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Start your business small so you can learn – Hadiza

How long have you been producing these oils?

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For three years now.

How is the patronage like?

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I started this business all by myself with N4,000. As people used the products, they liked it and they came back to get more. And as the demand grew, I found myself going back and forth this city delivering goods. So, I had to hire someone to do that. When people used the oils, they recommended them to other people.

I make carrot oil, lemon oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and more. You get two benefits from the carrot oil.  It’s a moisturiser and then it’s good for the hair too. The coconut oil is a moisturiser and the carrot in it is good for the skin. Carrot oil has beta-carotene in it which when absolved into the skin helps the skin.

Lemon is one of my favourites. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. You have properties in lemon that can help calm the nerves.

Avocado oil is very high in vitamin E . Avocado and carrot oils help in stimulating hair growth. They help your hair to grow longer, thicker and faster. And for the skin, I prefer lemon oil and carrot oil; these make your skin radiant. 

Turmeric oil is one of the living oils worldwide.  We infuse turmeric, black pepper into coconut oil, so it is readily available. It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is anti-inflammatory as well. If you have any inflammation, it can help to shrink it

 How did you know about the uses of these oils?

I read a lot. When I came back to Nigeria  from the USA where I lived, I had a lot of skin problems so I decided to experiment with coconut oil. I used it and saw the effect. My family members saw the effect on me and also started buying the coconut oil from me. So I said , I could as well do this as a business. So, I went back to the US and did more research on it. I found out that coconut is a base oil and that I could infuse some things into it. So, I infused carrots into it, I saw that it helped my hair to grow long, then I went into making lemon oil , it helped cure the ringworm on my son’s  body. I did more research and added avocado oil, then the turmeric oil came in later.

What did you study?

I studied entrepreneurship and business management from the Open University of Nigeria.

 What is the future of this business?

I want to see it as a household name in Nigeria to kick out all the expensive creams that we buy and use on our body. These natural oils work just the same way those imported creams do, or even better. These oils may not work as fast as the foreign variety but I tell you they work tremendously. These are natural oils and you will love them.

 How do you produce?

Right now my staff come to the house. We extract the coconut oil, which is the base oil, and then we go into infusing carrot, lemon, turmeric or avocado. Right now I have four staff working with me. It’s a lot of work to get these oils.

 I hope to get the NAFDAC number soon so I can export it and have it in the shelf in Nigeria. These oils have a lot of benefits that they should be a must-have at home.

 What is stopping you from producing these oils in large scale?

It is lack of finances and the machines. If I have machines that can produce these things faster, I would have gone large scale.  I am hoping that when we have our products on the shelves, and for export. We will then have more money to buy more equipment and expand.

What can the government do to help you?

If the government can get us a production site which is equipped, where we can produce for a token, that will boost our production. Instead of having to own a place of production, government can establish such places, were we can pay token, to produce and then sell. There are other people doing this business who will use these facilities instead of each one of us establishing our own production sites.

Is there market for the natural oils that you are producing?

Oh yes, there is market for them. I am selling and I am having people who come back and refer other people. After using these natural oils, they see the effects. At an exhibition I attended recently, many people bought the products/oils.

As it is now, I do not want any white collar job. If this business grows as big as I want it to, I will be employing many people.

What advice do you have for other people that say there are no jobs?

I will say they should start with what they have. When I started this business, I started with only N4,000.  Actually, it’s good to start small so you can learn on the job. So, you will find out if you are doing it the right way. So, you learn.  

Eight tips for women entrepreneurs to stay on track

 
• Take Up Something You Have a Passion For.
• Trust Your Instincts.
• Prepare a Business Plan.
• Get the Cash.
• Learn as Much as Possible About Finances.
•Know Your Target Customers. 
• Build Relationships with people. 
• Set Realistic Goals.
 

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