From learning skills on YouTube to inspiring the next generation of business women
Eseoghene Odiete – or ‘Ese’ – has always been passionate about fashion. With just $60 dollars of savings, she started her Nigerian accessories brand, Hesey Designs, when she was 23 years old. Now 25, she runs a successful business, creating African-inspired fashion accessories from local materials. Ese’s passion and creativity were fuelled by the skills and techniques she gained from dedicating her time to self-learning on the Internet. “The Internet has helped so many young people like me. I learnt a lot from using Google, and I watched a lot of YouTube videos about how to make bags.” The Internet also provided the ideal platform to share her creations with fashion fans across Nigeria and beyond. Now, using tools like Google AdWords, Ese aims to make Hesey Designs an internationally recognised brand. “Traditionally, it’s not easy setting up a business as a young woman, but the Internet doesn’t see my age or my gender. It just provides the opportunity and the platform to do what I want to do.” Through Hesey Designs, Ese also provides training sessions to local young women who have the passion to learn and create, but don’t always have the opportunity. “If you empower a woman today, she goes on to empower everybody around her,” says Ese. “I want young women to look up to me and say: if Ese can do this, then I can do it.”
The Internet doesn’t see my age or my gender. It just provides the opportunity and the platform to do what I want to do.