Managing Director of Sweet Kiwi Lagos, Ehime Eigbe talks to the AWP Network about what inspired her to start a self-serve frozen yogurt store in Nigeria and discusses what’s next for the company.
When it occurred to me that I could start my own frozen yogurt brand, I took advantage of the opportunity and began making preparations to start my business.
How did you come up with the name of your business?
The name ‘Sweet Kiwi’ is an urban English word for an unforgettable thing. It encompasses everything frozen yogurt stands for. After going through a few names, I decided on the name ‘Sweet Kiwi.’
Who is your target market?
We serve everyone from kids to adults. I believe all Nigerians need to develop healthy eating habits and ‘Sweet Kiwi’ serves this need.
How have you financed your business?
I raised the money needed to start my business from my family.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
The team behind ‘Sweet Kiwi’ is very creative and always has innovative ideas to keep customers interested. We regularly create new flavors and new lines of products. Our amazing customer service is another key edge.
What is the 5-year plan for your business?
We plan to expand and open more stores across Nigeria and maybe in Ghana. We also plan to fully develop our franchise program so that more people can own their own ‘Sweet Kiwi’ stores. Are you ready?
What sort of challenges do you face?
One of our major challenge is power (i.e. electricity). In addition, the Nigerian business environment is very harsh and not so business friendly but we work everyday to try to overcome these struggles.
What five (5) key things have you learned since starting this business?
- Persevere and be determined to achieve your goals.
- Plan for every possible scenario.
- Be financially cautious and have the habit of saving your money.
- Do your market research and understand your sector deeply before delving in.
- Do not be afraid to fail, make the decision to learn from your mistakes.
What do you think startup entrepreneurs need to know?
Build a solid foundation for your business, take your time to develop your idea, Rome was not built in a day.
What advice do you have for youths looking to start an idea but say ‘there is no money’?
Money is not everything and sometimes you do not always need money to start. I find that you are most creative when you lack funding. Not having funds forces you to think about new ways to achieve your business goals.
How do you think African youths can continue to support each other?
It is important to form unions, networks and have meetings to discuss challenges. I am a firm believer in ‘a problem shared is half solved.’ I find that we all have different experiences and someone might have a solution for a problem you face. Having a platform where people can talk and discuss business solutions is very important and crucial.
How many jobs have you created so far?
We have created jobs for 20 people to date.
How has technology enhanced your business idea?
Technology has been very helpful to our business especially for stock control, record keeping and marketing.
How can we support and improve innovation in Africa?
Innovation in Africa needs to be supported continuously through encouragement and creating an environment that fosters and nurtures creativity.
Contact Sweet Kiwi here:
Twitter: Sweet Kiwi
Facebook: Sweet Kiwi
Instagram: Sweet Kiwi