Sharon Joro Yabilsu, also known as Shalyum, is the Founder of Bahaushe Foods, a company that provides easy-to-prepare Northern Nigerian Foods, hygienically sourced and produced by Northern Nigerian women.
Talking about when she started, she says, “Growing up, we loved eating traditional meals but the time it took to prepare it prevented us from making it regularly. I then realised that many women within the region have family traditional recipes and mixes but could not generate additional income for themselves. So after working with a Masa (rice cake) restaurant during my 2nd year vacation, I decided to package Yaji (Spiced Pepper) to sell to fellow students. That was how Bahaushe Foods started, offering an experience of Northern Nigerian foods.”
She also talked about her challenges. “Although we are in the process, obtaining NAFDAC registration takes quite a while and is a major challenge. With NAFDAC Number, stores will be more willing to put our products on their shelves.”
“Availability of a food processing Incubation Space or commercial kitchen would have made things easier as we had to get our own place even when we were just starting out with few products.”
“The necessary business knowledge I had was not adequate. I had to learn from trainings and other entrepreneurs, all who were ready to teach me.”
The women she partners with inspire her. “On days we feel discouraged, whenever we remember that certain women’s income is dependent on us being in business, we get motivated to move forward.”
One of the projects that served as a confidence booster for her was “getting selected to participate in the British Council’s Business Acceleration Bootcamp and The SME Toolkit Bootcamp by Enterprise Development Centre & Mastercard Foundation. It encouraged me that I was on the right path.”
Looking forward, “we are looking to partner with stores willing to stock Bahaushe Foods products on their shelves thereby expanding our reach and eliminating shipping fees.”
“We are currently working on starting our blog. We hope to provide instructions on how to prepare easy, authentic Northern Nigerian cuisines and serve as a guide to the region’s specialty foods and local produce.”
Sharon is a strong believer of youth empowerment. “I believe that many youths see skill acquisition as degrading. I believe getting educated is good and engaging in a skill or business is a practical way of showcasing this education, no matter what level. The point is to start now, start small and grow steadily.”
Connect with her via
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @bahaushefoods
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