Thursday 1 May 2014

2inspire Business Profile: Strength of a Woman Ladies Day Competition Winner: Zara-Shola Odeniyi of Cocoa Cabin

Zara-Shola Ode was the winner of our Strength of a Woman competition with her slogan: "Brick to Brick we stand firm together building walls to inspire others". As part of her prize Zara will be exhibiting her business at the next ladies day on 28th June at the Novotel hotel in Greenwich, find out more below about this young entrepreneur and her business Cocoa Cabin from her interview.

Zara is 23 years old and first started planning her business in 2010 but was too scared to start as she was defeated by the start up costs. However 9 months ago, she went back to her plan, figured out ways to cut costs and went ahead and registered her business. 

Zara describes Cocoa Cabin as a  Hot Chocolate Company that specialises in whipping up Luxury Melted Dark Chocolate into a delicious drink available in an array of flavours. She  is also keen to promote the health benefits of Raw Cocoa and educate people on how good chocolate is for the body and also the mind!
Zara-Shola Odeniyi
Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
 A typical business day for me currently evolves around events that I exhibit at and so it involves getting to a venue, setting up the table and preparing the chocolate and milk.

What made you start the business and what steps did you take to start operating as a business?
I started this business because I wanted to change from an employee to an employer and become the captain of my own ship. The first thing I did was a business plan. I started to establish what my business was, what we do, who we were targeting and where we wanted to go.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
 My greatest accomplishment is yet to come as I progress and build my company name.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
 My Biggest challenge has been finding funding for my business in order to do more events

What are your future plans for the business?
 In the future I plan to have franchises of Cocoa Cabin stores

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
 I would have started sooner. Regardless of what it looks like, You do not have to see the entire staircase, just take the first step.

What’s the best compliment you could receive in business?
Somebody saying we do the best Hot Chocolate in the world!

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
Women can easily be mislead by society about who they are suppose to be, what is expected of them and what is acceptable/unacceptable. It is important to inspire women to follow their dreams so they are maximising their potential and not being held back by what society feeds them. It is a blessing to be a women and we are so capable. This is an era where we no longer have to depend on men to bring the bread home.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
I would say do practice runs and source your strengths and weaknesses. Get people to try it and note down everything that went well, everything that went right, what can be better, what do you need/lack. This way you have a rough idea of what a customer wants

What or who inspires you in business and why?
 I am inspired by entrepreneurs who reject the path that we are all taught (Get a degree and find a 9 to 5 job for life) and start up a business that makes money for them.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
 If You Believe You Can, You Probably Can, If You believe You Wont, You Most Reassuredly Wont, Belief is the Ignition switch that gets you off the launching pad-Denis Waitley

Register to catch @ Cocoacabin at the next ladies day :

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