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"I borrowed ₦2,000 from my Mom to start my Business" —Hakeem Hauwa Omowunmi

Hakeem Hauwa Omowunmi

Hakeem Hauwa Omowunmi (H2O) is an Economics Undergraduate Student at the University of Ibadan. She's a prolific Entrepreneur and Studentprenuer. She is the Managing Director of H2O Data and Online Services.

She has trained and mentors over 100 persons who are now doing well in their VTU Businesses.

In our interview with Hakeem Hauwa Omowunmi, she highlights several challenges Entrepreneurs face at the inception of their businesses. She stresses the fact that many Entrepreneurs have once faced the challenge of not starting out with Brilliant ideas they have out of the fear that many other Giants are in that sphere already. 


Biopreneur Nigeria (BN): Good day Ma'am. Thank you for taking the time out for this interview. Can you give a quick introduction about yourself to our readers?

Omowunmi: Good day I'm Hakeem Hauwa Omowunmi popularly called H2O. I'm an Economics Undegraduate Student of the University of Ibadan and also Studentprenuer.

BN: We're curious, how did your journey in performance and Entrepreneurship begin?

Omowunmi: Well, it all started in 2020 during the COVID 19 pandemic. I'm someone who loves doing business and I was desperate to begin my business. I told my mum about it my plans and she asked if I had capital to launch and my response was no. The only money I could think of getting then was my salary at the end of the month because I was working.

When I told her about the business, Virtual Top Up (VTU) business, she told me it would require a lot of capital. There was this friend of hers who was training people on how to sell data . She linked me up with her, I attended the training and that was how it started.

BN: This desperation, was it your key driving force to become an entrepreneur ? Can you describe what brought about this desperate decision.

Omowunmi: I guess it's inborn. I just love business (anything that involves buying and selling and making profit).

BN: That's interesting. Was it your then salary you used to launch your VTU Business primarily? Or how else did you come about funding for your venture?

Omowunmi: Yes, it was my salary but my mum borrowed me money at first then I returned it when I got my salary. 

BN: How did you come up with the name for your brand? Or was it regular the 'idea just popped up' in my head?

Omowunmi: I remember thinking about the name to use for my brand and then my mind flashed to during my Post UTME days. My friends and I were discussing "nicknames". I can't remember what led to that though, and that was how my friend, Cynthia came up with H²O but I didn't like the pronunciation then she said how about H2O. It's actually the abbreviation of my name we used Hakeem Hauwa Omowunmi.

I later discussed with my mum and brother and my brother suggested I used "H2O Data Plug". Later on, I changed it to H2O Data and Online Services.

BN: We have quite a number of persons into Data resale Business. Did this discourage your at any point?

Omowunmi: Yes, it did. I remember talking with my Boss and she said "My dear, there is no business that someone hasn't started. Just know that the people on your contact list are different from the people on others contact list. Keep pushing". These words are golden and has been a great source of motivation for my business.

BN: This fact is true. Many Entrepreneurs have been discouraged and some given up with this same thought of many persons already ahead of them in their business sphere.

BN: What's your customer base like? Are they mostly online or Physical?

Omowunmi: Most of my customers are online There are some I don't even know at all.

BN: So, How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?

Omowunmi: I can say the use of infographics. It has helped me a lot. I don't do the regular dumping of broadcasts with data plans on people only. I figured out a better strategy of reaching out to my customers using graphics. They normally contain inspiration, nuggets and motivations. This has helped greatly since when I started in 2020 in attracting more customers. I believe that sometimes, your customers may want to know if you or your business care about them and not just after their money or to buy your good/services. 

I also frequently broadcast graphic designs for my data plans, cable subscription and bill payments. I also encourage my people to rebroadcast too. I use WhatsApp business so I have a broadcast list where I added my customers and that's where I send whatever I want to post.

BN: Do you have any other plans apart from your current business venture?  Are you interested in anything else, or is your time devoted solely to this ?

Omowunmi: Like I said earlier, I'm a business oriented person. There are so many plans I have. Recently, I launched H2OVeils n' more but I haven't really pushed it because of some other things I'm into at the moment. 

BN: Can you tell us more about H2OVeils n' more?

Omowunmi: It's a clothing brand. We would go into the sales of Hijabs, Scarfs, Accessories and Muslimah wears by God's grace.

BN: Let’s step away from work. What do you do to relax and unwind?

Omowunmi: Well, I read books (novels and motivational books) and watch comedy and I make videos on Tiktok. Lol. I also listen to music and sing sometimes.

BN: Tell us about your personal life and relationship?

Omowunmi: I'm just a small girl (small but mighty😂😂). I'm single and I love making friends. Everyone is my friend, including the police 😂. I value friendships and relationship a lot and I can be free with anybody. 

BN: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Omowunmi: Well, it has been okay. I have a very supportive family and friends too. So, it has been amazing.

BN: Do you have any regrets thus far? Probably something you wish you could have done better?

Omowunmi: Yes, I wish I did not start selling to customers on credit so early.

Actually, there's no business one won't have to sell on credit, even if it's to just a few customers. I said earlier that I was desperate at the onset. My desperation and search for customers to just patronize me made lose a lot.

The primary aim of business to me is not making money but maximizing profit. I sold on credit to many people, including family members and total strangers. The embarrassing thing was that most of these people including my friends, never paid up.

I regularly advise resellers who use my VTU Business website (www.h20data.com.ng) to not make this same mistake of just selling on credit to people. 

BN: Thank you so much Miss Hakeem Hauwa Omowunmi for your time.

Omowunmi: You're welcome.

You can visit H20's website www.h2odata.com.ng where you can get your Data, Airtime, TV Subscription, Bill payments and Exam checkers at affordable prices


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11 Comments

  1. Wow. Great. I am also a data reseller and I can relate with the fear of having a lot of people doing a certain business but discovering you can still make your own sales when you get in. That's something a lot of people need to know. Then chai, selling on credit(adds the smiling+crying emoji)

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  2. Super well-done to you. An amazing insight. Keep making us all proud. And it's good you discovered your "no to bad debt" early before it led to irrecoverable circumstances. More wins to gbogbo H20 data

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  3. She's a good business lady. I'm proud to say that I'm her cherished customer. Keep soaring high!!

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  4. I like your brand. I can testify about how you care about your customers. Data purchase from you is so seamless too. No drama at all. It is nice to know your business story thus far. Shine on, H2O.

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  5. I've known H20 since my days at the University of Ibadan as an Entrepreneur with a great insight. Kudos!

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  6. And this is true , she knows how to maintain her customers . Keep soaring hauwa

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  7. I am one of H2O's partners (as she likes to call us) and I must say, she is an inspiration. Most times I wonder how she does it so well, then I see the grace of Allah radiating in her efforts and it's not so hard to put the twos together. You're amazing, ma'am. Even when we frustrate you, you still try to not throw something from so far away. Lol.
    Greater heights, Ma'am. May Allah enlarge and establish you beyond the imaginations of mere men.

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