Traditionally, men rule the startup world. Particularly when it comes to technology and Handcraft startups. However, an increasing number of women entrepreneurs are driving business innovation in the emerging markets.
While there are still gender challenges, women in the emerging markets are overcoming obstacles to break through the glass ceiling.
One of the women doing this today is Nkiru Emodi, a female entrepreneur who is currently making waves in an industry will see which in the “eyes” of many people an abnormal trade for her gender.
Rather than wait for the government, a rich husband or a “Sugar-Daddy” to improve her life, Nkiru ventured into the Bespoke Shoemaking business which is seen as a male-dominated business about 2 years ago with very little capital and today, she is doing very well and a name to compete with in the shoemaking industry.
When we say Bespoke shoes, we mean shoes made especially for a certain customer who orders based on specifications. The customer’s feet are measured and a shoe last for each foot is created. At the fitting, the customer tries the prototype pair of shoes made in an inexpensive leather and the shoemaker checks if anything needs to be changed. If so, the changes are applied to the lasts and the shoes are created with precious leather and handed over to the customer as a complete product.
Nkiru does all this from her home and has personally hand-crafted over 1,500 pairs of footwear ranging from designer shoes for both men and women, loafers, sandals, boots, moccasins, ankle cuff sandals for women, unisex leather belts etc. and it worthy to note that these shoes when spotted on display, one would think they were made outside the country or imported from Europe because of their outstanding finishing and quality designs.
Nkiri is the CEO of H.O.T Wears also known as (Home Of Theresa) Wears and currently has staff under her payroll.
Her company has participated in numerous expository programmes nationally one of which is the 2nd Lagos Shoe Expo held at the Silverbird Galleria in May last year and she has won awards for her outstanding products like the Nigerian Footwear Industry Awards in 2015.
Nkiru Emodi is a graduate of UNIBEN and hails from Onitsha in Anambra State.