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Posts Tagged ‘Suzanne Bourret’

punch

February 17, 2019 Leave a comment

I was recently classified as one of the young Nigerians doing well [in his field] by Punch Newspapers and interviewed.

I was asked to share some of my experiences and offer advice that could inspire others.

I was both honored and humbled to be sought out; most of all, always grateful to God for every opportunity.

It was a long one, so the whole interview wasn’t published, but below is the unabridged version of the interview; after it, is a link to the actual publication.

Can we meet you?

Certainly, my name is Sylvester Kay-Adade.

I’m a business consultant, investment banker and serial entrepreneur.

 

What stirred your interest in what you do?

I can’t put my finger on exactly what stirred up the passion for business in me, but what’s got me going is the need for improvement in industries that I find interesting.

 

What is your educational background?

I’ve had quite a journey, educationally, so I’ll stick to the relevant bits.

For high school, I attended Federal Government College, Lagos, and Southern Ontario College, Hamilton. For college, I attended McMaster University and Mohawk College for Social Science/Psychology and Business Management respectively.

 

What is your current position?
I’m the Principal Consultant in Herança Financial.

 

How old are you?

I’m 31 years old.

 

What is your work history?

Most recently, Risk Management and Consulting at Kedari Capital from 2017 till 2019.

However, as a serial entrepreneur, it’s been quite a list, but the most popular are Brand Manager at Pearl Kreations since 2008, and Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Centerprise Global Resources (in partnership with a friend) since 2016.

 

What is your current position and what factors are responsible for your accomplishments?

I’ll focus on Herança Financial, where I’m the Principal Consultant.

I’d have to state passion, persistence, and networking as the top 3 factors, for me.

I’m incredibly passionate about small business – every aspect of it. It’s what I love to do.

I am persistent – I’ve drafted business plans and business proposals pro bono. I’ve taught classes, spoken at seminars, and written articles. I never give up.

I’m reserved, so networking didn’t, still doesn’t come easy, but it’s one of the best ways to meet people and talk to them about yourself, and what you do. And if there’s one thing I’ve noticed, people get excited about what you’re saying if you’re also absolutely psyched about what you’re telling them!

 

What is your job description?

Herança Financial is an SME advisory firm.

I spend my time offering advice/developing business ideas, drafting business plans/proposals, advising on expansion plans, and generally providing solutions to various business issues.

 

What motivates your work?

Passion and a drive for excellence. I love what I do; it gets me up in the morning. And whatever I’m involved in must be done right, mediocrity upsets me.

 

What are the challenges you face on the job and how do you surmount them?

The greatest was self-doubt. Every entrepreneur has those moments when they panic and question themselves. Sometimes, it was like “I hope I know what the heck I’m doing”. Those were times when my faith in God, His words concerning me, and His plans for my life were tested. It might sound corny, but I learnt to trust in Jesus and talk to Him more, confess God’s word over my life and make positive declarations daily. One of my favorites is: I am the most excellent of men and my lips have been anointed with grace since God has blessed me forever – Psalm 45:2.

Another challenge is getting people to pay for services rendered! It’s ridiculous. Nigerians have to be one of the toughest people to get your money from. I’ve worked with some micro enterprise owners and some politicians, the same thing! I’ll have to get back to you on that one when I figure it out.

 

What are some notable achievements you have recorded?

In 2010, through Pearl Kreations, I was nominated for Business Owner of the Year at The Future Nigeria Awards. Also through Pearl Kreations, in 2009, I was admitted into the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Business Network. We also worked with the Jim Ovia Foundation for a Youth Empowerment and ICT Event in 2013.

 

In what ways do you think the government can encourage the youth?

I think the Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWiN) initiative that President Jonathan launched was a brilliant initiative. I learnt a lot of young people benefited greatly from it. Though, there could have been better checks, because I know of a few who squandered millions. I thought YouWiN! Connect by President Buhari would be better, and it started off that way, but I read it ended seemingly being some sort of scam.

