There are many entrepreneurs in Nigeria, all working tirelessly to create solutions to problems of the community, and making money from these creative solutions. Some entrepreneurs have been able to stand out in their business and have built it into a global brand while still embracing strong Nigerian values. One of them is, Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti. She is the co-founder of Parliamo Bambini, a company that produces children’s furniture.
Ife has a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, in Nigeria and an MBA in Global Business from Coventry University, United Kingdom. In her words at a Guardian Woman interview, earlier this year, “I loved biology and chemistry in secondary school so I thought that was the most convenient thing to study…”
Upon graduation, Ife started her career in London at Aspire Acquisitions, a marketing company and then moved to Arcadia Group Limited, one of Britain’s largest fashion retailers. From this experience, she discovered that she enjoyed the business side of things more. This is why she decided to get an MBA. After her MBA, Ife got several offers from the banking industry and one from Nigerian Breweries – which was her dream job. She worked there for 5 years and then decided to leave and focus on her business.
Today, Ife is a Marketing and Sustainability expert with over 10 years of management and leadership experience working in the fashion, marketing and manufacturing Industries. She is the author of the book Accessing Grants for Startups, founder of AGS Tribe and ACE Awards Winner. An experience that thrust Ifedayo into starting her own business, was her inability to find locally made furniture after having her first child. This led her to import all her child’s furniture.
Together with her partner Olamide Olatunbosun, Parliamo Bambini – a baby comfort and lifestyle company was birthed in 2015. With enough support in terms of training and mentorship, the company has been able to scale over the last 5 years. Both Ife and her partner attended a mentorship programme by Variant Advisory Limited which helped shape some of the decisions they made as a company.
In her Punch interview, she said, “I am lucky to have been one of the entrepreneurs who have been nurtured and empowered by other people and communities; so, I think it is my civic duty to give back whenever I have the opportunity to because I believe that entrepreneurship is one of the most important tools for the economic development of any country.”
As a way of giving back, Ife discovered that there weren’t too many people sharing knowledge about how to grow a sustainable business without being in too much debt from day one. She then decided to teach people how to do so through her book, Accessing Grants for Start-ups. Together with Parliamo Bambini, Ife founded another start-up called Philos and Zoe, focused on creating children’s clothes with local talents and resources.
Ife runs an active instagram page @agstribe where she shares opportunities for business and start-ups to access funding and grants. She has said severally that she’s very passionate about promoting entrepreneurship, gender equality and youth empowerment. She believes that these groups contribute to sustainable development. This led her to launch a platform called the AGS Tribe to democratize opportunities for entrepreneurs across Africa and the AGS Enterprise Challenge, to empower female entrepreneurs through funding, mentorship and training.