Ezekiel Owolabi is an agriculturist in southern Nigeria who graduated with a degree in agriculture engineering. While he loves farming his poultry, fish, and sesame, he had always dreamed of being an entrepreneur but was unsure of how to get a business established, legally and financially. Shortly after turning to MicroMentor, he found Mobolanle. “We started talking and she encouraged me a lot, told me that I should not give up, gave me inspiration.” As she is also from Nigeria, she was able to help him navigate the bureaucracy of forms and steps he needed to take to create his business, Deejoft Global Holdings. Additionally, as Ezekiel had no stash of funds or financial collateral, she helped him learn about government grants and other funding options.
While still a new company (established in 2017), Deejoft Global Holdings is providing something to help his fellow Nigerians who live in villages with little to no power infrastructure: solar products. Ezekiel distributes solar powered lights, air conditioning units, sound systems, and even kitchen appliances like microwaves and refrigerators to those with little access to electricity. Even those who do have access can be more sustainable and save significant amounts on their electricity bills by using a plentiful resource in Nigeria — its sunshine. His young business already has a staff of 20-30 people, providing employment opportunities at the same time as important resources to his community. As a testament to his passion for lifting others up, he also runs a charity, the Oladetwo Foundation, which provides books, clothes, and other support to orphans, schools, and internally displaced people in Northern Nigeria.
Ezekiel loves learning and has even more plans for the future. After his recent IT training in software development, he hopes to further expand his business in the technology world by training others on things like web design, graphic design, and developing android applications. As he focuses on growth, he will continue seeking mentorship on MicroMentor not only for the practical advice, but for the invaluable encouragement that mentors provide to young entrepreneurs. “Mentoring is an avenue to look up to someone who has gone far ahead of you. A mentor is someone who has wide knowledge, who has been through obstacles and ups and downs; someone who can inspire you.”