Meet Adenike Ogunlesi, founder, Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, a leading designer, manufacturer and retailer of designer children’s clothing in Nigeria. She is also the founding member and first president of the Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) at the Nigeria Employer’s Consultative Association (NECA). Winner of numerous awards and a finalist at the CNBC AABLA (All Africa Business Leaders) in the category of the Business Woman of the year 2014 and 2015.
Born of an entrepreneur herself, the apple never falls too far from the tree. Adenike started out modestly in 1996, selling the clothes she made from the boot of her car and in bazaars. Today, Ruff ‘n’ Tumble is an instantly recognisable brand in Nigeria and has a reputation for being one of the top manufacturer of children’s clothing throughout West Africa with over 15 stores. Ruff ‘n’ Tumble successfully caters to the unique sense of today’s youngsters, from new born to age 16, happily mixing indigenous lifestyle trends with an international appeal.
In her words “When i look at other women in the marketplace who are running like five, six, seven or even eight stores, and are educating their children and taking them from primary school to university, i can’t help but feel great admiration for their strength, courage and resilience.”
When asked for her advice to Africa’s young aspiring business people and entrepreneurs, she said..”Find your authentic self — everybody is taken. Find out who you are, what your purpose is, what you like doing, what you are passionate about — and then go after it with everything in your total being as things will then fall in place.”
The success story of Adenike Ogunlesi, is what one every entrepreneur should emulate. Limited by funds and with no access to investors, tenancity of purpose will always be supreme as long as you’re building a venture on a viable business model. Define your market, identify their needs, solve them in the most alluring way possible, and your business will experience real growth.