Thursday 22 September 2016

2inspire Inspirational Woman: Ganiyat Alli, Founder of Mr and Miss Nigeria UK

Ganiyat Alli is a woman on a mission to unite the Nigerian Diaspora in the UK. The 27 year old entrepreneur has the ambition and drive to make a difference in the Nigerian Diaspora community through the Mr & Miss Nigeria UK pageant. After years of experience within the African events scene she decided to launch the first joint male and female cultural pageant specifically for the Nigerian community as a way to unite the diaspora. In early 2013, after almost losing her mother to a sudden head injury, Ganiyat became disillusioned by the entertainment and events industry and fell into depression. Read her inspirational interview today!

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
In preparation for the event there are a lot of emails and cold claim that needs to be done, depending on what stage we are at as a team we are usually contacting companies and venues, try to secure sponsorship and dates for the show.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
Event planing started as a hobby while I was in university, I love the idea of putting something together that makes people feel good. With Mr & Miss Nigeria UK it was a distraction from the negative place I found myself in daily. It helped me to refocus on what I really loved to do. I also wanted to put together something that would help Nigerian’s in the diaspora celebrate their heritage.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
It would have to be making it to our 3rd year, it has been difficult but possible. I've been able to learn so much and find new ways to grow the brand.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Finding consistent people, dealing with people who do not understand the vision or understand how much work goes into running such an event has really shown me that it is not personal. The best thing to do is to find solutions and not dwell.

What are your future plans for the business?
The brand will definitely be expanding into other areas, we want to create more opportunities for young people to gain practical skills that will allow them to go straight into work over having to stay in education, especially if education is something they are not strong in.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have developed the idea a bit more and attempted to find better ways to fund the event. The planning stages are so key when trying to put together a successful event so I would have loved more time to get things done.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
Everyone is born with a purpose in life and it is important to know that you don't need to have it all figured out by the time you are 18. By continuously working hard and trying new things what you love to do will soon be what pays your bills and it won't even feel like work. Everyone needs someone to look up to and be inspired by, so if I could be that for just one young girl that would be the best thing in the world.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Before going straight in it is best to do as much volunteering, attach yourself to someone who has been in the industry for years and don't be afraid to ask questions. I feel like I could have been a lot further in my career if I had someone to run ideas by and learn from.

What or who inspires you in business and why?
I have never really been inspired by anyone before but since getting deeper in my faith, knowing God more has really kept me going and has really allowed me to have more faith in what I do.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

‘Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you’ Matthew 7:7

Twitter and Instagram: @OfficialMMNUK


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