By Juliet Umeh
For youths to be able to contribute to the Nigerian economy and build sustainable businesses, a woman entrepreneur and CEO of Cotton Loops, Mrs. Bolupe Adebiyi has tasked them to always look beyond the immediate gratification and have a plan and remain focused.
Cotton Loops is a sustainable manufacturing and retail brand for black and white artisanal style.
Adebiyi made the call on Friday during her multiple celebrations in Lagos which includes the fourth year anniversary of Cotton Loops, Founder’s day, opening of her new store and a launch of a new collection in her fashion line.
Giving advice to the younger generation aspiring to be like her, she said: “Younger ones should look beyond now because that’s the reason we don’t progress In Africa, we think about now. When I make 1 million, I pour it back into my business.
“So, I will say delay gratification, work hard, have a goal, focus on it and also don’t forget the people coming behind you, train the young. I always say that, because a lot of us, as we get to the top, we forget that we were once young.
“Also, for us to build the African economy we need to have a 10 year plan, 20 years and that’s the only way we can grow.”
Speaking on her journey as an entrepreneur she said: ” I established the Cotton Loops brand on June 17th 2018 after attending The London College of Fashion, University of Arts, London.
“In 2019, the business came first place of 36,000 African businesses and won the grand prize of $13000 at the debut Womenpreneur Pitch, a ton program by The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a division of The World Bank and Access Bank. And soon, it will gain international recognition with other global brands.
“The brand has elevated minimal, conscious living and black and white culture, turned edgy minimalism main stream and this has earned fellowships into global institutions and accelerators including Oxfam, AWE, IVLP, WeConnect, 10000 Women (Cherie Blair), AWEC, CBC, WomenX, Halcyon (First ever Africa Intensive), Womenpreneur among others.
“As a socially impactful brand, our 10, 000 Girls by Cotton Loops Initiative has trained over 3000 female seniors in public schools in their local community with the vision to have impacted 10,000 by 2030.
“This has earned us awards including The IVLP Impact Awards, USADF-AWE Award, Halcyon- Amazon Web Services (AWS) among others,” Adebiyi explained.
She noted that their products are sustainably sourced and ethically handmade in their ‘manufactory’ in Lagos, Nigeria and across their growing maker communities in villages in Abuja, Abeokuta, Lagos, and Ibadan.
She added: “We have worked with hundreds of young African and non African creatives in public relations, PR, technology, marketing, media, content creation.”