Amina Abdullahi was born in Mubi, Adamawa State to the family of Mr and Mrs Uratu Abdullahiin 1978. She is the 11th of 18 children. She is an entrepreneur who believes in starting small and growing big.
I attended primary and secondary schools in Mubi, Adamawa State, then later proceeded to Government Technical College, Mubi and Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri. I am happily married with two beautiful daughters.
ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
I ventured into business when I couldn’t secure a white-collar job, even with my qualifications, after I got married. My sister-in-law, of blessed memory, Hadiza Mohammad, encouraged me to start something. She told me it was not good for a woman to be wholly dependent on her husband for all her needs, stressing the need for me to start a business to support my husband since I was yet to get a job.
After her counsel, I heeded her advice and she later introduced me to a distant relative who started supplying me goods on credit, because I didn’t have any capital. I started very small, and believe me there is no shame in starting small. The lady I was taken to, sells snacks and drinks. So, she gives me natural, local drinks, Zobo and Kunu, and egg rolls too, which I sell at strategic points in schools and offices.
I did that for three months and was able to make enough profit to start up my own. So, my relative taught me how to make doughnuts and egg rolls and I started making and selling same. I made so much profit that I had to send for one of my sisters in the village to come and assist with the business and before long I needed more people to assist because the business was growing.
I hired two more people to help in running the business and today I now have a very big outlet. Now, I train others and give them certificate at the end of the training. I have trained quite a handful of people and they are doing very well to the glory of God. I am independent and can take care of my needs without running to ask my husband for money for every little thing I need.
The drive to succeed played
a very strong role in where I am today. I was quite reluctant to go into business at the beginning because I was hoping for a government job but when that wasn’t forthcoming, I set my mind to succeed and that drove me to go the extra mile to make my business a success.
When the sales started pouring in, I was inspired to do more to sustain it. So, basically my inspiration was to make the best of what I have.
My fear is the opposite of my inspiration, it is the fear of failure. I believe everybody alive doesn’t want to fail, so, it drives us to always give our best shots at every venture we embark on. I also live in the fear of the day of accountability so I try to live right.
My biggest challenge is dealing with customers who collect goods on credit, this trend affects business negatively. This does not affect the business only it also affects personal relationships.
In business people will always come to buy from you on credit, normally they are those faithful patrons who have bought from you over a long time and when they come to buy without money you will feel obliged to give them, some end up paying after few months while others don’t even pay at all.
This brings frictions in relationships and inevitably brings the business down if it continues overtime. So, the challenge now is how to balance the business so creditors don’t push you out of business.
Nobody likes selling goods
on credit. I regret it most times when I have to release my goods to customers on credit because some of my good customers have turned to enemies when I go to ask for my money.
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS
I am down to earth and not a trend-follower. I do things in my own unique way. I only have one consideration when I am running my affairs and it is to please my maker.
YOUR FUTURE PLANS
My future plans for my business is to expand and employ more people to work for me, and earn a living too, and I believe that in the near future God will make that happen because I am already working towards that.
HOW DO YOU COMBINE BUSINESS AND FAMILY?
My business is my business and my family are family, I don’t allow my business to come between me and my family. My business is not a government job, therefore, I make it very flexible because there are no strict rules and regulations
guiding it. I attend to my business at my convenience and pay attention to
it too but my family is my first priority.
The advice I have for my fellow women especially my fellow Northerners is they should learn to be independent, stand out, come out and look for something to do to support their families, not just staying indoors hoping and waiting for their husbands to always meet all their needs and wants.
Gone are the days where men take care of their families alone. I always tell anybody who cares to listen they can start wherever they are, no matter how small because there is no shame in starting small. My advice is for people not to despise the days of little beginnings.
BY PAUL AMAKA PEACE