Feminique

Women Empowerment: Essential to health, social development – Social media influencer

As always, a woman alone has power; collectively women have impact. Traditionally women have been taught to be competitive with one another, because there was such a scarcity of jobs at the top. But it’s so clear that strategy does not work. The truth is that raising each other up and channeling the power of collaboration is truly how women will change the equation and have a lot more fun along the way. Research shows that women in particular benefit from collaboration over competition.

Study after study shows women who support women are more successful in business. And that is the case of Linda Chinemerem Paul, a graduate of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, who after losing her banking job of five years due to the acquisition of the bank by another was pushed into going into business. Paul, who is a force to be reckoned with in the business sector, has carved a niche for herself by supporting young entrepreneurs grow their businesses thereby reducing the scourge of unemployment in the country owns ‘Pdf Hairs & Accessories’ – a luxury human hair brand, known for affordable luxury hairs. She also owns ‘Pdf Consult’ – “a business borne out of my passion to teach and train staff of companies”. The social media influencer, a business coach and a tutor speaks on the impact she has made on other women. “Empowering women is essential to the health and social development of families, communities and countries. When women are living safe, fulfilled and productive lives, they can reach their full potential, contributing their skills to the workforce and can raise happier and healthier children.

They are also able to help fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large. “The feeling of impacting lives is indescribable. It gives me so much joy to see women I have mentored and coached, finding their feet and soaring. It’s like a part of me doing great. It gives me so much sense of fulfilment; I have impacted a lot of women directly and indirectl y . I rec ent ly organised a Free Skill Acquisition Training on Telegram with 14,600 participants over 80% were women. I have a Free Mentorship WhatsApp Group for women. I run a Human Hair Business Masterclass where I teach women A – Z about Hair Business and how to make money from it.

That class has trained over 500 women. A lot of women have gained free visibility on my Facebook wall which has impacted and improved their businesses “As the Founder of Pdf Global Investment Limited which houses #PdfHairs, #PdfLogistics and #PdfAutos, a serial entrepreneur with over nine years of experience in entrepreneurship, I am involved in helping young Nigerian youths to acquire technical and soft skills for the overall good of themselves which places them at an advantage to earn legitimate money. My online contents cuts across business development, personal development, online marketing, brand influencing, humour, which I have consistently driven on my Facebook wall, and which has improved the lives of my followers.”

Lighting other peoples’ candles

She revealed why she is so passionate about helping women saying: “I believe in lighting other peoples’ candles. It doesn’t cost anything. I am at the position today because aside from my hard work,people encouraged me. I believe in paying kindness forward. “With the level of unemployment and young people being thrown into the labour market daily, if we don’t encourage them to do something and earn legitimate income, we may be breeding angry and frustrated humans who can go fighting everyone around them for their failures.” She speaks on the challenges associated with what she does. “Of course there are challenges; I have to get involved financially a lot of times. When you see a passionate and hardworking person but they are not able to source for business capital and they come crying to you, I usually find it difficult to say no. I try to assist in any little way. While some will pay back, a lot don’t. I learnt not to part with money I can’t forfeit anyways. “Again, it puts me in the middle. When I push and advertise their businesses and there is any issue from people I recommend to them, I get dragged into it. Most times I try as much as possible to mediate and settle them amicably. It’s draining sometimes. I stand the risk of advertising for people I don’t know down to their homes. You know, I meet all of these people on social media. No matter how good they appear, you can never vouch 100% for their integrity”

Overcoming challenges

When asked how she was able to surmount these challenges she said: “I won’t say I have been able to surmount them. I only manage them. I help with what I can. I try to guide and advise them on business ethics and integrity. For those I don’t know at all, I ask for personal details like ID cards” About her growing up she said: “I grew up in Enugu with my siblings.

I’m the 2nd child and the first daughter of my parents. My parents are disciplinarians who wouldn’t spare the rod to spoil the child. As a teenager I enjoyed working in my father’s printing press when I’m home for the holidays. He treated me like one of his employees and that made me responsible and hardworking. My mum multitasked as a university lecturer, hairdresser and baker.

I guess her hair dressing trait rubbed off on me. I’ll say growing up was fun with lots of beautiful childhood memories.” She advised those who wish to attain that she is now never give up and be confident in what they do. “There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds,” she said. The social media influencer recently received the prestigious “UK Women Appreciating Women (WAW) Honorary Award” for her contributions in supporting, motivating and influencing small busiindinesses owned by women.

“I initiated “Let’s Talk Business with the Hair Prof!” live sessions to teach small business owners for free from my personal experiences how to start up and grow their businesses, how to handle challenges and ways to promote their businesses using social media platforms. I initiated the Facebook Online Trade Fair to create visibility for Facebook vendors and connect them to buyers from my over 60, 000 followers.

This helps small businesses to make sales. She outlined some strategies for her outreach as: “A lot of small business owners and young entrepreneurs have benefited from my free brand influence and business financial support. I earned the name ‘Jagaban of Facebook’ which simply means a solid and supportive Facebook personality. “I have a free Mentorship WhatsApp group where I guide and mentor small business owners/ young entrepreneurs until they are able to find their feet. That group has produced a lot of entrepreneurs from Facebook who are now successfully established. “I organise importation and exportation classes to teach my followers, especially the low income earners, how to earn legitimate money through importation. I teach Hair Business Masterclass to encourage skill acquisition. My followers learn how to sew and style wigs, revamping old hair and colour hairs.

These classes have empowered so many of my followers. “Furthermore, my brand name ‘PDF Hairs’ has earned a valuable reputation as a trusted online luxury and affordable hair brand especially on Facebook. I achieved this through daily content creation, engaging my followers and promoting my brand. “I am popularly known as the ‘Hair Prof’ and initiator of ‘#Pdf- Hair Bomb Sales’. The Bomb Sales has gained popularity over the years as the cheapest online human hair sales in Nigeria. My followers look forward to these sales. It affords them the opportunity to buy luxury hair at very affordable prices. “My brand is well known for influencing businesses, and I have worked with several Nigerian brands in promoting their products and services, achieving great results in the process. My brand has built and is still building new businesses for her followers especially women through teachings, financial support and influencing. I organise competitions where my followers get to showcase their talents and winners get rewarded with cash prizes to start up small businesses or support their existing ones. “I create content that is humorous to help people relax and laugh while passing important messages through them. This helped my followers relieve their frustrations during the COVID-19 lockdown. My profile became a haven to a lot of people as they look forward to my daily contents.”

 

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