The Entrepreneurial Experience

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Structural Transformation of the Economic Sphere
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When they use your ideas, they also use them for other people. Then the market will flop. So I started coming to China.

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<p>In school I did arts. Then in Nigeria, when motor spare parts is not profitable, then I went to the shoe line. I started in the shoe line in 1993. Then because of the art I did, then I can be able to design shoes. So I designed shoes, we started dealing with Taiwan. Then when Taiwan coming to Nigeria, we started doing business, I'm designing shoes, sending to Taiwan. They would make the sample they would send back to Nigeria. Then I confirm. <br /> <br /> After production, then we ship to Nigeria. So I started going to Taiwan and when Taiwan businessmen comes into Nigeria and open an office. So when they come to Nigeria and open an office, most of their workers they are not Taiwan, they are Chinese. So when they make order... when you make order from the company, they will make order from mainland China. So when its coming into Nigeria, the Chinese working with them in Nigeria because they feel the Chinese working are more cheap labor than the Taiwanese.<br /> <br /> So when they bring them to Nigeria to work in their company, the Chinese knows that the people are coming from their country and they are working with Taiwanese, they are planning to open their own office. So from there, the Chinese coming to the markets, when Chinese coming to the market, they continuously bringing in their people. Opening so many companies. But I look at it -- rather than dealing with Chinese in Nigeria, then I come to China. Because you deal with them in Nigeria. All your ideas, they have it. When they use your ideas, they also use for another person. Then the markets will flop. So I started coming to China.<br /> <br /> The first time I came to China, I went to one shoe factory. They're so surprised, they are happy to see somebody like me, because I can create designs. And when I look at their designers, what their designers do is copy, they copy with computer. But I can see and I can make up my designs, when I look at this shoe I can use it, make more designs. So they are so surprised to see something like this, they have not seen before. So, I started my business like this way.</p>
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Nigeria-born Emmanuel Ojukwu explains how he became involved in manufacturing in China and why the country has become a destination for African entrepreneurs.