INTERVIEW: Studentpreneur: ‘I love cooking and it has always been something I never get tired of’ − Chef Helena

In this exclusive interview with a studentpreneur, Oyindamola Helena, a seasoned chef plus an undergraduate who readily dishes out some tips to success. Excerpts…

Can you tell us your full name?

My name is Moses Oyindamola Helena

Are you a student? If yes, kindly tell us the name of your school, department and level

Yes I am. I’m a student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State. Linguistics and Languages department, 300lv. 

What do you do asides being a student? Do you own a business?

Yeah I own a business, And it’s not just one business, I own businesses

That’s impressive. How did the idea for your business come about?

My idea came from different ways and dimensions. I love cooking and it has always been something I never get tired of, but lots of people sell food. So I was having a discussion with my friend on business then she said something “Why not start making sauce” From there, the business ideas clicked one by one.


How did you come up with the name for your business? Also, how did you raise funding for your venture?

My name is Helena. The nickname Lena was given to me by my friend. He calls me Lena all the time. So when I was thinking of a name, I felt Lena is fine with the H at the end of it “LENAH”

The funding came from someone special. Setting up the business of my dream hasn’t been easy , funding it was not easy either, but thanks to the man of my dreams. He made everything possible for me, and we were able to launch it on the 17th of September.

How do you build a successful customer base? How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?

Managing the business hasn’t been easy, coupled with the fact that I have to study and satisfy all my customers. I managed to build one through friendliness, getting close to them even if they’re not ready to buy. I market my business through making friends. You know when we’re talking to each other, then I can just chip in that I actually sell this and this, then boom they’ll be like “I really want to try out your cooking.” Like that we become friends more than the customer relationship.

That’s a pretty good technique. On to a more personal question, Can you describe/outline your typical day? As a student and all

My day depends on my classes. At times I have class from 7am to 12pm. Then once I am back I attend to all orders. Then from there I do all deliveries. Once I am done in the evening, I relax for the night, then make sure to study by 12am to 3pm, then sleep back.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

My favourite aspect of it is that I enjoy my job a lot because it helps me to grow more and also meet more people

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

I believe for you to be a successful entrepreneur, one must be very self disciplined and also one must be determined. By studying the life of successful entrepreneurs, I get to understand what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur is consistency. Just like my mentor, CEO of Cjay Fries will say; “Consistency is the key to a successful business.” So I believe the formula or pattern to becoming a successful entrepreneur is being consistent.

What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs to invest their time in?

They should invest their time in studying books that can help them grow in business.

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Author

  • Bello Olabisi, known to most individuals as Dorian is a literature student. She's a dark poet with a weird sense of humor, a spoken word artist, a nature photographer, a freelance writer, an active volunteer and a lover of stuffed toys.

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