A Conversation With Yemisi Ajeojo: ‘You Get Clarity By Taking The First Step’.


You recently authored a book, ‘Social media Is Your New CV. Can you tell us about the book and what prompted you to write it?
   I won’t forget 2017 too soon when I moved back to Nigeria with a mind crowded with uncertainties resulting from the constant reminder by friends and relatives about the unemployment statistics in the country. It wasn’t a miracle to have gotten over 5 job offers in less than two weeks from people I met on social media. Apart from job offers, my interactions on social media has gotten me invitations to speak at amazing events including TEDx and sponsorship for some of the community projects I have embarked on. I wrote this book to share some things myself and circle of friends did right. I wrote this book to help youths harness the opportunities that social media platforms provide.

Celebration of a young icon: Yemisi Ajeojo
Yemisi Ajeojo, Author and co-founder of Triift Africa.

This book doesn’t only recount my experiences but also tell stories of people I know who have gotten jobs, contracts and scholarship opportunities by connecting with the right people the right way and sharing appropriate content online. I took a step further to explain how anyone can achieve this too. The book covers how to set up a profile that stands out, how to network properly on social media as well as how to use and get results from LinkedIn.

social media is your new CV

What should readers expect to gain from this book and how can they get a copy?

‘Social Media Is Your New CV’ is a practical book with worksheets embedded in it, I mentioned over 40 platforms one can use to create an online CV, portfolio or website. In addition, I shared factors to consider when choosing a profile picture irrespective of your industry, how to find the right people to follow online and the best ways to network on social media. I also simplified the use of LinkedIn. Click here to get a copy.  

Having read your book and found out about your accomplishments and engagements at age 23, how have you been able to achieve all of this?
I don’t think a lot of people in their twenties have their life figured out, at least I do not. However, I hold on to the values of continuous learning, productivity and I am keen on using what I have to solve the problems around me. All of these crowned with God’s wisdom and love for me has brought me this far.

In the midst of your busy schedule how do you create time for yourself, loved ones and care for your mental health?
I am currently learning how to delegate responsibilities to others on my team and say No to things that are not a priority to me. Doing this, I have been able to focus on what is most important, including relationships with people that matter to me. I also try to eat healthy, have good hours of sleep and spend some time alone.

Briefly tell us about Triift Africa and who are your clients?
The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics says Nigeria has 36.9 Million MSMEs and about 70% of them do not have access to credit of up to N30,000($82). In Nigeria, lack of blueprints from government to drive employment have tangibly contributed to the growth of entrepreneurship in the country. Therefore, micro enterprises power a huge percentage of Nigeria’s GDP and while ignored for the most part, I strongly believe that the key to unlocking Nigeria’s economic growth is in these small businesses.

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Part of what limits businesses from accessing funds is sometimes their inability to demonstrate an understanding of their business finance an plan to scale. Coincidentally, according to the New York Times, poor financial literacy is the top 4 reasons why businesses fail. Triift Africa is set up to enable young people, women, growing and aspiring business owners access low interest loans, understand their finances and build wealth.

We’ll like you to recount your milestones in the past one year of existence.
In the past one year, we have taken an admirable number of micro and small business owners from hustle to portfolio. In summary;

  • We have provided over 320 business owners with training on business finance. This training included how to raise money for their idea, basics on book keeping, how to cut down unnecessary costs and boost profit.
  • We have provided over 8.3 million Naira as collateral with free and low interest loans to small business owners. This investment has ranged from 30,000 to 400,000 naira.
  • We have provided free resources to aid proper business management to over 709 business owners.
  • We have worked directly with over 29 business owners, providing coaching and advisory that has enabled them to take their business from idea to profitability.

So far, what lesson(s) has your enterprise taught you?

I have learnt that:

  • Trust is a currency. Sometimes, what you have in your hands is not what you have in your account. Relationship is something you can tap into, and most times trust is how to get people to invest their time and money in you. Trust can be built by being consistent, having integrity and sharing your own story
  • You get clarity by taking the first step. Just use what you have in your hands, be diligent with it  and watch it become an even wider vision.
  • When you start a business whether big or small, the first thing you will need is someone to help you with your numbers, then a lawyer and all other professionals as you grow. This is why we are very proud of the role we play in helping businesses build sustainably.
  • We recently created other services including our business finance class when we saw from our engagement with clients how easy it is for someone to mess up their business because of basic things like poor understanding about the difference between revenue and profit.

No matter how big or small your business is, it is important that you know your numbers because the more you know them, the better you understand your business. So now, we teach business owners how to keep records, set the right price, cut down on cost, easily identify other mediums to make money and be more sustainable.

  • Do not be in a hurry to expand beyond what you have the capacity for. There is a prize for staying in the process, and social media popularity is not always equal to profitability.

We have interacted with businesses that have wanted to expand quickly when their foundation is not yet right. Your business can contribute tangibly to the growth of the economy, so you do not want to focus on likes and retweets more than the problem you are here to solve.

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From your Instagram page, I read that you started this social enterprise with #15 000 of your personal money and have been able to help micro business with over #8.3 million. How were you able to achieve this?
I think money is attracted to people who make good use of it. The more you are diligent with money, the more it gravitates towards you. Having a great network of people whose resources you can pull in also goes a long way.

Seeing the trail Triift Africa is blazing, what should we be expecting from the enterprise in the next 5 years?

We want to continue growing as  a social enterprise bridging the gap in knowledge and access to financial inclusion for Micro Enterprises in Africa. We will continue unlocking growth opportunities by teaching growing business owners the value of going from subsistence to sustainable, while raising a digital, financially and socially empowered generation that can contribute tangibly to Africa’s economy as well as hold the keys to our sustainability as a continent.

I noticed you are giving out a free  profitability checklist, how can small business owners reading this access it?
Starting a small business can be such a hectic venture for a beginner. To  make it easier for your team, Triift Africa has put together 10 simple business lessons by 6 entrepreneurs to help you do more with less, plug leaks, find new opportunities and scale.

Triift Africa’s Profitability Checklist For Entrepreneurs

It contains apps to automate processes to pricing, managing finances, cash flow, learning, launching new products and updating existing ones. This definitive guide will help your business grow from hustle to portfolio; you can download it for free here.

What else are you involved in?
I am passionate about helping people access the digital job market and scale their business with digital tools. In 2018, I organised various events and projects which benefited over 2000 people.

Moving forward, I want to form a talent accelerator founded on community and collaboration aimed at influencing education, enterprise and employment at the grassroot level using my knowledge and experience in digital tools.

Would you like my reader to connect with you? If yes, let us know your social media handles.

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Thanks for having this conversation with us, we would love to celebrate more achievements with you.

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