Posted: Fri 2nd Dec 2022
We partnered with Vodafone to launch business.connected, helping 800,000 small and medium-sized businesses take their digital skills to the next level over the next three years.
Business owners can take part in e-learning modules, digital workshops delivered by business.connected advisers and Lunch and Learn webinars, and have a free consultation with a Vodafone V-Hub adviser.
The business.connected programme covers a range of core digital topics, from SEO and e-commerce to cyber-security and connectivity.
We're catching up with some of the business owners who have been taking part in the initiative to find out about how it's benefited them so far.
Here, we talk to Lola Adeleye, an independent certified business coach, teacher, trainer and speaker with the Maxwell Leadership Team.
You recently turned to business.connected for support. What aspects of your business did it help you address?
It would have to be marketing because this is where I have the biggest gap in my knowledge.
Some of the modules I worked through included the introduction to digital marketing, the session on creating great content, and the webinar on the importance of creating a digital marketing strategy.
Can you talk a little about your background and what led to you setting up your business?
I was born and raised in Nigeria. My dad was a Harvard-trained professor who became a deputy vice-chancellor of one of the leading Nigerian universities and later ran his management consulting firm for 30 years. My mum was a history teacher turned businesswoman in the last half of her life.
Over the last 25 years, my career has been one of transition. I was an IT engineer after I graduated, a banker when my children were growing up, then later an IT projects and programmes manager. Since 2020, I've worked as a management and business consultant.
I've always had a passion for helping people believe in themselves and be all they can be. While working on IT projects and programmes, it was always about improving people, processes and technology. But to my frustration, I found that most of the focus was on technology and processes – the people were an afterthought!
I felt this was wrong and that I needed to do something about it. So with my passion for helping people, and the fact that I'd always admired what my dad did, it was a no-brainer to start my own consulting firm to address this issue.
Once you made that decision, was there anyone you went to for support?
Yes! I did a lot of research into the coaching and speaking industry before I decided to go with the Maxwell Leadership Team.
How do you approach personal development and learning new skills?
I'm very intentional about personal growth, given that's what my business is founded on. I'm always looking for opportunities to grow personally and in business.
As part of the Maxwell Leadership Team, I attend weekly mentorship calls and monthly training, and I read personal development and business books regularly.
Finally, what advice would you give to anyone who's considering starting a business?
I have a number of points.
Do your research
Passion isn't enough – you need a strong reason for doing things
Prepare to move out of your comfort zone
Be ready for the lows as well as the highs
Know that you can't do it alone, so build relationships
Believe in yourself and your vision
Be determined and resilient
Know your strengths and capitalise on them
Always be learning
Free video training, exclusive offers and workshops
The business.connected hub is a free online training programme of workshops, webinars and e-learning modules designed to help businesses go digital, adopt new technology, and stay safe online. Take me to the hub now