Read The Inspiring Story Of Nigerian Who Won Google’s $25, 000 Prize For Africa Connected

When Eseoghene Odiete finished university, she did what most young people her age do….surf the internet.

What better way is there to surf the internet than by ‘Googling’ any query into the search engine?

People use Google to search for everything from the utterly mundane to the educational and enlightening.

For Eseoghene, her search was about to become life changing.

The young graduate had an interest in design so she started researching ‘how to design a bag’. She watched countless You Tube videos on how to sketch bag designs and gathering all these information, taught herself how to make bags without going to any school.

A while later….Hessey Bags was launched.

The new entrepreneur’s creativity didn’t stop there. Ese leveraged the power of the internet for networking, a key part of any new business growth.

She found fashion blogs in Nigeria and emailed all of them samples of her work. To her delight, many replied and even featured her designs on her blog, helping her build a fan base.

Now, Ese is part of a group of 5 winners who will be getting $25, 000 each to fund their businesses as part of Google’s Africa Connected web competition.

Google Africa Connected is an initiative of the tech giant to serve as a platform to showcase African businesses who have used the power of the web to start/grow their business and the socio-economic effects such businesses are having on everyday life on the continent.

Apart from Ese, another Nigerian Eric Obuh a.k.a Vocal Slender also made it to the top 5.

Eric shot to fame after the BBC documentary ‘Welcome To Lagos’ which featured residents of the Makoko slum in Lagos, one of whom was Eric.

He uses his music which he posts on You Tube to inspire other youths in the slum to follow their dreams and never give up.

Highlighting the ever-increasing importance of the internet and of course Google, Eric says in his VT…. “If your name is not on Google, I can’t do business with you, because I can’t find you.”

Well done to the finalists for making Africa proud. Our continent is brimming with amazing talent and it’s great to see that the whole world has finally woken up to this reality.

To see the full list of winners or to find out more about the project, click here.

Watch their clips here

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