A’isha Sani Sulaiman, unlike other youths, doesn’t rely solely on her parents to provide for her needs. She does not also think that a white-collar job will come her way after graduation in view of what she described as the high demand for jobs in the country. Aisha feels starting her own business, which she now describes as “lucrative”, was a solution to joblessness amidst plummeting business environment.
In an exclusive interview with our correspondent in Bauchi, Aisha said that in the 21st century whatever business one lays hands on can thrive very well when one is able to “make use of the opportunity.”
“The 21st century that we are now, everything you start can fetch you money. Make-up has been trending for quite some time now and people have been making cool money out of it”, she said.
The young entrepreneur said, she had a passion for the business which motivated her to start her own, though yet to open a studio because she is still undergoing a Mass Communication Course at the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi.
A’isha who said, she started the make-up business five years ago explained that; “I will say I had a passion for it and I derived pleasure in doing it, so, that was why I started it. I am based in Jos, I started a little and afterwards I developed much interest in doing it”.
Looking proud with confidence, Aisha said, though five years of venturing into the make-up business, she is yet to have or accommodate apprentices or workers under her care however, vowed to make it a full-fledged business venture after graduation.
“For now I am a student who is still studying, so I have not ventured into having a studio and having any employee under me or a full-fledged business because it is going to distract me from my studies but I render services to people most especially during occasions”.
Aisha who said she renders mobile services explained that she equally have a little studio at home for that purpose as well, where people come for her services.
According to her, “I can also be invited outside my house to render services to my customers”.
On how she is coping with customers’ demands for her services without setting up a studio in a public domain such as the market areas, A’isha said: “honestly I don’t have a studio for now but I am planning to get one soon”.
She said going by the nature of the business which is demanding, as an undergraduate who is studying in a different state, it will be business unwise to open a studio when she still needed to cope with her studies.
“As I said earlier, I am a student and I am not studying in my home state, I am studying in a different state and I felt for me to open a studio, it will be a kind of distraction to my studies, I either build my brand or I collapse it”, she said.
Adding that: “so, I want to make sure that I am there whenever I am setting up my studio and I should be there whenever I have clients”.
On why she picked particular interest in make-up business as a mass communication student other than waiting for a white-collar job in maybe one of the government own radio or television stations, A’isha insisted that make-up has always been her passion and has always derived pleasure in doing it.
A’isha said that the challenges of doing the business has been a situation where someone will call her on phone needing her services while she in school receiving a lecture.
“my challenge is, sometimes some customers call me from Bauchi while I am away in Jos, so the business has been fluctuating, and that has made me lose some of my customers”, she noted.
She said other challenges include the competitive nature of the business which requires one to be updated with the current trends.
The young make-up business owner who called on the youths to venture into skills acquisition programmes for self-sustenance, said Business has always been the best way to help people out of the issue of unemployment in every given society.
“Make-up is a very lucrative business, there are other hand works that people can venture into, not necessarily make-up. There are businesses such as soap making among others. All these services are needed on daily basis and that will bring easy income to you”.
She emphasizes that embracing business is a very good tool for the eradication of unemployment.
A’isha said for one to start a make-up business, he or she needs to have a studio, the equipment to use and quality products.
On the capital needed to start the business, she said Market price is always fluctuating, so it will be very difficult for someone to say this is the exact amount to start with.
“But approximately you need about, probably N600,000 to start with. The studio and the rest, to just begin. Although N600,000 is huge, with the current economic hardship in the country, the government need to support the youth by providing the enabling environment for business to thrive.
She said that if the government can provide the needed support and business environment, many youths will not wait for a government job but will rather establish their own businesses while others will work under others to earn a living.
“The government should assist the youth with soft loans that can be payable with no or little interest and be paying monthly from what he or she is earning, that will help in eradicating unemployment among our youths”, A’isha advised.
Though A’isha said she might take up a government job if available in order to give back to society, noted that she cannot abandon her make-up business for whatever reason.
“I may accept a government job because I didn’t study just for leisure, I studied to give back to society. As I said, I am studying mass communication, so, working probably in a newspaper or any media house will never be a bad idea because that is a way of giving back to the society”.
“My message for those graduates waiting for white-collar job is that they shouldn’t wait for anybody, they should work hard while the government should equally strive to create a business-friendly environment so as to make life easier for the people”, A’isha said.
She added that: But before then, we have to put all hands on deck, we have abandoned a lot of businesses that are lucrative and needed in the society. So, all the graduates out there, get a skill, be creative, God knows where your job might take you to, so you just have to work hard by venturing into a business no matter how little it is”.
A’isha who is awaiting the resumption of ASUP from strike to write her final year examination said she earns up to N25,000 to N30,000 per week depending on the patronage of the customers