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Hall of Fame / De-Zionite Interiors & General Services

 

Mercy Chukwuji Ikeji of De-Zionite Interiors & General Services

Mercy Chukwuji Ikeji
De-Zionite Interiors & General Services

Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Combining her passion for creating stunning homes and offices with a desire to develop employment opportunities for young people, is the driving force behind Mercy’s thriving interior design business.

In 2009, while searching on the Internet for a job to enable her to further her education, Mercy spotted an advertisement for Shell LiveWIRE and seized the chance to develop her entrepreneurial skills and set up her own business. The Shell LiveWIRE programme enabled Mercy to develop a viable business plan and provided her with a N250,000 (US $1,300) start up grant.

Mercy launched her business De-Zionite Interiors & General Services in 2010 to provide a range of professional interior design and cleaning services to domestic and commercial clients throughout the Niger Delta. Since then the business has grown from a one woman enterprise to employ 11 staff and achieve a turnover in excess of US $33,000.

The business has also grown from producing soft furnishings for the home such as curtains, bed sheets and blinds to providing corporate gifts, wall papers, 3D wall murals and cleaning services for a growing list of domestic and commercial clients. In fact, the high quality of Mercy’s services has enabled her to become a registered Shell supplier.

De-Zionite’s impressive performance to date along with its prospects for growth have been recognised through the Shell LiveWIRE programme and Mercy has received additional funding of N5,000,000 (US $27,000) to expand her business.

Mercy’s future plans include establishing branches in other major Nigerian cities, such as Lagos, Abuja and Calabar, and ultimately to set up outlets in the US and UK.

The business has also set up a charitable arm called ‘De-Zionite Helping Hands’ to help disadvantaged families in the local community by providing them with items such as clothing, toys, books, furniture and bedding donated by her clients.

Through the Shell LiveWIRE programme, Mercy is also volunteering her time to train and mentor other budding young entrepreneurs.

Said Mercy, “Shell LiveWIRE is the bed rock of my business. Shell LiveWIRE has been essential in helping me to develop a viable business model and providing the start up funding I desperately needed to start my business. The support of my mentor has been invaluable and the access to additional funding will enable me to achieve my expansion plans, to take things to the next level and create even more employment opportunities.”

The company has recently accessed a N5 million (US $26k) loan from the Shell Grofin Enterprise Development Fund on the strength of its business model.


 

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