5 Alumni of The Footwear Academy emerge winners of the NDYEP Startup Grant Competition

The PIND Foundation in partnership with Ford Foundation, organized a project tagged, Niger Delta Youth Employment Pathway (NDYEP) sometime last year.

The vision of the project was to engage unemployed youths in the Niger Delta States, through enterpreneurial skills under the Finished leather, ICT, Agriculture, Construction and other sectors.

The Footwear Academy was selected as an implementing Partner under the Finished leather section to train 100 youths through shoemaking, this led to the birth of The Aba Mastering Footwear Program.

The Aba Mastering Footwear Program was an intensive shoemaking program designed to give participants in-depth knowledge of shoemaking, leadership and communication, Enterpreneurship, conflict management and career skills.

The 100 youths were trained in 2 batches of 4 groups consisting of 25 participants per group.

Interestingly, we had more of female participants than the male.

In a bid to engage the alumni of the NDYEP project, the PIND Foundation in partnership with Ford Foundation organized an NDYEP Business Plan Challenge.

A grant opportunity that would encourage and support innovative small business/start up from the NDYEP alumni.

Amazingly, 5 Alumni of the Footwear Academy emerged winners of the NDYEP grant competition.

They include:

1. Adighibe May Ezinne

2. Ikefuama Livingstone Okechukwu

3. Maximilliano Sopuru Ezeorachi

4. Daniel Ikefuama

5. Nwaonu John

 

The startup Grant ranges from #50,000 to #2,000,000 and this will be an amazing boost to their businesses.

 

We are super proud of them all and we wish them success on their shoemaking journey.

Read more...

Alumni of the week – Max Ezeorachi

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply, wishing is not enough, we must do” – Johann Wolfgang

Welcome back to a brand new edition of the Alumni of the week series.

Are you ready for it?

As always, we have you covered on previous editions if you missed it.

Click below and have a wonderful read.

https://www.thefootwearacademy.com/alumni-of-the-week-udeh-benjamin-chinonye

We present to you our next feature, one of the winning team, Maximilliano Ezeorachi, one of our batch B student of The Aba Mastering Footwear.

Wondering what the winning team is about?

Well, Max entered the NDYEP Business Plan Challenge organised by the Pind Foundation in collaboration with the Ford Foundation.

Fortunately, he emerged winner alongside 4 other alumni of The Academy to a grant range of #500,000 to #2,000,000.

Sounds interesting right?

Let’s dive in and hear his story.

Hello Max, Please introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Maximilliano Sopuru Ezeorachi.

How did you hear about The Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

I heard about the program from a footwear Facebook page.

What motivated you to sign up for the Program?

I literally didn’t need much motivation to sign up, as I have always been passionate and also wanting to learn footwear production from a very reliable organization.

From my online investigation and follow up, I felt tangibly that The Aba Mastering Footwear program and The Footwear Academy was it for me.

Tell us your experience during the training.

I would encapsulate my experience during the training in 3 words – Enlightening, motivating and amazing.

I not only learnt how to make shoes, I also got some life skills training which is very pertinent in our daily living and growth.

My stay at The Academy was fun all the way.

What’s next for you?

To keep learning and trying out new opportunities, getting better and advancing.

Although, I already started out and so far, I have produced and sold close to 50 pairs of footwear.

Below are some of the footwear I made.

Nice, Could you tell us a little about your recent win?

Well, I signed up for the NDYEP Business Plan Challenge organised by Pind Foundation in collaboration with the Ford Foundation.

The NDYEP Business Plan challenge was set up to encourage and support innovative small business/start up from the NDYEP alumni.

To the glory of God, I was among the 5 alumni selected from The Footwear Academy under the Finished leather sector to receive a grant range of #500,000 to #2,000,000.

Amazing, What advice do you have for young people?

I’ll say for every passion in your heart, there is a stream of income.

So learn to harness every bit of passion in you and pay Keen attention to every bit of your conceivable idea.

Never relent on getting better and trying positive new things until success is achieved.

