All successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common: they don’t quit! They are usually faced with too many setbacks, but rather than let it all hold them down, they find the strength to get up and try one more time.
And this cycle occurs over and over again till they eventually find success in their hustles.
The case of Kehinde Kamson, the founder and CEO of the Sweet Sensation fast-food retail chain. A woman who started side businesses while working full time, experienced failure severally, and eventually built a million dollar business, starting from the shed in her vicinity.
Kehinde Kamson, initially a tom boy, was born a twin on the 14th of August, 1961, in Lagos Nigeria.
After graduating from the university of Lagos, Kehinde Kamson got a job as an accountant at an oil and gas servicing firm.
During this time, she was already married to a man named Sir Yinka Olusoga Kamson, and so, decided to start a side business where she sourced fish amongst fish mongers in Lagos. Her little business was called “Fish Mongers”, and she ran it for 5 years before she eventually shut it down because it was bringing in little to no profits, and was entirely unsustainable.
After the unfortunate demise of her business, Fish Mongers, Kehinde Kamson proceeded to try again with another venture. This time around, she started a pastries and cakes business, since she’s had a passion for baking from childhood. This business was named “Citycate – The City Caterers”.
Furthermore, as her pastries started to get very popular, she started supplying them to the University of Lagos (which was her largest market, especially Medilag, the University of Lagos Medical School.
She was also soon supplying the UTC, Leventis, and eventually Mr Biggs. Her supply-term with Mr Biggs lasted for about 4 years, and then, she decided she was going to start up her own fast-food restaurant, and she named it “Sweet Sensation Confectionaries Limited”.
Without a large capital to start Sweet Sensation, her new entrepreneurial passion, she decided to start up from a shed in her family house, in 1994. This shed was located in the backyard of the compound, and was their gateman’s house.
In this shed, she started selling ice cream, Chinese food, chicken, and rice. The quick success from this little shed led her to open up a new branch in Lagos, and so, she promptly setup one in the Victoria Island region.
Interestingly, to make her fast-food brand stand out from the rest, she got creative by improving the ambience and experience in her restaurants and introducing a very diverse menu.
By the fourth year of running the Sweet Sensation fast-food business, she was able to secure a loan of five million Naira from the bank, which she put back into the business repeatedly to continue its growth.
In addition, Sweet Sensation today has over 25 retail outlets around Nigeria, employs over 2,000 people, and serves a wide array of dishes spanning over 60 different types.
Conclusively, her ability to act on time with the rise of any opportunity that comes her way, can be said to be the foundation of her success.