‘Small businesses need micro loans to stand on their feet’
Lydia Ekanem is the chief executive officer of Desire Cakes and Confectionery. She is an entrepreneur who is determined to go places. In this interview with Jonathan Aderoju, the young confectioner explains what motivated her to set up the business.
Tell me about yourself and your business.
My business name is Desire Cakes and Confectionery. We help to make your events memorable with our delicacies. I liked cooking right from when I was young. I used to help the women in the catering department in church at times and I ran errands for them. I am a graduate of Mass Communication.
What inspired the business?
I had always wanted to make people happy, most especially kids. You and I know that whenever kids see cakes they are happy. That was where I got my inspiration from.
What was your initial start-up capital and how were you able to raise the fund?
The start -up capital was from my savings. Actually, my mom did help me too by giving me the little she could raise. Most times, I use her cooking utensils too.
How would you say the business has grown since you started?
The business has not actually grown the way I want it, but it is better off now than when it was starting. There was a time I hawked my products on the road, but now, I have a shop where I do my work effectively.
Do you have employees?
Yes, I have people who have worked with me and left to establish their own. But presently, I have one employee and some people who I teach.
Where do you source your raw materials from?
I get my raw materials from our conventional markets like Ejigbo Market or Apongbon Market on the Lagos Island.
What are some of the challenges confronting your business?
Some of the challenges confronting my business are inadequate fund and location. Sometimes I get home services in states, but the stress of carrying my equipment without my own means of transportation makes it difficult sometimes.
How some of these challenges be addressed?
The government can help address these challenges by helping out with micro loans to young entrepreneurs so as to enable them stand and keep their business going.
Why should anyone buy your product?
Anyone should buy my product because it is the best. It is something you eat and want to savour again.
What are some of your expansion plans?
I intend expanding my business by changing my location, because where I am is small and I plan on getting other baking equipment which I haven’t been able to because of inadequate fund.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other start-ups?
Well, my piece of advice for them is to actually know what they want to do and go for it. Don’t wait until you have money to buy everything at once. Start small, focus and gradually you’ll get there.