#LEAPISPARTOFMYSTORY WEEK 17: Debola Lewis, C.E.O Yvent Kouture

Debola L

DEBOLA LEWIS

In 2012, I was nominated by a highly inspiring and successful entrepreneur to participate in LEAP Africa’s Business Leadership Programme (BLP). I was glad because my participating in the BLP became an indispensable learning experience. It totally changed my approach to understanding business structures, because usually you find that most entrepreneurs are not just passion driven, but profit driven as well. But I was astounded at the teachings and subject emphasis I received at the training. It showed me a whole new way of thinking and doing business.

As the C.E.O of Yvent Kouture, an event decorating and management company, investing my gifts and passion into a venture that isn’t just a business but an institution that strives to make its mark in the events industry has been more of a learning experience than a profit making idea.

The BLP, encouraged me to let go of the fears I had about running a business, building trust, install proper financial systems and keeping my vision and strategy in sight. Those lessons were the highest points for me.

I had always believed I couldn’t afford to go on a vacation or leave my business for more than five days. The fear of misrepresentation was even greater than the fear of mismanagement. These days I can actually travel for a whole month and allow my colleagues to run the business effectively without my interference.

Sometimes being a C.E.O makes you complacent as you solely decide how your day goes, but when you open up your business to the guidance of mentors or board of directors who you must report to periodically, it keeps you on your toes. It’s like having a boss but this time not only is your competence tested, but your core leadership abilities and values.

At a certain stage, I understood the need to grow from being a business enterprise into a limited liability company. My engagement with LEAP thoroughly educated me on the structures needed and processes to make the transition.

Education is the most profitable investment of every successful business which is how I feel about the BLP.

Presently our goal at Yvent Kouture is to be able to compete efficiently and effectively globally.

LEAP has enabled me to see above and beyond. #LEAPISPARTOFMYSTORY

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