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  • Writer's pictureEditorial Team, FAVES_PEN

Founder Feature: JB Favour, the Black Female Founder Dreaming Big in The World of Digital Agencies.

On the 25th of May, 2023, JB Favour Founder and Creative Director of FAVES_PEN woke up to four (4) emails from Founder of The Year Africa (FOYA) Award Body. These mails unfortunately were not read until the next day no thanks to JB’s mail delivery system that sent the messages straight to her spam!

But the FOYA Award team were relentless. The very next day, JB received a phone text message confirming her nomination and asking her to check her mail. And she did!

Nothing could have prepared our very emotional founder for the tear jerking scenes that played out after receiving this news. Our agency had received not one but four different nominations for the Founder of The Year Africa Award! No, somebody gotta pinch us!

We work hard, but getting recognition for our work especially with all we had going on – phew! That was definitely worth the tears.

In a small link, we’ve provided links to the four nominated categories just so you can see them yourself.

A truly humbling experience….

Clinching all four nominations was not the most overwhelming part of our celebration. On FOYA Award’s official website, it was reported that the selection came from an astonishing submission of some 9,872 brands and entrepreneurs with incredible talent and innovation across several countries in the African continent like Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria amongst others. It was only after a jury had carefully selected some 2,500 exceptional candidates across the entrepreneurial landscape that a nominee list was curated and emails sent out to successful nominees. Crazy right? Yeah, but in a good way.

Over the next few weeks that spanned out, a voting process was put out and we have been incredibly overwhelmed with the amount of support received all over the world and most especially from our people in Nigeria.

It is both a big deal and a truly proud time for us even though we are still nominees while waiting for the voting phase to be concluded. Thrice, we trended in the ‘’Most Promising Founder’’ award category for having the most votes in 24 hours all over Africa.

Talk about breaking records before we even win em? Yes, that’s the brand!

A lil back story…

As rosy as everything might sound, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Several months ago, our founder remotely toyed with the idea of shutting down the brand briefly. For months prior, we held on to our dreams sadly without any solid income for a while. We are bootstrapping without any external income or funding unless it is fetched from our founder’s purse. And JB’s purse could not last us for so long without extra help.

The strong team behind this powerhouse gave their all to keep us afloat today. And by all, we mean everything. If you have ever started a business before, you’d know shutting down a company is one of the hardest decisions to make. Yet, faced with the bleakest of choices, it was the only safe and seemingly reasonable decision to make. One we are glad we didn’t make.

And here’s why;

A few months after this, we closed several content deals and best of all, bagged our first ever International award nomination. How cool!

As we reflect together, we are fondly and hilariously drawn to our early days when we first became FAVES_PEN. We had no website, a barely visible social media and zero clients. Deciding to rebrand into an agency, JB and her small team began making the necessary adjustments. In our last interview with her during the brand’s second year anniversary, she spoke about all she was putting in place including her dreams to take FAVES_PEN into the International market. Shunned by local press, she fast found acceptance by foreign media who were quick to tell her story. You may have read it as ‘’A Covid Story – How One African Female Founder Grew from Freelancing to Starting an Agency All in The Midst of a Pandemic.’’

From Belgium to the US, this story found home in several magazines and articles. This story that bordered on JB’s survival and determination to dream big quickly became a fave for many foreign magazines who wanted to showcase the strength of the black female entrepreneur. By 2022, she had already featured in more than five International interviews as well as earned a Global Certificate of Impact for her story from a Media House in Minnesota USA.

It is 2023, and JB might just be on the verge of winning her first ever International award with her agency. Dreams do come true indeed. As we look forward to all we will do at FAVES_PEN, we are in awe of our small and difficult beginnings and how every step, every decision and every sacrifice ultimately led us to where we are now.

What if we had shut down? What if we had stopped trying? What if we had given up?

These are questions we will never know the answers to because come what may, we are determined to continue to show that it is possible to do great things from a small place.

To wrap up this feature, we asked JB if she wanted to add a few personal words and she asked us to lift the ending note from her LinkedIn ‘’About’’ section. We gladly did.

‘’As a Black Woman who has been told too many times that my dreams were too big, I'm hoping with each day, living as passionately as I can, I can teach another young black girl that her dreams are valid. And that the size of her bank account, her father's name or even her skin color does not get to determine the size of her dreams.’’

Sentimental yet powerful words that make a very fitting conclusion. In exactly, 13 days from today, we will be celebrating our third year anniversary as an agency. Whether we eventually win this award or not – we are already winners by default in mind, goals and passion.

And our dream continues.


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