Every year, #ForbesAfrica releases its popular #30Under30 list to celebrate and inspire young people across Africa who are doing great things and impacting lives.
For the class of 2017, Nigeria is well represented with 5 nominees on the list; with 29-year olds Tolasade Williams and Edikan Udiong, the only Nigerian women present.
Sakeela Tolasade Williams is the founder of @sadehair. She quit her job in the banking industry to start her hair business which is a multi-billion dollar industry. She traveled overseas to find a supplier and started selling hair from the boot of her car in London. Afterward, she branded the company and sold her car, borrowed money from family and invested all her initial earnings into a boutique store in the UK, in February 2013.
Within her first two years, she employed four members of staff, sold custom products and hair extensions amounting to a £150,000 turnover with customers flying all over the world to visit her store.
Today, she has a reseller in Canada, who has been with the company since 2015 and also in Sierra Leone. She has single-handedly held over three events in London and in Lagos, bringing together new and local businesses to exhibit at her event. She hopes to further expand in Nigeria by 2018.
Edikan Udiong (@edikanudiong), on the other hand, is the founder of Oleander House. Having watched her sister and friends search far and wide for a particular weight loss supplement without success, Edikan saw the opportunity to start her weight loss business in 2012.
With the rapid growth of her business, Edikan quit her banking job and concentrated on growing her company. Edikan’s father had asked her to quit her business but she didn’t budge even after the business started failing in its second year. Her customers started to request for new products that began to come into the market making her sales drop drastically. To salvage the situation, she created her own products, @flattummyteatox.
Her company has since grown from selling that one product to owning an online health shop and its own brand of products. She has five employers and the business rakes in thousands of dollars.