I think the government can focus on educating youth on business and entrepreneurship, right from secondary school level, if possible. Let’s face it, not everyone is cut out for a 9-5 and there very few jobs out there. Even if you’re a salary earner, nothing wrong with multiple streams of income. Our youths can be inspired from a young age to be business owners and employers.

I also think programs like YouWIN should continue, and grants (not equity funding) should be offered, possibly in tranches, to those with good business plans.

 

What aspect of your career do you enjoy the most and how has it impacted your life?

Like I said, I’m passionate about small business. I love to sit with entrepreneurs, watch their eyes twinkle as they share their dreams (it’s like the beginning of a great story every time), help expand their minds/visions, develop a feasible plan with them, and help make those dreams a reality. The impact has just been the immense feeling of fulfillment.

 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’d have to keep to myself, but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to what God has in store for me.

 

What are some of the qualities you think a leader must possess in other to be successful?

I think a leader has to be a teacher and also teachable. A leader has to be kind and respectful. A leader has to be willing to serve and build others up. A leader has to inspire, not only through words, but through action.

 

Was there any incident that changed the course of your life?

By God’s grace, I have experienced great growth in such a short time, through dogged determination and the most random acts of kindness. One that changed the course of my life was my encounter with Suzanne Bourret. Suzanne is/was a journalist. We met at an event showcasing African cultures. I was there selling the most unassuming products, button-badges with flags on them. She was intrigued. She chatted with me for a bit and asked to interview me. My first interview. Before I knew it, I was answering questions, doing a photo shoot, and in a few days, I was on the pages of The Hamilton Spectator (one of the biggest and most widely read newspapers in Ontario). That article was the beginning of great things. I’ll always be thankful to God for that.

 

What are your other interests?

Board Games, Card Games, Charades, Movies, and Tennis.

 

Who are your role models?

I have a bunch of them because I admire different aspects of their lives, but I’ll name a few: My dad, Late Mr. Olukayode Adade, Mr. Elon Musk, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Mr. Jeff Bezos, and Ms. Oprah Winfrey.

 

How would you advise people who aspire to follow in your footprints?

In 2008, a few months after I started Pearl Kreations, I applied to be a vendor for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. I was turned down because I didn’t have business registration and other requirements. I felt deflated, but I snapped out of it. I knew getting in could work wonders for my business. I wrote back stating I was a student entrepreneur and shared the link of the newspaper article I was featured in. By God’s grace, about a week later, I was admitted.

You can’t give up. Yes, it takes time, but if you’re passionate about it and it’s solving a problem/improving a solution, hang in there. Never worry, God’s got you.

 

This is the link to original publication.

 

right on the button

June 15, 2008 Leave a comment

My very first interview! I edited a few things. For example, that is not the photo that was used in the article. I couldn’t get the actual photo. The rest of the story/interview is as it appeared in the newspapers on Thursday, May 15, 2008 by Suzanne Bourret of the Hamilton Spectator.

His name is Olusola Adade. His business is buttons. Not just any old buttons, his have a noble mission. They bear the national flags of different countries to promote multiculturalism. And they are an avenue to show support for war-torn countries.

Olusola, 20, is a McMaster University student who hopes to go back to his native Nigeria to serve as a doctor. Since he launched his button business in late January, he’s become known as Mr. Buttons.”It gives people from different countries the opportunity to be ambassadors, proudly representing and celebrating their countries on a daily basis wherever they are,” says Olusola, who came to Canada two years ago.

A year before, a close friend talked about a Nigerian button for their country’s independence day. Olusola suggested they make them for every country, but the means to make them was not possible in Nigeria, he says. This past year he remembered their idea, did research and contacted his Nigerian friend. But he had lost interest. So Olusola decided to do it himself. He started by making a group of buttons on Facebook, but the flag idea didn’t really fly with the younger set. Many who responded asked for personalized buttons.

Shortly after, the All-Me Buttons were born. They are custom-made, created to individual taste and specifications. Now he sells both kinds. And at a toonie for the national flags and $2.50 for the All-Me, the one-inch buttons are definitely affordable. He keeps the price low to give everyone the opportunity to be patriotic in a simple way.

