In this edition of “Soji’s Business Lessons” Soji speaks with Ronke Lawal, PR and marketing consultant and head of Ariatu Public Relations – a PR firm that helps small and medium sized businesses achieve their marketing and public relations objectives.
Ronke has over ten years’ experience running her own business but also has the distinction of having been head of the Islington Chamber of Commerce for three years. These roles have brought a lot of insight which Ronke shares throughout the podcast.
She cautions against blurring the lines between business and friendship as well as she dispels the myth of the ‘overnight success’.
In this episode you will learn:
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Company founder Ronke Lawal was born in Hackney, East London of Nigerian parentage. Having graduated with honours from Lancaster University and the University of Richmond Virginia (USA) with a degree in International Business (Economics), she started her own PR and Marketing business in 2004. In 2011 Ronke Lawal was honoured to receive a Precious Award for Inspirational Leadership. In January 2010, Ronke became the Chief Executive of the Islington Chamber of Commerce where she remained until the end of 2012 and became a non-executive director of The Hoxton Apprentice in 2011. She joined the board of Trustees of Voluntary Action Islington in 2012 where she is also a Director of The Voluntary Action Academy and is currently on The Employers Panel for the National Employment Savings Trust. She is a Mentor for The Cherie Blair Foundation and for The Elevation Networks Start Ups Initiative. She is currently on a Board Member of TRiBE, An Empowerment not for profit organisation which aims to give young black women opportunities to thrive.
Apart from her active business interests, her varied passions outside the businessworld include food, travel, music, literature and most importantly living a life she loves. Her love for food led her to create The ‘Who’s For Dinner?’ food blog – www.whosfordinner.com.
Ariatu PR represents clients in a variety of industries including the entertainment, fashion, lifestyle & beauty, food and luxury goods sectors with a particular interest in the Africa/Caribbean Diaspora community.
Twitter – @ronkelawal
Hi, I’m Soji Fagade. I am an entrepreneur and I just love everything (well almost everything) about business. In terms of formal education, I earned bachelors degrees in Sociology and Law. I practiced as a solicitor for a while, but I have always been involved in business. While in University a friend and I ran a business that manufactured hand crafted door name plaques and wooden children's toys. In the early stages of my legal career with Harkavys - a London firm of solicitors, I walked away to run Sabo Foods – an exotic foods wholesale packaging and distribution business that I had founded a few years prior with my dear friend Goke. Together, Goke and I grew Sabo Foods into a thriving household name and brand within the industry. That business consistently generated millions of pounds in revenue for years. This accomplishment of starting a business from the ground up and turning it into a success that remained operational for nearly twenty years was not without its challenges, many of which we overcame through dedication, passion and simple trial and error. Along the way I have provided business development and consultancy services to many small business owners who were stuck or simply uncertain what the next move should be. Through business coaching, strategic product development and team building exercises, I have successfully helped small businesses launch products and services, move forward with purpose toward brighter and more profitable futures.
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