Kindly drop your contact information.

My brand is on Instagram as @Maxruach and I can be reached with the phone number 07032914853.

 

Thank you Max. A big congratulations on your win, We are proud of you and we wish you all the best.

Read more...

Alumni of the Week – Udeh Benjamin Chinonye

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them” – Chris Grosser.

Hey guys, it’s another edition of “The Alumni of the week” series.

It’s been exciting sharing with you all, the amazing works of our Alumni and their shoemaking experiences.

Do stay glued to our page for more stories.

Here is a link to the previous edition if you missed it.

https://www.thefootwearacademy.com/alumni-of-the-week-achodo-treasure

Here with us in this edition is, Udeh Benjamin, one of our batch B student of the Aba Mastering Footwear Program.

Benjamin is a hard-working young man who believes in laying one’s eggs in different baskets.

He believes in having multiple sources of income and he chose shoemaking as one of them.

Stay tuned as he shares his experience at The Academy.

Hello Benjamin, please introduce yourself.

Hi, My name is Udeh Benjamin Chinonye.

How did you hear about the Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

A friend of mine, Chidi Ejeagba, referred me to the program.

What motivated you to sign up for the Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

I needed multiple source of income and I chose shoemaking as one of it. I couldn’t let the opportunity slip away, so I signed up.

How will you sum up your experience during the training?

My experience was educative and fun all the way.

I learnt so many new things about shoemaking which I didn’t have previous idea about them.

The learning process was top notch and I’m glad I was part of the training.

I made these footwears after my training and I would say I’m glad I chose to train at The Footwear Academy.

Interesting, what’s next for you?

I’m currently building a company that majors on handmade footwear production.

Legacy Footwears is my brand name and I am gradually growing the brand.

I believe with time, we will grow internationally.

So what advice do you have for young people?

I just have a word for them which is, if it starts with a vision, you’ll reach the destination, so never give up on your dreams.

Could you drop your contact information 

My social media handles is @Legacy footwears. I can be reached with the mobile number 07035354370

 

Thank you for acknowledging our effort. We wish you success in your shoemaking journey.

 

 

 

 

Read more...

Alumni of the Week – Achodo Treasure

Hey guys, welcome to the month of April. We wish everyone a very Happy New Month.

It’s another edition of the “Alumni of the week” series.

Here is a link to the previous edition if you missed it.

https://www.thefootwearacademy.com/alumni-of-the-week-pascaline-umennajiuba

This week’s Alumni spotlight goes to, Achodo Treasure, one of our batch B student of the Aba Mastering Footwear Program.

Treasure is a strong-willed lady who never gave up on her aspiration despite the hindrances.

Her hopefulness and courage gained her a spot at The Aba Mastering Footwear Training program.

Let’s dive in and hear her story.

Hello Treasure, please introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Achodo Treasure Amarachukwu. It’s my pleasure to be here.

How did you hear about the Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

I got to know about the program from a friend who knew how much I desired to train at The Footwear Academy but couldn’t afford the training fee. He notified me as soon as the opportunity came up.

What motivated you to sign up for the Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

My desire to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge required to help me establish and build a brand in the footwear industry.

And how will you sum up your experience during the training?

I had an awesome experience at The Academy.

Asides learning how to make standard footwears, my eyes were opened to the business aspect as we were also taught the necessary soft skills required to help us excel in the industry.

The opportunity to meet and share ideas with other youths made it worth while.

Interesting, what’s next for you?

Well, I’m working on establishing my brand in a standard well.

My brand name is Handmade By Tamara.

So far, I have been able to make some productions and I’m loving it all the way.

So what advice do you have for young people?

My advice to young people out there is to do what you can until you do better, position yourselves in places where you keep learning new things and never stop taking little steps towards achieving that big goal.

Could you drop your contact information 

Sure. My Instagram handle is; handmade_by_tamara while Facebook is; Achodo Treasure.      My phonenumber is 08135749327.

 

It was nice having you at The Academy Treasure. We wish you all the best as you make exploits.

 

 

 

 

Read more...

