‘Many people think the meat industry is a dirty job’ – Derin Shotunde ‘Eleran’
Before venturing into the meat business, she had worked as a cabin crew, customer service officer/Account Maintenance officer in the First bank, and a Para-legal in a Law firm, and she is using the experience she gained from these sectors to run her company and become a successful Entrepreneur.
In this interview with Women of Rubies, she talks about her passion for making money and the plot twist moment that changed her narrative.
I will say my childhood prepared me for what I do now. I have been surviving on my own since I was 9. I was not born with a silver spoon so I did any legitimate job in order to survive.
How I started the meat business
About two years ago, I was running a restaurant business and I usually got meat for some of my customers. One day I was at the abbatior and I told my goat meat vendor that I wanted to cut the meat by myself. He was shocked and he asked me if I had done it before and I said no but I was willing to learn, and that was it. Starting the meat business was not easy though. I just plunged into the business. My kids always inspire me also. I can’t afford to let them go through what I have gone through in life.
I can say my kids inspire me. They are very important to me. After l left my banking job, I got an offer with Access Bank but I was posted to the Head office while I was staying on the Mainland. I ended up not taking the offer because my kids would suffer for it. I chose my kids over my career. And also, the meat industry is a lucrative one, though people think it is a dirty job, but like the saying “inu egbin lowo wa”.
Balancing my career and the home front
Managing my business and single-handedly taking care of the kids hasn’t been easy but God has been faithful. I make sure my business doesn’t affect my kids and the home front.
A few years back, I left the banking industry and went into plantain chips production. I wrote a post on Greenland asking to get a cutting machine at a reasonable price. Sis Olu Bunmi and Sis Defunke Adewumi might remember this. God used three women to bless me. I was able to train about 50 people on how to make plantain chips, for free in other to give back to society.
This act of kindness by women who didn’t know me from Adam impacted my thinking and made me want to do more. They encouraged me to be better.
Part of the challenges I am currently experiencing as an entrepreneur is funding. The meat industry is a very big one and ROI is amazing. If there is a capital for me to do this, people will be amazed by how I will turn it over. Secondly, getting a trustworthy staff is very challenging. Once bitten twice shy. In terms of manpower, I am facing some challenges too.
On giving up
I have never felt like giving up. I am my greatest critics and irrespective of the situation, I have never felt like giving up.
I am a Woman Of Rubies
I am vigorous and confident because God is behind me. Because my calling is unique. And I am also an inspiration to a lot of youth, both male and female. I have had several people emailing me for advice and a guardian. I feel I have the pact to play.
Words of advice to women
My advice to young women out there is, whatever you set out to do, do it diligently. Do not pay attention to naysayers. Opinions will not pay your bills, nor feed you. Stop procrastinating, just plunge in. If you have to go dirty, go dirty! I mean dirty in accordance with God’s will. If it is akara (bean cake) you set out to sell, sell it with pride. But please be distinct, be unique, be different from your contemporaries who are doing same thing as you.
Be shameless about your pursuit of greatness and God will crown your efforts. So plunge in now and do not procrastinate, start NOW!!
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