, having control over her life and time.
“I cherish my freedom. I saw entrepreneurship as a way of having more control over my life and time by becoming my own boss and not waiting to get a white collar job to earn a living, while at the same time fulfilling my passion.”
Speaking on some of the major challenges confronting her business, she complained about the problem of electricity, saying that there is barely seven hours of it a day.
She pointed out that this has extremely increased her production cost as she runs her business mostly on diesel.
“The economic crisis does not create any problem for my business because my products are affordable and I usually get them in Lagos major markets. I get them from wholesalers, which reduces the cost price, and my products are always unique because I make use of special ingredients. I also operate under a very clean environment to avoid the risk of making harmful products, given that my goods are consumables.”
When asked about plans to expand her business, the entrepreneur stated that he has a strong expansion plan.
“I am excited about the current position of the business so far and in the coming years, God willing, I hope to incorporate full catering and event management services, although this is a long-term goal. My short-term goal is to see the business boom and become the best at what it was established for, compared with other companies.
“I am also working on acquiring certificates and attending trainings to gain more knowledge and expertise that will help my business grow.”
“Currently, I do not have any employee, but I look forward to getting a bigger place for production and sales and also becoming an employer of labour, so as to reduce the rate of unemployed youths in my own little way.”
“However, it will require extra funds and resources; but hopefully, I can achieve it with the help of a loan or a grant, maybe from the government, consumer organisation or a bank.”
“Initially, when I started, it was not easy, as I did not have any prior knowledge of business before. But overtime, it has become a piece of cake and I am really enjoying it, especially as sales gets better every day, which is encouraging. I also listened to and read stories on Folorunsho Alakija and Aliko Dangote who are my role models, and I also held on dearly to my values which include making right choices, remaining committed and consistent, having respect, and being able to tolerate anything and anyone, and it has paid off.” she told Start-Up Digest.
She asked the government to make the environment more business friendly to ease most of the strains that come with setting up businesses in Nigeria, especially for small and medium scale enterprises. The entrepreneur also urged the authorities to make policies that will aid start-ups, beckoning on the government to provide stable electricity and necessary infrastructure for effective and easy production.
On advice to other entrepreneurs, she said, “Always believe in your dreams, remain focused, adhere to your values and never listen to negative comments.”