Alumni of the Week – Pascaline Umennajiuba

Good things come to people who wait, but better things come to those who go out and get them.

Welcome to another edition of the Alumni series.

Did you miss the previous edition? We have you covered.

Click below to catch up.

https://www.thefootwearacademy.com/alumni-of-the-week-opeyemi-salem-konigbagbe

Here with us, in this week’s edition of the Alumni series is, Paschaline Umennajiuba, one of our batch B student of the Aba Mastering Footwear Program.

Fun Fact about Paschaline:

Paschaline is a top fan of The Footwear Academy. She always engages our content on our social media pages.

She couldn’t hold her excitement when she stumbled on our ad for The Aba Mastering Footwear Training program in 2020.

Let’s hear her story as she shares her experience at The Footwear Academy.

Hello Paschaline, please introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Paschaline Chinemerem Umennajiuba.

How did you hear about the Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

I saw the advert on The Footwear Academy’s Facebook page. I have been a follower of the page since 2-3 years ago.

What motivated you to sign up for the Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

I have always wanted to upgrade my shoemaking skills, I saw The Aba Mastering Footwear Program as an opportunity for me to learn how to make shoes and decided to sign up for it.

And how will you sum up your experience during the training?

I enjoyed every bit of the training process. I really learnt alot at The Footwear Academy.

I not only improved my shoemaking skills, I also got to learn some soft skills that will help me in establishing my footwear factory.

God bless The Footwear Academy Team and Pind Foundation for bringing this opportunity to us.

Interesting, what’s next for you?

My dream is to set up a Footwear production factory, but since that would require alot of funding which I don’t have at the moment, I’m operating on a small scale for now, that is I produce for my clients on pre-order.

I so much believe with hard-work and determination, my dream will come to reality someday.

Awesome, what advice do you have for young people?

I’ll advice the young people to try and learn one or two skills, even as Students, because it will really help them alot some day.

Could you drop your contact information 

Sure. My phone number is 09037715863.

It was nice having you at The Academy Paschaline. We wish you success in your future endeavors.

 

 

 

 

Read more...

Alumni of the Week – Opeyemi Salem Konigbagbe

Hello guys, welcome to another exciting episode of the Alumni of the week series.

We hope the series has been entertaining and educating.

Before we proceed, here is the link to the previous edition, incase you missed it.

Alumni of the Week – Mehetabel Andrew-jaja

Our Next feature for this week is our very own passionate, Opeyemi Salem Konigbagbe.

He is one of our student from the Batch B session of the Aba Mastering Footwear Program.

He signed up for the Aba Mastering Footwear Training, a decision that was fueled by his passion for shoe making.

Let’s hear from Opeyemi about his experience at The Academy.

Hi Opeyemi, please introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Opeyemi Salem Konigbagbe.

How did you hear about The Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

I got to know about the program through a friend.

What motivated you to sign up for the Program?

My passion and zeal for shoe making prompted me to sign up for the program.

I had the passion to pursue a career in footwear production, and the training was an opportunity to develop my knowledge and experience.

Tell us your experience during the training.

It is an experience I am grateful that I signed up for. My shoemaking dream came to reality through this training.

At first, I doubted the possibility of learning shoemking in just few months, but The Footwear Academy had other plans for me.

They made shoemaking so easy and fun. Though it wasn’t all rosy, I’m glad I was a part of The Aba Mastering Footwear Program.

Interesting, so what’s next for you?

I intend to continue practicing while sourcing for funds to establish a brand of my own.

I am proud of my creations so far and I hope to do more.

Nice, kindly drop your contact information.

Ok. I can be reached with the  phone number 08081191387.

What advice do you have for young people?

The young people should be up and doing. Being focused and determined is a step to achieving one’s goal. Aim higher and the sky will be your stepping stone.

Thank you Opeyemi for acknowledging our effort. We appreciate. We wish you success in your journey ahead.

Read more...

Alumni of the Week – Mehetabel Andrew-jaja

“Who you are tomorrow, begins with what you do today” – Tim Fargo

Good to have you all back in a brand new edition of the Alumni of the Week series.

