The Fashionomics Africa masterclass held during the Lagos Fashion and Design Week in Lagos (Nigeria) on October 27 and 28 was a great success. One hundred ninety-eight people from different companies and institutions, but mainly designers, entrepreneurs and founders of fashion businesses attended the event, among whom 124 were women. Overall, the event was very useful to train entrepreneurs, collect valuable opinions on the Fashionomics Africa (FA) initiative and move forward in one of the main components of the initiative: capacity building.
The main takeaways of this masterclass were the following:
On Friday Oct. 27, the meeting started with:
- Welcoming remarks to all the participants from Ms. Sipho Moyo, Director of Special Projects of the AfDB.
- Introduction by Mrs. Emanuela Gregorio and Ms. Dana Elhassan of AfDB
- A teaching session about the business model canvas with Marnix Van Holland from Hivos. The attendants were distributed in tables for collaborative work.
- Learning about how to leverage online tools to run your business with the collaboration of Google Africa.
- Establishing strategic collaborations for marketing your business. During this time, the Fashionomics Africa platform was presented to the attendees.
- Addressing what are the funding options for entrepreneurs and how access to finance with Jose de la Maza from Aninver.
- Some of the attendants of this first day were selected to pitch their businesses in the second day of the masterclass.
On Saturday Oct. 28, the meeting started with a panel discussion and inspirational talk by:
- Ms. Parminder Vir (CEO of Tony Elumelu Foundation)
- Sara Maino (Vogue Italia)
- Omoyemi Akerele (founder of LFDW and Style House Files)
For all attendees, it was outstanding the presence of Tony O. Elumelu, a visionary Nigerian entrepreneur and economist that gave to the trainees a very motivational speech about entrepreneurship. Ending with an interesting Q&A session focused mainly on the skills designers need to scale up their businesses.
The event included a Pitching training, where a selection of 11 fashion entrepreneurs presented their businesses in 2 minutes to the jury. After that, the jury picked up the winners for different categories: the most innovative, the most social impactful and the best business and gave feedback to all of them. The quality of the businesses and projects, and the work of the entrepreneurs behind them was very good overall, and they showed a strong interest and commitment. The winners were:
- Best business: Islikeness. Ms. Agboola Oluwaskeun is the founder of this fashion business that was born based on the personal need of the founder to have affordable and fashionable work clothes, and is solidly growing.
- Most impactful project: Klamzie Styles. The business created by Ms. Kelly Mbakwem has developed a network of collaborators (“Klamzie ladies”) and was chosen for its contribution to the development of these women that work as external freelancers to the company.
- Most innovative idea: Ikwo Ndiomu. Ms. Ndiomu, a very well prepared entrepreneur that has previously worked in investment banking, is developing an innovative fashion project in Nigeria to connect all the fashion stakeholders and exploit synergies at operational and commercial levels.