May be an image of 2 people and people standing

By Elizabeth Osayande

Mr. Oke Oladimeji has made Nigeria proud by winning two awards at the prestigious University of Hertfordshire’s 2022 flare ignite award. A graduate of the University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Oladimeji in the past 10 years has excelled as an entrepreneur starting a fast-growing press release distribution service, NewswireJet and now building an omnichannel public relations and brand awareness platform, PRbean.com.

Starting out as a freelancer, he was contracted by a client to write a press release which he learnt on the go and would soon go further to write more than 500 press releases and at the same time learn his way to becoming a strategic digital marketing and growth expert. In a different direction compared to most startup founders who are technical founders, his skill set positions him to start a successful PR and Marketing platform and lead the growth of the company as well.

The MBA graduate emerged as the top prize winner from over 110 participants, for the most scaleable business with his innovative idea, PR/Communications, PRbean. He also got the people’s choice award for being the most favourite business. 

While the Scalable business award is supported by Santander for entrepreneurs with a well-developed idea or a trading business, a detailed business plan and the potential to scale quickly; the most favourite business as voted by the audience is sponsored by the People’s Choice Award. Oke won both the Scalable Business Award – the top prize worth £3,500 – and £500 for the People’s Choice Award, which was voted for by the audience.

PRbean is a public relations and marketing software designed to help small business build relationships and communicate with their media. The software-as-a-service once launched will help users in finding and communicating with relevant journalists or influencers in their industry, understand conversations around their business vertical and create a holistic digital PR strategy. The software will effectively the power of earned media through press release distribution, media outreach, online reputation management and consumer conversation data analytics.

Speaking of the 2022 University of Hertfordshire’s 2022 flare ignite award, the institution explained that the enterprise award aimed at giving her students and alumni entrepreneurial support and training to bring their business ideas to life.

Jo Stuart, Executive Director for Business, International, Marketing and Recruitment at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “The University of Hertfordshire is an enterprising institution, supporting hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs each year, including many of our Flare Ignite finalists. This competition is a key part of the extensive support we offer to businesses, and each year I am blown away the entrepreneurial creativity and drive of our student and alumni-run enterprises. Congratulations to the finalists and winners, and I look forward to seeing their businesses develop over the years to come.”

His determination is fuelled by his aspiration to represent black startup founders from Africa and to prove that Africans can solve global problems.

The Nigerian innovator, who owns the first black-owned international press release distribution service provider with a fast-growing global brand, has this to say: ” I have the vision to chart a new course for people of colour through positive representation. I believe that while we are making strides solving local problems with tech we can at the same venture into solving global problems using tech as well.” 

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