Afro-Bite on Demand
Consolata Ogbebor of Afro-Bite on Demand tells us how participating in the Power Up project - Making digital work for microbusiness - at the Business & IP Centre at The Mitchell Library boosted her confidence and helped her engage with her customers on social media.
With the move to online shopping accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, BIPC Glasgow has been offering free online training sessions for sole traders and micro-businesses to help develop their digital skills and reach customers online through the Power Up project. We spoke to Consolata Ogbebor from Afro-Bite on Demand to find out how participating in the initiative has helped boost her confidence and helped engage with customers on social media.
Consolata has always had an entrepreneurial flair - she began selling donuts to her friends and family from the age of 10. After giving birth to her second daughter, Consolata decided the time was right to leave her full-time position as a tax adviser for HMRC to start her own business. She had noticed that there was a plentiful supply of takeaway outlets selling Chinese and Indian cuisine but nothing offering food specifically for her own African community. The idea for Afro-Bite on Demand was born and the business was launched in July 2019. Consolata started making African food to order for individuals and events from her home in North Glasgow.
One of the main challenges Consolata faced was finding new customers. Prior to COVID, Consolata had been promoting her business by attending networking events where she would distribute flyers. Consolata had also set up a Facebook page to promote Afro-Bite, however, she felt she lacked the knowledge to manage her social media presence effectively and found much of the terminology around digital working to be confusing and difficult to understand. Due to COVID, physical networking was no longer an option and Consolata was keen to learn the skills she needed to engage with her audience online.
Consolata found out about the Digital Skills Network Sessions from a Business & IP Centre Glasgow email and decided to register.
“The presenter Sooz was just fantastic. Classes were well-structured and I liked the small breakout groups to discuss how the learning applied to my business. I appreciated the chance to network and I got to meet a few people who were interested in buying my food. It was great to meet new businesses in Glasgow, which was a brilliant opportunity to learn from each other and share experience”
“I learned lots of useful skills from attending the sessions. I now understand how to form a relationship with my customers online. I have developed skills in creating the right content for my posts and have set goals for using Facebook as part of my marketing campaign. I have been able to use Google Analytics to measure impact and have revised posts accordingly. I feel more confident in using digital in my business and by taking this path I have managed to attract new customers and boost sales”
Consolata found the online delivery format helpful as it made it easier for her to manage her time and responsibilities for both her business and young family.
“I really appreciate this learning opportunity. There is a lack of this type of digital skills support for ethnic minority groups. It would be great to see more targeted support in this area. If it hadn’t been for the BIPC offer, I would not have learned what I did. Previously, I did not know where to go for support”.
Consolata is looking forward to developing her business and has plans in place to open Afro-Bite takeaway shops in Springburn and Glasgow’s city centre, bringing a taste of Africa to the Scottish people.
You can follow Afro-Bite on Demand on Facebook.
This project has been made possible by a grant from Power Up, an initiative by Good Things Foundation with the financial support of JP Morgan.