Picture a 22-year-old in South Sudan and the impression will be of a job seeker or a someone in college who is in the process of seeking self-identity and a career path. But that is not the case with Anei who is of the same age but already has her career path cut out. Nicknamed “The Boss Lady Rosy”, Anei looks up to American TV host Oprah Winfrey as a role model and currently treads the path of entrepreneurship—potentially as the youngest CEO in the country after she founded Richfield Aviation Company. She tells her story to AKOL AROP.
Akol: Welcome to this interview. Pleasure having you, and could you introduce yourself for the readers and tell us your background.
Boss Lady: My name is Angong Anei aka The Boss Lady Rosy. I am a South Sudanese who grew up in Khartoum and moved to Juba in 2010. I studied at Faith nursery and primary school, and sat for my Primary Leaving Examinations in 2015. And I then finished secondary level at Prestige High School in 2018. I am now a student at University of Juba, pursuing degree in Petroleum Engineering.
Akol: When did the idea of being an entrepreneur come to your mind?
Boss Lady: Ever since I was about 8 or 9 years old, I used to tell my parents that I wanted to be a famous businesswoman because I wanted to earn my own income and become independent. I also felt that if I make some money, I would take the responsibilities of my siblings.
Akol: What was the first thing you did when starting your business?
Boss Lady: That was in the year 2016 when I was selling beads of South Sudan flags at SSP 70 and I was still learning business skills. What I did was to save little money I get daily as small capital. I put in hard work to grow up a business
Akol: So far, how many businesses or companies have you founded in the past?
Boss Lady: I have not yet founded one of my own alone but have been working in partnership with some people running business, which are three companies
Akol: How do you feel to be called a CEO at young age?
Boss Lady: It feels so great because it reflects a good inspiration to my age groups, which motivates them to work hard and make it to achievements’ destinations no matter the age because it is just a number. What is needed is wisdom and intelligence-smart brain to make it true.
Akol: How many youth have you employed?
Boss Lady: At Richfield Company, I have over six staff and I am aiming to employ 30-50 young people. Our company also supports youth activities.
Akol: What were the challenges you faced in running your business?
Boss Lady: It is a reality that every business has challenges of profit and loss, without which you won’t know if your business is growing or not. Not making any profit and instead getting losses were some challenges I faced.
Akol: What toughest lesson did you have learned as an entrepreneur?
Boss Lady: What I have learned is money is sweet. As an entrepreneur who runs deals, you won’t go off a day without making money because it becomes like a hobby and it encourages you to generate other new business ideas, plans and how to invest money in long term savings.
Akol: Every journey needs someone at your back or besides you to become successful, who was supporting you on the journey?
Boss Lady: Always when starting you will never have anybody supporting you, which is the truth. However, I always got my Hero Daddy, lovely mommy and siblings by my side emotionally and through their support I am making it.
Akol: What is the capacity of tour current Aviation Company and how different is it in terms of clients and services?
Boss Lady: There are a number of aviation companies in South Sudan but only a few of them are well known but I am sure competition makes difference. As Richfield teammates, we focus so much on online advertisement. I even do contents that promote the services on my TikTok account and other platforms, this attracts public’s attention and we get clients.
Akol: What or who is your biggest inspiration and role model?
Boss Lady: Actually, my one biggest inspiration and my role model is Oprah Winfrey because she has several businesses which made her one of the wealthiest and well-known female entrepreneur in the world. She is well-known for her success and that is why she is my inspiration.
Akol: What do you think could be done to encourage more South Sudanese females to join business?
Boss Lady: You know you cannot force anybody to do something, it’s a person’s will and determination. According to my understanding, becoming a business person to achieve your dreams requires three steps: Love what you are doing; commit to what you are doing and work hard towards your dream to come true. I cannot say it is easy because to make it to that level of becoming a successful business woman or CEO needs a lot of struggle.
Akol: Any message for young Entrepreneurs and business people especially young girls and women?
Boss Lady: For young girls, I would love to tell them to most importantly focus on their education because in the next few years to come most men would love to marry educated women, even your future kids will love their mother to have respected nice titles. If you are educated marry a partner of same level of education, for example if you marry an illiterate, who will help your kids in their Mathematics assignments?
Akol: Lastly, what is your biggest dream in 5 years to come?
Boss Lady: In 5 years to come, I want to run different business companies working with different NGOs and national government. I want to be a woman with great victories and be an inspiration to other young girls who have dreams.
The post Up-close with “Boss Lady”, South Sudan’s youngest CEO appeared first on The City Review South Sudan.