Footwear Academy – Empowering over 1,000 Footwear makers across Africa

The Footwear Academy is a footwear production school for individuals interested in the art of footwear making. Offering 4 weeks intensive program, one-on-one training and a “learn by doing” process to ensure students get the best of the program

Chidinma Chukwuemeka, is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the Footwear Academy. She shared her story with Alaba Ayinuola of Africans Building Africa.

 

1. Tell us about yourself and your business.

My name is Chidinma Chukwuemeka (Nee Emodi) and I am the co-founder of The Footwear Academy. The Footwear Academy is a footwear training and production school for individuals interested in the art of footwear production and sales. We offer a 4 weeks intensive course on the skill of footwear production. We also produce bespoke foot wears for sale in Africa and beyond.

   

 

2. How much was your startup capital and how did you raise it?

We started The Footwear Academy with the sum of NGN 500,000 from personal savings.

 

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3. What are the challenges faced and how are you managing them?

When we started, even now, a lot of the challenges we faced was the bias people had with Made-In-Nigeria products.

Additionally, lot of new customers still insist on paying on delivery or demanding a warranty before purchase.

This Story is sponsored by: Abel Communications

 

4. Where do you see the Footwear Academy in the next 5 years?

In 5 years, we would have trained and empowered over 1000 footwear makers across Africa. We would also like to have the largest network of footwear makers in the world.

 

5. What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs wanting to start a business or invest in Africa?

My advice would be to start with whatever you have. Starting is the first and most important step. Entrepreneurship is a lonely road at times because no one understands your vision like you do, so stop looking for validation, sometimes people don’t just get it till you show them.

 

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6. How is the Academy contributing to the development of Africa?

Nigeria alone with a population of 180 million people imports over 20 million pairs of shoes in a year. We are currently training and empowering the next generation of footwear brands that can compete in the International market and place Africa on the road map of Footwear Makers in the world.

 

Visit: www.thefootwearacademy.com

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