At an early age, I got into personal development and started reading books, thanks to my dad who encouraged us. One of the first books I read was from John Mason. There was something he said that stuck with me for a long time which was, “Champions do what they hate to create what they love”. Reading has been the biggest contribution to my personal development and self-discovery. I became aware of the power of being intentional in my Secondary school days.
I remember being transferred from one Secondary school to another because I was not doing very well in my academics. My father always encouraged me to study and when I started studying, my results changed. I eventually graduated as the best student in Social Science/Commercial class. I moved from being the last in the class to basically being the best. What happened during that time has formed the habits that are still with me today. It all started with someone believing in me, which was my dad. He invested in me and always made sure I studied. I adopted that habit and it became a lifestyle. I began to see that when you put in work you get results.
Another factor that influenced my personal development was knowing that my mum was very entrepreneurial. She spent a lot of time starting different types of businesses. Growing up, having a business was common in my house. I didn’t know it was a special skill, I just thought you would take something and make money. I remember my early days from the University, I tried to make money by selling makeup products I bought from Balogun market.
I have a first degree in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration. Before my MBA I had a career working in technology. I was Oracle Certified. On my journey to self-discovery I was really focused on academics because that’s the example I saw in my dad. I had a lot of certifications early on which shaped my career. I always saw myself working in organizations where I was in charge of the Accounting system or technology because of my background. During my MBA, I began to see businesses on another level. We began doing case studies of large scale businesses that made millions of dollars.
After my MBA, I worked in Management consulting which was a great turning point for me because I had the opportunity to work closely with small and large businesses. I was in charge of growing the outsourcing unit of the company. I fell in love with the creativity of small and micro business in Nigeria and the possibility of what they can be with the right guidance and structure. This defined my career going forward and inspired me to start my own business. I was working in Management consulting and also started a direct to consumer micro fashion brand. We made shirts and directly sold them to consumers. We started getting publicity and I left my job to focus on my business. At the time Jumia and Konga were looking for local fashion brands to partner with and decided to partner with us to distribute products. I got an investor in the business but at the end of the day I had a fall out with my investor. This was a great learning process for me.
During my transition time I worked at a technology company leading their sales and marketing team to introduce their products to the market. Looking back at my journey, I discovered that I enjoyed using technology to provide solutions and I enjoyed supporting micro and small businesses to grow. That’s how I stumbled on business coaching. I started my personal brand Tale Alimi Global which has coached over 5,000 micro and small businesses.
I discovered there was a challenge of adequate funding for micro and small businesses. So, I decided to start a technology company that will solve the problems of small businesses and that’s when I started Owoafara Fintech Services Limited which is a company that works to bridge the gap for SMEs in Africa. On my journey to self-discovery, I was not afraid to explore different channels and connect the dots. I believe everything happens for a reason and God has a purpose for everything that happens in our lives. I encourage women to not be afraid of what they can become. You have so much greatness in you if you dare to unlock it.
Tale Alimi previously founded 2 startups. She has over 16 years’ experience working in Asset management, financial services, management consulting and technology companies creating products and services for small businesses. She has a first degree in Accounting, an MBA from Lagos Business School. A certificate in coaching from The Coaching Academy United Kingdom and is an Oracle certified DBA and self-taught Full stack developer. She is the Current CEO &Co-founder at Owoafara; a Financial technology startup that bridges the financing gap for underserved African SME's by providing access to loans, savings and insurance leveraging their P2P platform Rouzo. Owoafara recently launched their Women trader program, leveraging technology and network to bring financial inclusion closer to traders in the informal trade sector. The program has grown 150% since it launched in October 2020