As a social entrepreneur, my plan is to run a non profit in a sustainable manner, building a social venture that is healthy, transforming and independent. Writing a fully funded proposal to mighty organisations is not my passion. I want to build an organisation that will support other organisations. I have discovered that trait in me since 2011, when I began to make and sell tie and dye fabrics to support our free training for women.
Therefore, I searched for opportunities to attend Training on social entrepreneurship, because then, it was a new concept in Nigeria. I found two good opportunities, on scholarship on Worldpulse and I attended both, in India and Sweden. I learned that people will key into your products if they know your Why, people will buy your dream if tgey see your purpose. You just have to know why and who your customers are in this world.
After these training, I registered a business venture named 5Ts Global, 5 T stands for Tosin Turns Trash to Treasure ( TTTTT) in Nigeria, in January 2016. I began to create lots only products that were embraced by women, because along the business line, I discovered my customers, they are women. I know my why and I run with my purpose passionately, when I discovered selling point and platform.
The major challenge that I encountered in the process of using the online platform to promote and sell our products was receiving payments. Many people want to do everything with a click, they do not want to walk into a bank in order to buy anything. So, I discovered a sister who is willing to allow me to use her PayPal account , she is equally happy to pay the proceeds into my Nigerian dormiciliary account monthly.
What a relief, this is a woman who has never met me before, an American , I am a Nigerian . The trust and bond was mutual and instant. Women's wealth is not just finances only, it's much more than that, it is support, it is sisterhood, it is the genuine love for another sister to progress , it's is undying love and passion.
We were happy to utilise the social media for business, happier to be embraced by a sister and happiest to know that 99% of our customers are women. There is no day, without a sister supporting our work, some will just go into PayPal to pay for what they did not buy, paying with a note.....for Tosin and sisters, with the spiritual conviction that we are equal to the task.
It's more that a year now, we continue to use the PayPal account, two of our women in ibasa, who started their businesses are also using it. It's amazing how my artworks received genuine acceptance with my sisters, it is hard to create and expensive, yet my sisters from all over the world keyed into that dream.
A woman who read about my work on upworthy has ordered my artwork three times! It is expensive, yet they are buying the artworks because of the 'why'. I continue to improve the quality and ensure that customers are satisfied and they can see how far their support is supporting women too.
I will not be wrong to say that all our online customers are women. It's not just about the money, it's about trust and women's conscious decisions to uplift more women from the systematic poverty and oppression institutionalized by oppressive patriarchal ideas on earth.
Our wealth is not those paper money or crisp notes, No, it's much more than that. Our wealth are the women in our lives, personally, my wealth are those women in my life, who daily check on me, lift me up, cheer me up and continue to cheer me on in my absence . Our wealth is our individual knowledge and experiences that we are using to build other sisters up. Our wealth is our daily work and walk to leave this world a better world for upcoming generations .
Four months ago, we started building a new transformation training classrooms in Ibasa , it's behind our Colleen center, sisters from various country keep on buying treasures and some just supporting us. How can a woman's dream be fulfilled if not for God Almighty and her tribes of sisters surrounding her, that is my story. Yesterday, Judy Ferran, my Worldpulse sister bought my "Africa" it was the iron sheet on the classroom roof, today Merri Lewis bought my most beautiful peacock; it is the new ceiling , Deborah paid for the "sisters facing each other" artwork; that is the tiles for the classroom .
This is how we build our Transformation centre one purchase, one brick. We believe that when we educate a woman or a girl in ibasa, we educate a nation. Who says a woman' wealth does not build a nation? Please, allow me to introduce you to my sisters; home and abroad.