Esohe Ekunwe: Purpose comes with consistent effort and time

A leader is not known by the title, she creates a safe haven for people to be empowered. This describes Esohe Ekunwe, a Member of the Board of Trustees at Tech Herfrica, an organisation that provides digital access to rural African women and girls engaged in trade and agriculture. She is also a Marketing and Communications Strategist who helps build reputable and renowned businesses and brands. 

It took a LinkedIn message to Esohe to let us into her space as she spoke about how she transitioned from business to pursuing a career in digital strategy to branding. There is more to this lady than meets the eye. Unashamedly, she professed her love for Christ in whom she found purpose. 

Omote Ro Dhe was captivated by Esohe's profile and the impact of her work. We called and Esohe answered. In a chitty-chatty conversation, Esohe opened up more about herself, her love for digital marketing and what she stands for. Read excerpts of the exclusive interview below:

Can you walk us through your journey from starting a business catering to ladies with big feet to becoming a reputable digital strategist?

In 2018 when I decided to start my business, I couldn't afford to rent a physical store. At that time, businesses were using Instagram, so I tried that approach. Even with little experience, I successfully sold products to customers across Nigeria from my house.

This sparked my interest in digital marketing - a way to reach broader audiences. I took Google's Digital Marketing Fundamentals course and started managing social media for other small businesses. I supplemented this with more courses and an internship at a digital marketing agency. 

From those humble beginnings operating solely online, I've continuously developed my digital marketing skills and experience over the years. What started out of necessity became a passion for leveraging digital platforms to drive business growth.

What motivated you to transition from running a small business from home to pursuing a career in digital strategy?

I fell in love with digital marketing. I also realised at the time that I didn't have the capacity to sustain the business.

Could you share with us some key strategies you implemented to turn your small business into a well-known brand within your community?

Hmmm. My niche was very specific and unfamiliar to people at the time. To gain my audience's trust, I implemented the "Know, Like, Trust" strategy. Building trust required letting customers get to know me and my brand first before expecting them to make purchases.

Providing a great customer experience was also crucial. Beyond just buying products, customers need to feel comfortable with your brand. That's how you get them to become willing brand ambassadors. I led by example as the first brand ambassador, constantly talking about and promoting my brand everywhere I went. Years later, people recognize my brand name more than my own name because of this consistent effort.

Building trust takes deliberate work when offering something new. But investing time to let your audience know, like, and trust your brand pays off through loyal customers who actively advocate for you.

Can you tell us more about Tech Herfica and what some of her ongoing projects seek to achieve? 

At Tech Herfrica, we are providing digital access to rural African women and girls who are engaged in trade and agriculture, to promote their digital and financial inclusion. Women and girls in rural and underserved communities are the most excluded from the digital world. We are helping to bridge the digital divide, break the cycle of poverty and enable wealth creation for these women. 

Some of our initiatives include the EquipHer4Growth, Access to Markets, ScaleHer, Access to Finance, etc. The EquipHer4Growth initiative empowers these women with both digital and financial knowledge and skills in their local language and context, while also facilitating access to internet-enabled or feature-rich mobile devices based on their specific needs.

This digital access empowers women to enhance agricultural productivity, embrace smart agricultural practices, mitigate the effects of climate change, reduce post-harvest waste, connect with a broader society, increase income by at least 50% through e-commerce, and access financial services. Beneficiaries are introduced to innovative farming technologies, such as precision agriculture tools, and are taught how to build resilience in the face of climate change by leveraging technology.

Leadership starts with leading oneself. In your own opinion, what are the key attributes every leader should have?

Strategic thinking, empathy, communication skills, decisiveness, integrity and ethics

What advice do you have for young girls pursuing purpose but seem confused if they are on the right path?

Whoosh. I've been in that uncertain phase! A key thing for young girls is that clarity comes with time. As a believer, I found my purpose through my faith in Christ.

While searching for purpose, don't stay idle. Keep active - try new things, and explore options. Purpose isn't found by sitting still. Keep doing something, and clarity will eventually arrive.

The main points are: Uncertainty about purpose is normal, especially when young Don't wait around idle - stay active, keep exploring With consistent effort and time, your purpose will become clear The core message is to be patient yet proactive in the journey of self-discovery and finding one's true purpose in life. It doesn't happen overnight but arrives through persistent action over time.


Popular Posts