In just a few short weeks, loads of people ordered them, says Olusola. It became difficult to balance the buttons’ production with his health studies and psychology course, and with “old school” equipment, he says. So he traded it off on eBay to find someone who could make them at a discount until he can save up to buy better software and up-to-date equipment. Alice from the U.K. surfaced and they have been a team since March.

Now he sells both personalized and national flag buttons at events, such as last week’s Tiara Festival. He’s also seeking interest from different ethnic groups.”My initial idea was to provide the buttons to all the different embassies all over the world so they can give them out to their nationals, especially on occasions such as independence and flag days. I will definitely get there soon by God’s grace.

He finds it amusing that a lot of people wanted to invest. “That is funny especially since I can’t give dividends and I’m not ready for a hostile takeover just yet!” For more information, go to pearlcreations.org or e-mail Olusola at mr.buttons@live.ca.

Link to the Original

tiara

June 4, 2008 1 comment

I was happy I sucked it up, and paid the $50-$70 for a table at the tiara festival because I got to meet other entrepreneurs and their own creative products. After about 5 passers-by, I decided to write down what my business/buttons on two separate sheets of paper since I was visibly the only one without a flier of some sort to give to people or explain what I was about. After I did that, some people stopped to read what they were about and bought one or a couple of buttons. An old woman bought a Columbia for her best friend. An elderly couple actually planned to buy one for every country they had been to, but unfortunately they did a lot of European trips and then I didn’t have too many European buttons. A lot of sales were from Sudanese people.

Well, as the evening drew in, people reduced. I was thinking of leaving having been there since 9am when a lady walked up to me and told me she loved the idea. She told her she was Suzanne and worked for the Hamilton Spectator. She gave me her jotter and I told me to write all about my buttons, my name, website and everything! I thought I was dreaming lol. I started to write, and then when I thought it was enough, I stopped, returned it to her, and then she in turn gave me her card. Also, the High Commissioner of Lesotho came around, but unfortunately, I didn’t have Lesotho national buttons. I felt so bummed. She asked if I had a card, I didn’t; and then she left. As a sharp guy, I went to ask her if I could have hers and she gave me…cool! Anyways, eventually, I sold about 25 buttons that day, which wasn’t too bad, considering all the publicity and exposure I got.

So a week or so later, Suzanne sent me an email to add a little more to what I wrote- where I’m from, what I want I’m studying and where, when I came to Canada, how I started and a few funny experiences I’ve had since I started. A couple days later, she told me she would be running my story on the May 15th Edition so I needed to do a photo shoot. I could keep anywhere I like or the Photo Studio. I picked to Studio for 12:00pm the next day. She asked me to put on my trad like I did for the tiara festival.

Getting there was a little stressful ‘cos there’s no way in except I’m coming from West Hamilton. But then, I was coming from Downtown. So in the heat, I walked in my trad to the place through Dundurn. Anyways, got there, signed in and security called for her. She came down and together we went to the 4th floor (I think), met with the photographer, took 2 pictures- the one on the paper and another with about 30 buttons in my hands- to symbolize I have the world in my hands. I guess they eventually went for the picture of my and my “trusty” bag.

During the shoot, the photographer Ron (as he told me to call him), kept saying funny stuff and taking hundreds of shots. I wanted to have a straight face and not smile, but he said that was how photo shoots are done. Finally, I left the studio went into the huge office floor to look for Suzanne and thank her. We had a little chat and she asked me a bit about Nigeria, my parents and if I could send her the songs on my website. I did. Altogether, I felt so good, I didn’t even feel the walk from there to Jackson Square!

When the paper came out, I bought 2 copies ‘cos that was all that was left by the time I made it to the newsstand by the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel. A couple of days later, I ran into 3 people who I didn’t know, but who knew me due of the article. They complimented me on the buttons idea, encouraged me and have me tips on good sale spots!

I’m a star in the making, I guess lol!

All glory to God 😀