Nike Fowowe: Entrepreneur making waves in marketing
Nike Fowowe is the chief executive officer of Express Multi-Concept Resources (EMR) Group Limited, a brand that specialises in general services and integrated marketing in communications cum real estate.
Nike was inspired to establish her plethora of marketing brands by the influence of her mother and the desire to be financially free before the age of 30.
“My drive is to have been successful by the time I am 30. I want to be able to travel the whole world and still have my business running. My drive is for EMR to be an industry leader in all the sectors we do business,” the young entrepreneur said.
Nike said she started her business with no initial start-up capital, stating that the business commenced operations from the Blackberry Mobile Messenger (BBM) in 2011.
“EMR started from Blackberry messenger (BBM), marketing, social media marketing and direct marketing for friends and loved ones. From that point, we delved into running it as a business which eventually led to the birth of EMR Marketing,” she said.
The mass communication graduate said her business has grown tremendously since starting, as it has now become a group of companies that specialise in different aspects of marketing and communication brands.
“When the business began to grow, we decided to look for a bigger space in Lekki Phase 1. We came to Lekki and we couldn’t get what we were looking for and I decided to create a niche for myself,” she said.
To bridge the gap and help other entrepreneurs experiencing the same challenge, the business birthed the real estate arm in 2016.
Nike said: “Therefore our company decided to bridge the gap by offering luxury affordable apartments and office spaces for young entrepreneurs. So far, we are on our 9th building with a minimum of seven tenants in each of the buildings. EMR properties was created in 2016 as part of the business group.”
Nike was listed on Woman.NG as one of the top 25 young female entrepreneurs in the country making a difference in 2015.
The young entrepreneur said it has not be all rosy for her, as the business has faced some challenges before getting to the stage it is currently.
“It is not always smooth. Being an entrepreneur in Nigeria is not glamorous, contrary to what many youths think. At the early stage of the business, we needed to rent an apartment and I had to empty my account for it. I had to sell two of my phones and my expensive jewelleries and my car,” she said.
The Redeemers University graduate said that finance is a major challenge confronting the business. She noted that the country’s recent economic downturn has also affected the level of finance coming into the real estate sector.
“Properties are very expensive compared with when we started out. You go to financial institutions and they tell you the property is not yours so there is no collateral. So to grow the business, we need to wait for clients to renew their rents. The business is self -funded. Building materials used to be cheap but they are expensive now. This year, 2017, has been a very challenging year for us. We have lost lots of funds. But we will keep moving and thriving against all odds,” Nike further stated.
According to her, another major challenge confronting her business is that of managing people. “Managing our clients is a major challenge, but we strive to give them at least 70 percent of what they want,” she stated.
Nike advised other younger entrepreneurs to be willing to sacrifice their personal comfort in order to succeed as entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
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