In 2004, Nigerian Ebele Enunwa left the corporate world and jumped in at the deep end of the business world as an entrepreneur. Sundry Foods, a Nigerian food service company, was born.
The vision was to fill a gaping hole in the hospitality sector in his adopted town of Port Harcourt, a city of nearly two million people at the time. This thriving and fast-growing metropolis is the capital of Rivers State, one of Nigeria’s 36 states, and the heart of the country’s oil and gas industry.
The business he built from scratch has grown into 30 restaurants dotted around Nigeria with another 10 in the pipeline, a corporate catering business with over 12 contract catering locations and two factory bakeries in Port Harcourt and Lagos by mid-2018.
Ten years later, he caught the entrepreneurial bug again and launched another company – Sundry Markets. The new venture, larger and more complex than the food business, is a grocery retail chain that has six modern supermarkets up and running and had another six under construction in 2018.
Both companies employ over 1,700 people and will generate close to US$50m in revenues in 2018.
“The journey hasn’t been easy and Nigeria continues to be one of the toughest operating environments for entrepreneurs in Africa, which adds to the cost and stress of building and managing a business,” says Enunwa. But there is no turning back and he has his eyes firmly on the future.
How we made it in Africa: The book offers an in-depth step-by-step account of how Enumwa built his food and retail empire.
Enunwa is one of the 25 business people featured in How we made it in Africa: The book, which tells the stories of entrepreneurs who've built thriving ventures. The ebook launched on 15 October 2018.