Did you miss the previous edition? Click on the link below to catch up.

Alumni of the Week – Adewo Oluwakemi Esther

Featuring in this edition is, Mehetabel Andrew-jaja, one of our Batch B student of The Aba Mastering Footwear Program.

Jaja, being a creative Entrepreneur, makes slippers and sandals to earn extra cash.

One day, she thought to herself, “If I could make slippers and sandals, why not shoes too”.

Luckily, she came across The Aba Mastering Footwear Program on her search and signed up immediately.

Stay tuned as she shares her experience at The Footwear Academy.

Hello Jaja, Please introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Mehetabel Andrew-jaja.

How did you hear about The Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

I was opportuned to come across the training advert online .

What motivated you to sign up for the Program?

I wanted to increase my skills and knowledge in shoe making and in turn do good business with it.

Tell us your experience during the training.

My experience during the training was a great one because I got more than I expected in a short while.

Before the training, I was into just slippers and sandals making. But now, I can comfortably make shoes, all thanks  to The Footwear Academy Team, for doing Justice to the teaching process.

Aside shoemaking, I learnt alot of soft skills which has helped me especially on emotional intelligence.

I learnt how to do business without sentiments and this in the long run will be of great help in my business journey.

Interesting, so what’s next for you?

Practicing of course. I want to have my own space where I can effectively work, showcase my work and also train other young people.

What advice do you have for young people?

I would advice young people to do meaningful things that they are interested in.

For those into shoemaking, they should hook up with good institutions like The Footwear Academy. This will help them improve and nurture their skills.

They should also be patient with their growth process although that’s doesn’t call for laziness.

Kindly drop your contact information.

My brand name is “Bíobélé” and I can be reached with the phone number 08137461890

 

Thank you Jaja, we are glad you achieved your goal. It was great having you at The Academy. We wish you all the best .

Read more...

Alumni of the Week – Adewo Oluwakemi Esther

“It takes a dream to get started, desire to keep going and determination to finish” – Eddie Harris Jr.

Welcome back to a new edition of the “Alumni of the Week” series.

The series has been inspiring and amazing so far, and we promise to keep you glued in.

Do click on the link below to view the previous edition if you missed it.

Alumni Of The Week – Wogu Chidiebube Izunna

Featuring in this edition is, Adewo Oluwakemi Esther, one of our Batch B student of The Aba Mastering Footwear Program.

Fun Fact about Kemi;

Kemi had always desired to start up her own footwear store. What could be more fun than acqually learning shoemaking?

Recently, she acquired a skill in Bag Making and she is all set to kickstart her leather business.

Let’s dive in and hear her story.

Hello Kemi, Please introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Adewo Oluwakemi Esther.

How did you hear about The Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

I got to know about the program through a friend of mine who also partook in the training.

What motivated you to sign up for the Program?

I would say my love and passion for shoemaking, and also the desire to start a business in shoe making.

Tell us your experience during the training.

My experience at The Footwear Academy is one I would never forget.

I didn’t just learn shoe making, I learnt how to think properly and how to take advantage of opportunities that comes my way.

The teachers were at their best and actively pouring out their wealth of knowledge on us.

 

 

I did learn alot at The Footwear Academy and I felt so much joy in my heart making my own footwear.

Interesting, so what’s next for you?

I have officially kick start my business, “Mohlane”. The best part is, Mohlane will be having both footwear and bags designed by me.

Here are some of the designs I made for my clients. I was happy with the outcome.

What advice do you have for young people?

My advice to young people is to go all the way to achieve whatever they want. Never give in to fear or Procastination.

Everything is possible as long as they are willing to take blood steps and make wise decisions.

Kindly drop your contact information.

My brand name on social media is “Mohlane” and I can be reached with the phone number 08164339395

 

Thank you Kemi, we are proud of you and wish you success in all your future endeavours.

Read more...

Alumni Of The Week – Wogu Chidiebube Izunna

“The right direction is more important than the speed”.

