Meaningful Business (MB:) Please tell us a bit about your background.
Adeshina Adewumi (AA): I grew up in an entrepreneurial home, joining my mother to supervise business transactions from an early age. This quickly shaped my perception towards business and money. By the age of 18 as a freshman in college, I started my first business from the various opportunities available on campus (mostly around buying and selling). It grew quite rapidly, generating about $1,000 dollars a month. This was very helpful in supporting my undergraduate studies as well as other lifestyle demands.
Upon graduation, I had the opportunity to lecture briefly within the academic walls as a graduate assistant, prior to joining Stanbic IBTC as a Fund Accountant, and then later became an Ebusiness Support Officer.
This experience supports me in the work we are doing today, helping businesses with access to market as well as finance.
MB: Please introduce your business and the problems you’re trying to solve.
(AA): One Kiosk Inc. was established in 2019 from my experience working with businesses in the saturated Eko market in Lagos, Nigeria. Small businesses, which we call MSMEs, account for 84% of the jobs in Nigeria – and it’s pretty easy to recognise the value they provide at a grassroots level to homes and children who then go on to shape the future of our nation.
In my previous roles I supported thousands of MSMEs to come online while building transactions for them, but by 2018 the online platforms I introduced to them had challenges with some exits from Nigeria. That made me think about the opportunity and potential to support more businesses, which led me to resign from my job and start One Kiosk, using a different approach towards creating access to market.
The problem most small businesses face is trying to showcase their products online whilst dealing with the heavy single cost it takes to build an online channel solely for themselves. When this challenge is overcome, the next issue is scaling to meet the increasing demands from the online versatile channels without easy access to credit pipelines.
MB: What is your biggest challenge right now and what support do you need?
(AA): Challenges birth opportunities. We started out by simply providing businesses with an online store front to showcase their wares for an access to market, but soon discovered a bigger challenge; getting them the credit they need to scale and grow. At the moment, we are receiving an overwhelming amount of requests which our supply end is unable to meet. We are looking to quickly close our current round which would serve as base collateral to activate more credit pipelines for the increasing demands we are witnessing.
MB: What is your ambition for the future of your business?
(AA): Our mindset is to be a global, democratised access to market and finance platform and be the one plug for everything Trade and Commerce across emerging markets by 2027. This would greatly contribute towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 8 and 9.
MB: What is your advice to other leaders who want to combine profit and purpose?
(AA): In a recent interview, I was asked how I measure success. My response was simple. Success can be qualified by positive influence and impact. Purpose drives the soul and sustainability drives profit. I would recommend every purpose driven leader to build structures towards sustainable growth. Attract the right talent, avoid cutting corners which can come back to haunt you at a later growth stage. Stay focused and continue to add value irrespective of your situation. Lastly, pay attention to your health and family, we need you to stay alive and healthy to achieve purpose and profit.
MB – Tell us a mistake you’ve learned from:
(AA): Earlier on in my start-up journey, I pursued speed over process. I have learnt to have a blend of both. Process and structures helps to build a sustainable businesses while avoiding the pitfalls of having to start all over again. Speed, on the other hand, helps you learn quickly and make necessary changes in line with your business realities. Every start-up needs a blend of the two to succeed.
MB – How do you spend your time away from work?
(AA): Being a Founder is hard work and requires long hours, however I have learnt to give myself the well needed rest. I know that I enjoy spending quality time with my family, so I intentionally create time to bond with them, like dropping the kids off and picking them up whenever I am in town. Typically I do not book meetings during the drop off and pick up times unless unavoidable.
MB – What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
(AA): I have been guided and mentored by great men globally through books and directly in my every day affairs. One of the best pieces of advice is to trust the process of input and output of value. There will always be room for you when you add value. The market opens up new rooms when you come to it with value.
MB – What is the one book everyone should read?
(AA): This is hard to pick, however there are two books that changed my life early on in college. The first was ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’, and the second was ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’. People can make or mare you, how you relate with them determines how far you would go. Treat everyone right!
MB – What is something you wish you were better at?
(AA): I used to wish I could write code (software programming). However, I have learnt to appreciate my gifts around business development, strategy and growth and work to improve on them daily.
MB – What’s one thing you want to achieve in 2022?
(AA): Closure of our ongoing funding round which would set us on track to touch more than 500,000 lives, and end the year with a revenue of over $712,000.
Discover the other leaders recognised on the 2021 MB100, for their work combining profit and purpose to help achieve the United Nations Global Goals, here.