Glory is the Lead Consultant and Founder of Kleos Africa in Nigeria. She is one of the 22,500 Nigerian women entrepreneurs to have participated in our Road to Growth programme, which from 2019-2020 supported her to develop a framework for planning her business and grow her network to include other like-minded women entrepreneurs in her community. A year on, she reflects on her experiences…
“My name is Glory Eyinnaya, I am the lead consultant of Kleos Africa. My background is in management consulting. After working for five years, I went on to work as an independent change management consultant on SAP software implementation projects around West-Africa. I went back to school after this to get an executive MBA from Lagos Business School. It was while studying here I conceived of the idea of Africa’s first online consulting platform which I called Kleos Africa.
Kleos Africa is an online consulting platform which matches small business owners with local and international consultants around the world. Our vision is to grow an Africa that has entrepreneurs with the requisite skills to build sustainable businesses, thus working to eliminate poverty in Africa. While studying for an MBA at the Lagos Business School, I took a course from the Centre for Global Enterprise called ‘The Africa Platform Management and Strategy course’, and it was this that inspired me to start what will eventually become Africa’s first online consulting platform. I was motivated to start this platform simply by the desire to make a difference.
Watch Glory discuss her Road to Growth story:
Some people say that there are three types of leadership different entrepreneurs display: Visionary Evangelists, Relationship Builders, and Managers of Execution. I am a Visionary Evangelist and I conceptualise a vision and push it forward to completion. However, my weakness is that sometimes I get so focused on the vision that I find it difficult to take inputs from others who might have very valid points of view. As an entrepreneur, I have had to learn how to balance taking other people’s inputs while holding on to my original vision.
In a family setting, men are sometimes seen as natural leaders. Traditionally, they initiate and plan while women can be seen as collaborators who complete the family and bring the vision of the family to life. When you transplant that into the business landscape, you find that sometimes women find it difficult to initiate, take first place, make decisions and take responsibilities. They can find it difficult to own their space and lead their organisation.
I heard about the Road to Growth programme through [the Foundation’s in-country partner] the Enterprise Development Centre, and I was inspired to apply because I was told that the course would have international best practices and contribute to my growth as an entrepreneur. I also wanted to apply because business can be a very solitary activity and I was looking forward to the comfort, interaction, collaboration, and friendship of other women who I felt I could meet during the programme.
The Road to Growth programme was very engaging and very enlightening. I enjoyed every aspect, from the community to the learning, to the teaching, to the application, and the general professionalism of the whole course. My favorite bits were the weekly lessons and the meetups with other women in my community.
The HerVenture app was like a mini-MBA, because it addressed each of the key needs of businesswomen and entrepreneurs through their bite-sized learning. I enjoyed the gamification, the points I was earning motivated me to keep learning until I completed the lessons.
I have always enjoyed learning in groups because I believe that “Iron sharpens Iron” so learning with other women was a delightful experience. We learned from each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Because of what the programme taught me, I have adopted innovative practices such as annual budgeting, quarterly performance management tracking, and appraisals and evaluations.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected my business positively because my platform is online. I found that most of my clients were able to transition from requesting face-to-face services, which were time-consuming and expensive, to embracing my innovative online consulting services.
Having a successful business gives me the freedom to express my ideas about how I want to show up in the world.
One of my strengths is planning and the Road to Growth programme has given me a world-class framework for planning my business.
One of the best things that happened as a result of the Road to Growth programme, is that I have been able to expand my network to other like-minded women entrepreneurs in my community. That sense of women helping other women is something that has been a sustainable part of Road to Growth even beyond the programme. When you help a woman, she goes on to help other women, and society as a whole improves as a result of it.
The wider impact of the success for me on my family will be enabling me to be a role model to other family members. Also, the more successful I am, the more I am enabled to make a difference in the lives of my clients, community and the greater the impact on the GDP and the economy of Nigeria as a whole.
I will definitely encourage other women to take part in the Road to Growth programme.
In five years, I see myself as being established as an expert in my field, and I see my business having acquired international clients as well. Also, I see a world where women see entrepreneurship not as a male-dominated field but as a field they can indeed play in and excel.“
Road to Growth is highly scalable and adaptable. The Foundation is actively seeking funding partnerships to enable the programme to launch in, but not limited, to Rwanda, South Africa, Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania and Mozambique, with each iteration carefully adapted for a local context. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss potential partnerships!