The African Women Power (AWP) Network sat down with the Chief Executive Officer of MUI|PR, Ijeoma Genevieve Mbamalu. We asked her a series of insightful questions that we would like to share with you. Our aim is to inspire upcoming and existing women business owners as they move along in their entrepreneurial journey.
What inspired you to start your company ?
Three things inspired me to start my business. First – the need to be re-connected with the Nigerian culture. I had been away from Nigeria for a long time and could no longer speak my tribal language, Igbo. Starting this business was my way to re-connect with my culture and my roots. Second – the need to survive. I lost my father at a young age and as the first-born of my family, I had the responsibility of being a provider. Starting my business gave me a stable source of income during this difficult time. Lastly – my company fills a need. MUI | PR serves as a platform to celebrate and showcase African products, goods, and services in a positive way.
What is the goal of your business ?
Our goal is to get African business owners publicity, connect them to the right press channels, and serve as an information highway. My company is about good publicity for African businesses.
How did you come up with the name of your business ?
The name of my company is French. My mother speaks the language and I wanted the name of my company to be inclusive of French-speaking Africans. I am also working on re-branding MUI | PR by giving it an identity face-lift. Thus, in the new year, the company will be touted publicly as MUI-The PR Company. Very soon, we will unveil our new website.
What is your competitive advantage ?
My ability to offer PR solutions and results for my clients – I am able to leverage and pull together resources in the entertainment, music, and fashion arenas.
How did you finance your business ?
Bootstrapping – as we grow and expand, we will seek other forms of financing.
What advice do you have for people looking to start their own business ?
You can not be afraid to fail. You learn more from your failures. Just go for it! The journey will not be easy but it is certainly worth it.
Who is your target market ?
U.S based African businesses in the fashion and music industry – they include photographers, clothing designers, music artists, and DJs.
Where do you see your company five years from now ?
I see MUI | PR going global by expanding our reach to include all Africans in the diaspora. I also look forward to working with high-end magazines. MUI | PR will continue to promote African brands and serve as the PR group that represents the best interest of African businesses.
Connect with Ijeoma here: