The impact of Mrs. Adebimpe Akinfolajimi in the event planning industry is irreplaceable.
Adebimpe a graduate of Mass Communication of Ogun State Polytechnic. Today she is the CEO of Honeybols Events, a 360 Events solution company and Honeybols Foundation among other highflying businesses.
Mrs. Akinfolajimi who by all standards is worthy of daily celebrations did not let the certificates Ogun State Poly make her rest on her oars hence in the chase of the Golden Fleece, this hard-working woman found herself in the walls of the prestigious University of Lagos, where she came back home with a degree in Law.
If you meet Adebimpe you will be convinced at the ingenuity of purpose of this top-notch and well-versed Event Planner who ranks amongst the industry best in Lagos where she is based.
Whatever must have made a trained lawyer and journalist abandon the certificates to become an event planner still remains surprising but this situation perfectly describes that whatever our hands find doing, do it well. Just like the sage Mathoveen once said, if a man is a street sweeper, let him sweep so well that the people will say he comes the best. Mrs. Akinfolajimi has proven this statement right with her dexterous skills at Getting things done.
she is the chairman board of trustees of Party Managers Association of Nigeria(PAMAN)
An Alumni of prestigious Event Academy, UK, her love for humanity necessitated the birth of Honeybols Foundation Through this foundation, she has been able to empower over 500 widows and reached out to close to 3000 women with palliatives.
In Lagos & given scholarships to over 20 indigent but brilliant students.
Her Foundation donated mathematics skill games to five public schools in Lagos state.
This of course is an applaudable one considering the selfishness that beclouds the society we all are in today.
A mother of three biological children & hundreds more that are attached by work, life, and circumstances, Adebimpe is not tired of pushing new horizons and breaking new grounds.
In this interview with Oyinlola Sale, Adebimpe Akinfolajimi, explains the growth of Nigeria’s Event Industry.
Now, Tell us what inspired your journey into setting up your Honeybols events and honeybols foundation?
I started event planning like 18 years ago and naturally I like organizing parties and even when we have parties in the family, I like to put things in order, so I just felt I can put it into business and that was how I started.
In terms of the inspiration for my foundation, it started from when I was growing up, my mother was a philanthropist, I could see a lot of people she was helping out of the little she had was very happy. So I realized the essence of living is by touching other lives and putting a smile on people’s face.
As a Serial Entrepreneur, How do you manage to combine so many businesses together?
So ever before , I started my foundation, I have always helped widows and their kids in school , then by 5 years ago, a foundation walked up to me that can we do something together and that was how we started putting it into an event, where we bring widows and vulnerable kids from all over the state to reach out to them and empower them and to the glory of God, He has been helping us.
Were you ever afraid, Whenever you ventured into a new business?
As an entrepreneur, you should always be ready for risk and you should be ready for challenges. So before I go into any business you should always be prepared.
This life is risky , so you need to do visibility studies and I always make sure I have passion for what am doing.
Once I discover my passion towards a new business, it makes it easier for me to handle the business.
What are some of the challenges you have faced so far and how do you manage to overcome them?
There have been so many challenges but I believe challenges don’t last long and it depends on how u can handle it and manage the storm when they come.
I don’t think I have ever had any cause to give up on my business.
It’s something that am passionate about and what is part of me, so I have never gotten to a stage of giving up.
Now, tell us about your foundation the impact you have made so far?
Honeybols Foundation has really done a lot for women in Nigeria. we have also impacted the lives of vulnerable children.
Presently, we have 18 kids on our scholarship list scheme, then we have empowered a lot of women in Lagos State.
We have reached out to them in terms of their welfare.
Recently we empowered some of the widows of the Nigerian Army and it was a great turn out and now we are trying to empower the widows of fallen heroes of Nigerian Navy, and this will come up in July this year. We are calling on Government to look out for genuine NGO’s, like Honeybols Foundation, a lot of people can attest to it that we are really genuine and the funds we are getting are not from the Government but donations we have gotten from family and friends.
The fact is there are many young girls that need help in the grassroot but the Government are not reaching out to them.
So as a busy woman with a lot of responsibilities, how do you start your day?
I start my day by praying to God and I set out by 9am and go to my office or my shop, then I later go through events of the previous day and draw out plans for the day.
As the chairman of party managers association of Nigeria, How has Covid -19 affected this sector?
It really affected my business, because am into event planning and sales of clothes.
But now, with the ease of lockdown, things are gradually coming back to Normal.
Presently, they are limited people you can put into a hall, so it makes our clients to reduce the number of guest they invite and this has affected us greatly.
As Chairman of Party Managers Association of Nigeria, we have been able to bring a lot of professionals under PAMAN, so that we can relate and transact business and as well as move the event industry forward and to also move own business to the Zenith.
So, how have you been able to carve a niche for yourself despite the competition out there?
I started 19 years ago, and what has put us on top of our game is by going beyond the expectations of our clients. We always consistent and honest.
Tell us about a highly difficult period, where you probably thought of giving up and how you overcame that situation?
A highly difficult period was when every Tom , dick and Harry went into the event industry without a certificate, so the industry was affected and clients preferred to patronize them because they are cheaper.
I went to the UK for training as an event planner, so it was painful seeing amateurs in the business.
I actually went into event planning because I have passion for cooking as well and I was determined that there is no going back.
How did you manage to finance this business in it’s early days?
I started small and I didn’t have any capital, but gradually I started getting jobs from people and the brand grew and equally my profit grew as well.
How can the government create an enabling environment for initiatives like yours to thrive?
Government needs to support genuine Foundations and they need to give NGO practitioners access to funds, because people are suffering, when you go to Grass roots, you see many people suffering.
The Government cannot reach out to this people but they can reach out to them through Non- Governmental Organisations by funding it, because the money they give to politicians doesn’t reach people but as a foundation we can reach people.
Have you received any recognition or award so far ?
Like the say, a golden fish truly has no hiding place. I have won “Outstanding female in the business award”, “Events Planner of the Year Award” “Creative Caterer of the Year Award”, African Security Watch Awards as Most Outstanding Charity Organization in Nigeria “Humanitarian Awards by NAPs” “Honorary Award of Excellence in Events Service by MAYA AWARDs Africa” to mention but a few.