Oshoma Zekeri, Yoma James Kukor and Charles Ofoegbu
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many events being put on hold. However, due to the vaccine rollout, we’re now at a point where the U.K. will see a social boom with many rescheduled and overdue events resuming over the coming months. However, a problem that has long existed is finding vendors for your events. Three entrepreneurs; Oshoma Zekeri, Yoma James Kukor, and Charles Ofoegbu are seeking to fix this problem by creating a stress-free, affordable, on-demand app called Vendoir where you can discover and book vendors such as DJs, photographers, or caterers.
Zekeri, who is the CEO of Vendoir moved to the U.K. from Nigeria for university and after university took up a job working in Health & Safety for several prominent firms such as Barclays and CBRE. In 2016, he had to organize his wedding and his experience searching for vendors was a nightmare. He had a long list of phone numbers but had no real way to decipher who was good and how much he should be paying them. He tried finding an app or website at the time that would help him with the process but ultimately none provided a good enough solution and his only alternative was to spend thousands of pounds on an events organizer. This entire process led to him coming up with the idea for Vendoir, a “one-stop solution for consumers to find vendors such as DJ’s, Photographers and Videographers and for vendors to manage their bookings, rates and market themselves”.
He did a significant amount of research but due to job and other commitments he sat on the idea for a few years, however, in early 2020 he decided that a good way to get the project going and split the workload would be to bring other people on board. In his quest to find people to work with Zekeri reached out to his network looking for a CTO (Chief Technical Officer) and was put in touch with Ofoegbu, a developer who has built many apps and worked as a software engineer for over 10 years. Ofoegbu loved the concept as he was faced with the same pain points and thought this was a good opportunity to solve these issues.
A short while after, Zekeri met up with Kukor who had been a colleague that he kept in touch with through playing football together on weekends. They met up to discuss investing in the stock market however after Zekeri shared the idea for Vendoir this subject took over the conversation. At the time Kukor was running an events promotion business organizing club nights in London and was faced with many of the issues Zekeri was trying to solve through Vendoir frequently which meant he immediately understood the problem. He was brought on as Chief Operating Officer and the trio started working on making the app a reality.
Building Vendoir during COVID-19 has meant the trio have been working remotely since 2020. Juggling this alongside their day jobs has meant frequent evening calls into the early hours of the morning discussing strategy and researching what consumers would be looking for in the solution they are providing. The app they are building will be a marketplace where consumers can search for vendors on-demand based on location and dates and find out through reviews whether they are good and worth the price. The vendors will also benefit from the app as direct comparison will make it easier for them to price themselves correctly and through a suite of features, the app will offer vendors the opportunity to accept reliable bookings, market themselves, receive instant notification, and see the analytics behind their page “ultimately it will allow vendors to take control of their rates and grow their business in a much more efficient fashion”. This will also give new entrants, sole traders, and freelancers the opportunity to network and scale their business without spending a penny on marketing.
The trio are close to launching their on-demand app just in time for the end of lockdown in the U.K and next month will be launching a crowdfund campaign with Crowdcube to involve the community that will benefit from the app as early in their journey as possible.
This article is part of a series featuring underrepresented people making a difference. To submit ideas for features or keep up to date with new releases you can find me on Twitter – @TommyASC91.
The purpose of this blog is to share honest stories of diverse, underrepresented people doing great work which can hopefully inspire others to take action.