Welcome back to yet another interesting edition of the Alumni of the Week series.

Did you miss the previous edition? No worries, we got you.

Click on the link and catch up.

https://www.thefootwearacademy.com/alumni-of-the-week-eunice-nwokocha

Featuring this week is, Wogu Chidiebube Izunna, one of our Batch B student of The Aba Mastering Footwear Program.

Fun Fact about Izunna;

Izuuna was eager to learn the art of shoemaking due to the difficulty he always encounter while trying to purchase a footwear because of his plus size feet.

The Aba Mastering Footwear Program gave him the opportunity to learn and make his perfect fit.

Eager to hear his story? Stay tuned.

Hi Izunna, please introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Wogu Chidiebube Izunna.

How did you hear about The Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

I heard about the program on social media, Facebook precisely.

What motivated you to sign up for the program?

My quest to learn shoemaking and secondly, my family finds it hard to get footwears at regular shoe stores because of the size of our feet. So I saw it as an opportunity.

Tell us your experience during the training.

It was an awesome experience. All I can say is, at The Footwear Academy, I got everything I needed.

Ranging from the best teachers to interacting with best colleagues, and learning in the best environment.

I learnt soft skills which I think was the best part of the class because, everything you need to push your dreams are in the soft skills.

This slippers was made after my training at TFA. I saw some pieces of cloth which was taken out of our old cushion, instead of disposing it, I thought of making something good out of it and behold that slippers is the end result.

Awesome, so what’s next for you?

I think it’s to intern for a bigger shoe brand. One thorn of experience, is worth more than a whole wilderness of warning.

But for now, I’m kicking off with my shoe brand, “BANQIE”.

Drop your contact information too.

I can be reached on the number, 07038243316.

What advice do you have for young people?

I will advice young people to discover their passion and Chase it with all they have. The right direction is more important than the speed.

We’ve heard it all from Izunna. Indeed, the right direction is more important than the speed. It was great having you at The Academy, we wish you success as you journey ahead.

Read more...

Alumni Of The Week – Eunice Nwokocha

Hey guys, Happy New Week to you all.

Welcome to a new edition of the “Alumni of the week” series.

Here is a link to the previous edition if you missed it.

https://www.thefootwearacademy.com/alumni-of-the-week-ogbonna-ben-precious

Featuring in this edition is, Eunice Nwokocha, one of our batch B student of the Aba Mastering Footwear Program.

Eunice is an inspiring and courageous lady that can’t be stopped by nothing.

Despite being visually impaired, she gives her footwear startup everything needed to scale.

We celebrate her today and always for believing in her dreams and shining her light to the world.

Let’s hear her story as she shares her experience at The Footwear Academy.

Hello Eunice, please introduce yourself.

My name is Eunice Uchechi Nwokocha. I feel really honoured to be here.

How did you hear about the Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

I heard about the Aba Mastering Footwear Program through a friend who also taught me some basics of footwear making.

What really motivated you to sign up for the Aba Mastering Footwear Program?

I would say the drive for progress and improvement in footwear making.

And how will you sum up your experience during the training?

I can say for sure, that I gained alot from the training, not just about footwear but also other skills required for growth in business.

The Footwear Academy created an enabling environment for proper learning, and development of skills.

Also, the teachers were exceptional in trying to carry everyone along, especially me because I’m visually impaired. It is an experience I cannot forget.

Also, meeting other colleagues who also came for the training was another chance of networking. I am grateful to Mr Bentley Chukwuemeka, Mrs Chidinma Chukwuemeka, and the entire TFA crew, Wisdom, Ben, Shedrack, Chioma and Ugochi.

Interesting, what’s next for you?

I am progressively building my business to it’s optimal level.

So what advice do you have for young people?

Learn a skill, improve on it and make exploits. You can do it, just start somewhere.

Could you drop your contact information 

Sure. My phone number is 08061261006.

It was nice having you at The Academy Eunice. We wish you all the best as you make exploits.

 

 

 

 

Read more...