From a bean cake vendor to a multi-million naira business owner: the story of Ayodeji Megbope.
The food and catering business in Nigeria is not an easy one as a lot of time and energy is invested into the business. It is no secret that most caterers and food vendors spend sleeplessness night after sleepless night so as to meet their target and satisfy their customers.
So the story of the owner of No Left Over Nigeria plc should ordinarily not be astonishing or surprising. However, the fact that she was able to turn a ₦1000 business into a ₦50 million company, selling what most people would term ordinary is the focus today.
No Left Over plc is a Nigerian catering outfit run by the CEO, Ayodeji Megbope. Ayodeji Megbope who received training in secretarial studies worked for a primary school as a confidential secretary for a period of nine years.
All through the period Megbope worked for the school, she always nursed am ambition of owning her own crèche and playgroup school. Megbope’s aim was to create a safe and secure environment where working parents can keep their children while at work.
After nine years of service to the administration of the school where she worked, Megbope left the school in pursue of her ambition. In a bid to actualize her ambition, she enrolled into a Montessori teaching programme. The programme was meant to last for about six months.
Towards the end of the programme, after religiously attending it, Megbope lost interest. Despite all the money she has spent, Megbope didn’t want to engage in something that we wouldn’t give her all. So with no job and no prospects of starting up the daycare center she had intended, Megbope was thinking about the next step to take in her life.
One other thing Megbope had going for her was her culinary skills. Megbope’s food has always received commendation from her family and other relatives. So she decided to take up cooking so as to keep herself busy.
Megbope had a sister-in-law who was a career woman and was always extremely busy. So Megbope took up the job of cooking for this sister-in-law of hers.
One of megbope’s special delicacies was her bean cake popularly called moi moi in Nigeria. So tasty was her bean cake that her sister-in-law requested that Megbope include it in the food menu she prepares for her.
She charged her sister-in-law the sum of ₦1000 for that.
From there, Megbopes bean cake grew famous that other relatives and friends began placing orders. Using the 1000 she charged her sister inlaw as capital, megbope began producing bean cakes and selling to those who requested them.
At the end of three months, Megbopes capital grew from ₦1000 to about ₦40000. It was at that point that the realization dawned on her that this could be a very fruitful venture.
Megbope decided to take the business farther than just her immediate environment. She started producing bean cakes and going to sell them at the school where she worked previously.
When parents came to drop their children at school, she would beckon on them to purchase the bean cake. From there, her fame spread even further, bring more customers who placed demands on her bean cake.
The big break came for Megbope when she applied for a training organized by an organization known as Goldman sachs in conjuction with the Pan-African university. The training exposed megbope to various entrepreneurship tools such as record keeping, duty delegation as well as customer relations.
After the training, Megbope was ready to take charge of her business. It was at this point that No Left Over plc was born.
Megbope make some changes to her business. She opened a record keeping book, a bank account, trained and employed more hands, and moved her business from her house to an office. All this changes helped Megbope place her business in a proper prospective
She was able to take on more jobs and even expanded her business from one item –bean cake- to a fully catering outfit.
Megbope has received recommendations from within and outside her country. She has been invited on international platforms to give motivational talks and addresses on business and career.
One of those was the annual general meeting of Goldman Sachs in New York, where she gave an address. She has also been invited by former American President, Bill Clinton to his annual Clinton Global Initiative.
Her advice at these lectures for young entrepreneurs was for them to never be afraid to start small. She admits that although the journey might not be smooth, but with a proper business plan, record keeping and perseverance, they would succeed.
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