"I started my business with my six months allowance as a Student" — Dara Manuel, Africa's Youngest Digital Consultant

Oladipupo Emmanuel Jesudara, popularly known as Dara Emmanuel is a Brand Strategist, Digital Consultant, and a Project Manager. He has over 3 years' experience in the marketing space, ranging from digital to traditional/experiential marketing.

He currently serves in various advisory capacities by giving expert opinions, analyses, and recommendations, based on experience and expertise. He has pioneered and consulted for several brands like Godzilla Inc, Dstrings Studios, Frills by Leemah, Ojay Foods, RoEffects, and Glow Express, amongst others.

He is the Creative Director of Digital Konsolt, a top digital firm that provides creative digital solutions for businesses. He is also the Lead Marketing Strategist for Celerate Tech, a fast-rising tech company in Nigeria, where he manages the marketing footprint of the company.

He is also the Founder/President of The Studentpreneurs Network, a community for student entrepreneurs, where he regularly equips them with the requisite knowledge on how to run a profitable business sustainably, which makes them earn as they learn.

He is the Host/Convener of two business conferences; CASH (an annual meeting focused on teaching Client Acquisition Strategy Hacks); and MBBS (a monthly meeting where he teaches about Money, Branding, Business, and Sales).

He is the Coach/Founder of Basic Business School (BBS), where he mentors and coaches his proteges.

Read our Interview with Dara Emmanuel:

Olamide Busari:  Good evening, Mr Dara
Please, describe yourself in three words

Dara Emmanuel: Sought-after Brand Strategist, Africa's Youngest Digital Consultant, Project Manager.

Olamide Busari: What is a typical day of yours like?

Dara Emmanuel: I'm always preoccupied with projects I work on. I practically manage several projects for my company and clients.

It's either I am working on a project for my client, or I am on a strategy session for my clients and students, which usually take hours.

Dara Emmanuel: I also create daily valuable contents for my followers and audience which takes a lot of my time.

Olamide Busari: What is the name of your company?

Dara Emmanuel: DM Digital Konsolt

Olamide Busari: How many years have you been in the marketing space?

Dara Emmanuel: 3 years.

Olamide Busari: Did you face any challenge(s) at the inception of your brand?

Dara Emmanuel: Yeah. I did (Ofcourse).

Olamide Busari: What were the challenges?

Dara Emmanuel: I started my business as a student by using my allowance for 6 months as capital. I strugg hiled financially, having spent about 80% of my allowance on my business.

Also, I got several rejections after pitching my brands to several organizations for funds to sustain my business.
In addition, I struggled with balancing my academics and business.

Olamide Busari: I was coming to this actually
But since you mentioned it, let's dive into it

Dara Emmanuel: I also had no financial support from third parties.
I struggled with my startup all by myself.
And lastly, I couldn't get clients earlier enough. It took me about 3 months after inception to get a client.

Olamide Busari: You struggled but you later found a balance. What steps did you take to ensuring a good balance between your academic and business?

DaraManuel: I created structures for myself, in the sense that, I don't attend to business/clients when I am supposed to be in class.
And I don't attend to anything that's school related when I'm attending to my business.
I got very strict with my time. 

Also, I am the Class Rep of my class when I started my business. I never allowed Class Rep's responsibilities interfere with my business.

Olamide Busari: Does this imply that you do not do business during examinations as well?

Dara Emmanuel: I do. I give lesser attention to my business during examinations, and I also do outsource projects gotten by my company during examination period. So, instead of working on the projects, I just manage it after outsourcing it. That buys me time to study for exams.
Managing projects demands lesser time compared to working on the projects myself.

Olamide Busari: What do you enjoy about being an entrepreneur?

Dara Emmanuel: Being an entrepreneur actually makes me solve more problems.
And yes!!! I love being a Problem Solver.
It makes me more of a problem solver. Especially as a Strategist and Consultant, I got to troubleshoot the problems facing several brands and companies.

Olamide Busari: And finally, what advice would you give young entrepreneurs starting up in the marketing industry?

Dara Emmanuel: My advice is this,
Don't find a customer for your products/services, find a product/service for your customers.
Don't just be a student of your products, be a student of the market!

It's not about you, but about satisfying your market.
Let the demand of your market influence your business! 
Discover what your market wants!
Focus on your market (by them giving value and results) and not on yourself.

Olamide Busari: Thank you so much, Mr Emmanuel
This was a great interview!
Thank you for your time and value

Dara Emanuel: You are welcome, Olamide!


  1. Fantastic..... Keep up the good work Mr Daramanuel,we all are proud of you