The story of a university dropout who began a career in technology by selling phone gadgets. She found herself in an unfamiliar niche with little to no gender-inclusive support.
Funsho Fagunwa has spent more than ten years in the field of sales, expanding her services and now serving as a consultant to entrepreneurs in the space and tech gadget industries.
Funsho Fagunwa’s golden opportunity came ten years ago, during her undergraduate studies at LASPOTECH. Funsho started a recharge card business to support herself because she came from a polygamous family and didn’t have much financial support. While the business was not large, it provided enough to feed the family.
One of her customers encouraged her to join him as a one-time laptop distributor at Computer Village, a paid gig. This occurred at a time when harassment by some law enforcement agencies was common in that area, particularly among men. Until now, tech bros or guys with laptops have been the targets of such harassment.
As a woman, it’s a little different, which makes Funsho the ideal distributor for the company. A one-time business, on the other hand, became like a sweet, savory, flavored dish on Funsho’s taste buds. She refused to let go. Show me the way was her next course of action.
She decided to drop out of school, especially since her family couldn’t afford her tuition, so she could focus on launching her company, Elizabeth Communications. Funsho’s family objected, but she was more determined to succeed in at least one aspect of her life, and this initiative took precedence.
I sat down, checked the family nobody will raise me and I saw that, guy, immediately I left school… nobody can help me, I can only help myself…when I saw this opportunity I grabbed it as it is the surviving way for me…
However, money became a major impediment. Funsho Fagunwa was only able to raise less than 200,000 to start a tech gadget business in the Lagos “Silicon Valley” computer village. She could only afford a space (not a shop) by the roadside for 100,000 and a display case for 40,000, which was a substantial sum ten years ago. Her first batch of products were purchased on credit.
Funsho Fagunwa’s business grew quickly, and she soon became more of a consultant for people looking to start a business like this or buy tech gadgets. She learned about tech products and descriptions, as well as trends in the launch of new products in the space.
Funsho Fagunwa, a young woman in her early twenties, wondered how her business life would be in a male-dominated environment.
Her family had advised her against the idea, claiming it would change her into a “tout“. But, Funsho knew what she wanted and, as a goal-getter, created a persona to blend in perfectly.
I change my voice because if you want to be a strong person here you have to act like a tout.
Her focus extends far beyond environmental gender biases. Funsho has been more committed to his success. Despite this, she has faced some difficulties, particularly from the typical thug “agbero,” which she claims was due to her gender, as her male counterparts were not harassed in the same way.
It is a new experience for customers to trust and try out the services of women in the space. Most customers prefer to patronize Funsho Fagunwa because they believe women have greater compassion and understanding than men.
From grass to grace
Funsho Fagunwa had made more money than she had expected in just two years in business. The life she had always desired was gradually becoming a reality for her. It came as a surprise to her. Funsho sponsored her trip to Dubai when she was 21 years old. She could afford the lifestyle, so she jumped right in.
She bought her first car when she was 22. It’s been back and forth since then, juggling vacation trips between Dubai, Qatar, and Turkey; she could finally give herself everything she’d ever wanted.
Funsho Fagunwa has 10 years of experience in the business and has established three more shops in the industry as well as other businesses outside of the industry.
She has built a mini-empire by providing apprenticeships for young people to learn entrepreneurial skills and equipping them with the knowledge necessary to excel in the tech gadget industry. She currently has over 7 apprentices.
Despite the fact that she was the only dropout among her mother’s four children. Funsho claims she is better off financially than most of her siblings. She also advises customers on which product is best for them on occasion.
Funsho, on the other hand, always made sure to reach out to her husband, who is a graduate, to help her in the situation when she got lost in some intellectual conversations. But because of what she does. Funsho Fagunwa has advanced to the professional level by selling phone accessories.