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Esther Joshua: Hawking pure water at a young age gave me business mindset

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Joshua Onyinyechi Esther


There is something totally soothing with the rate of emerging female leaders globally; young women who despite the COVID-19 pandemic are breaking boundaries, lifting other women up and pushing themselves to the front burner against all odds. Joshua Onyinyechi Esther is one of those women. She is driven, determined and dogged with her life goals. The final year student of the University of Abuja runs a firm that connects prospective interns to their desired organisations, and also a gift souvenir business on the side. Esther shares her inspiring journey, and how hawking pure water motivated her to become an entrepreneur and change agent.

Childhood Influence
Growing up in a Nigerian home is one of the best though; it was not all rosy. Because I lost my dad at a very tender age, growing up was just with my mum and siblings and yes, it has contributed a lot. My dad taught me not to be dependent on anyone and it has helped me. I started having passion for business at age 9; when I returned from school, I joyfully hawked pure water and the likes in the market, which made me have a business mindset from an early stage. After secondary school, it continued, but this time, I applied for a job and I got it, which also helped my marketing skills, people management etc. Today, by God’s grace, I have a business of my own; all I went through contributed to what I am and do today.

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Inspiration Behind Internship Opportunity
Internship Opportunity is a God given idea. I noticed how graduates and undergraduates struggle to fit into the right place for interns; most graduate or undergraduate just apply for internship anywhere not minding if it’s in line with what they want to do, simply because they just want to get busy. That was what birth internship Opportunity to help connect graduates and undergraduates with the right company that will allow them to grow, develop and advance their professional goals/career.

How Internship Opportunity Help People With Placement
It has been helpful to people, especially in this pandemic. Graduates and undergraduates have secured paid intern opportunities in different states via our platform. It is truly rewarding to see these women thrive in the companies they are paired with; the feedback has been the fuel pushing us to keep delivering excellence.

How COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Me As A Student And Entrepreneur
As a student, it affected me because I’m supposed to be a graduate by now, but with the whole pandemic, graduating this year is not feasible. As an entrepreneur, the pandemic affected sales, but I’m glad everything is coming back to normal. I learnt to trust God’s plan.

Inspiration Behind Gift And Souvenir
My passion for business; I’ve always wanted to have a business that has to do with problem solving. Being able to express that via the gift and souvenir is amazing. The whole idea is to change the way people present gifts to their friends and loved ones.

Challenges And How I Overcome Them
Challenges I faced when I started gift and Souvenirs was more on sales. Before I started the business, I had people who were like, ‘oh wow, I’ll be the first to patronise you,’ but when I started, all of them were nowhere to be found. I didn’t really make sales when I started; I would advertise for one week, nobody will even asked me ‘how much’ by mistake. But I don’t experience such anymore by God’s grace.

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I was able to overcome through consistency, despite not making sales. Then, I kept advertising because I know people are watching and when they think of a gift, I’ll come to their mind first because I’m always advertising.
 
Challenges I faced when I started interns was looking for organisations seeking to engage the services to Interns to register on our website; registration and Job listing is free (Internship Only). I still experience this; I’ve not been able to get lots of organisations as expected to register on our website, but I’m putting more efforts to get them register.

If You Were To Be The President Of Nigeria For A Day 
I’ll change the policy in hospitals, especially public hospitals, that says you have to pay first before doctors attend to you.

All fingers aren’t equal and no one makes a budget for sickness. Lots of people have been rushed to the hospital on emergency and probably don’t have money at hand to deposit first. Doctors will not touch you until you pay money; they won’t even attend to you to save your life first, while your family members run around for money. At the end, the person might end up dying. As president, l will make provisions too for that.

Secondly, about NHIS card, which is made available for only government workers, will be accessible also to those who can’t fully pay their bills, the less privileged. Provisions will be made for sickle cell warriors/people living with disabilities. Good water and electricity will be fixed in some villages where people drink dirty water to survive.

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Three Women Who Inspire Me And Why
My Mum is a strong woman; she has a large heart. Despite what life throws at her, she never gives up; I’ve seen her fight so many battles and still stand tall. She trained my siblings and I right from childhood when we lost our father; not all mothers can do that. Some will just share their kids to different family members, but my mum stood her ground, held us close; we are what we are today because of God and her. I’m grateful for her.
 
Mrs Nike Adekunle is a goal getter; she is so humble despite all her achievements. She always gives listening ears always; she inspires me a lot. She made walking in purpose easy for me and I see myself in her always.

Esther Ijewere is a strong woman; I admire her a lot. With her story, she is still making impacts and touching lives. I love her passion for humanity.

My Next Five Years Goal
Next five years, I see myself at the top controlling businesses, and owning a shoe line.

Advice To Young Women
Be grateful for the small and big wins! It is okay to make mistakes; mistakes are part of success.
Never allow your background to put your back on ground. No matter what life throws at you, please keep moving forward. Lastly, never depend on anyone financially.

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