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Cindy Maleombho-Codo, an Entrepreneur from Cote d’Ivoire Helping Women-owned Businesses Stand Out from the Crowd

In today’s highly competitive and crowded marketplaces, it can be difficult to get your business and brand noticed in Africa. But help is at hand. Cindy Maleombho-Codo, founder of Indoka Creative, knows just what it takes to get your brand and products seen, and importantly, to connect them to those all important customers.

LoA chatted to founder Cindy Maleombho-Codo recently to find out more about this specialist company.

What does your company do?

Indoka Creative helps women entrepreneurs get crystal clear with their businesses so they can stand out from the crowd, attract and connect with their most desirable clients, create tribes and grow their businesses and brands.

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“My goal, really, is to hep you to be known for your skills, talents, products and services by developing sound and creative branding and marketing strategies to improve every aspect of your business and life.”

What inspired you to start your company?

I’ve always loved creating and starting concepts from start to finish, ever since I can remember. I’ve also been in the marketing and branding industry for some time and have loved everything about it. So while attending graduate school back in 2010, I decided to leap into entrepreneurship and started my first freelance business. Back then, I was consulting with entrepreneurs and small businesses of all backgrounds helping them with their marketing, branding and PR initiatives. I quickly realized that what I was really comfortable with and passionate about was helping a specific niche client: women entrepreneurs and women-owned small businesses. In particular, women from Africa and the African Diaspora; thus Indoka Creative was birthed.

Why should anyone use your service or product?

In today’s overwhelming marketplace, there is a lot of noise with advertising, social media and the likes. For companies to be able to reach their ideal clients, those who would pay for your services, be loyal to you and who would also give a recommendation to their friends, you have to stand out. You have to be interesting and you have to know your message so clearly that you don’t confuse your prospective clients. When you’re able to accomplish that, you’ll notice an increase in sales and with it, an increase to your bottom line. Indoka Creative helps companies and entrepreneurs do just that. We help entrepreneurs and businesses be crystal clear on their message, we help them develop interesting and on-brand experiences throughout their businesses, so that their customers are delighted and come back for more. So, in a nutshell, if an entrepreneur or small business wants to stand out from the crowd, attract and connect with their most desirable clients, create tribes and grow their businesses, then Indoka Creative can help.

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“After working together, you’ll get clear on your story, vision and mission. You’ll feel invigorated by your new found marketing skills and you’ll be able to look for, connect with, and attract your ideal client with ease.”

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Tell us a little about your team

As of right now, Indoka Creative was restructured to offer its services completely digitally. Therefore, I have a seasonal virtual team who are working on projects as needed.

Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

As a kid, I have always been attracted to entrepreneurship. I would dream about having an African boutique hotel chain (which is always in the plans). I would also dream about helping people start their businesses (which I believe I’m doing right). One of the reasons I was attracted to entrepreneurship in the first place was:

  1. Because I’ve been surrounded by entrepreneurs and it felt like the natural progression of things.
  2. I’ve always been curious and I never liked it when I was being told what to do. I would always find a way to solve my own problems and be creative.

It was when I came to the US for college that the desire to start my own company grew exponentially. However, I was not really sure where I wanted to start. I still had the desire to start my own boutique hotel chain but I felt that it required too much capital for what I wanted to do back then. Thus to gain more clarity I worked different jobs throughout college and upon graduation, I landed a job in an international hotel chain headquarters. It taught me the in’s and out’s of hotels management but I wanted more. So I started working in marketing, account management, recruiting, branding, events and finally decided to take the leap and go back to graduate school to get my Masters in Hospitality, Restaurant and Event Management. While in graduate school I simultaneously started a freelance business helping entrepreneurs and small businesses of all backgrounds to market and brand themselves. At the same time, I started a digital platform, for millennial African entrepreneurs, called YoungChiefs. This last endeavor made me realized the power of the internet, the importance of standing out from the crowd, and the endless possibilities that social media provides. My freelance business, as well as YoungChiefs, helped me start my other digital platforms that are now part of the Indoka Group Company. I quickly realized that creating a niche for your business and yourself was the key. This is why I now help women entrepreneurs and women-owned small businesses realized the importance of niche marketing and clarifying their message to stand out and grow their business.

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“If an entrepreneur or small business wants to stand out from the crowd, attract and connect with their most desirable clients, create tribes and grow their businesses, then Indoka Creative can help.”

What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?

I’m in the process of creating some online courses and workshops so that women entrepreneurs from all corners of the globe can stand out, create tribes, grow their businesses and make their dreams come true.

What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?

What gives me the most satisfaction as an entrepreneur is knowing that I’m making an impact on peoples businesses and lives. This is also why I’ve attached a social aspect to my services. When you work with me a percentage of the revenue (not profit) goes to organizations that help African women and girls thrive.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?

Start before you’re ready; your actions will lead to your purpose and will help you find clarity. However, before you start the most important thing that you need to do before creating a logo, a website, or business cards is to make sure that you know and that you are clear with your brand story. While you’re crafting it, always make your prospective customer the hero of that story.

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