While searching my phone for some pictures, I came across pictures and video clips from March 14 2019. Two years to today. As I watched those clips from back then when we didn’t know about COVID-19, social distancing and face masks, I was thankful that MITIMETH got to showcase at the Sustainable Innovation Expo at UNEA4.
Here’s how it happened. In January 2019, out of the blue, I received an invitation to participate in the UN’s Science, Policy and Business Forum. The intersection of Science, Policy and Business piqued my interest and so I decided to attend. To make the most of the trip, I also applied to exhibit at the Sustainable Innovation Expo during the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA4) 🇺🇳. Thankfully, MITIMETH was one of 42 enterprises selected to showcase her creative solutions to a global environmental challenge.
Beyond showing up, I knew we had to be well prepared with our ‘A game on’. Our booth at the Sustainable Innovation Expo was quite an attraction and the conversations and interviews were interesting and continuous. On one of those days, we received a special visitor at our booth, Madam Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Mrs. Amina Mohammed. I received an invitation afterwards to be part of a round table with Madam DSG UN, Head of UNEP, Head of UN Habitat and a few fellow women entrepreneurs at the Sustainable Innovation Expo.
I left UNEA4 with newly forged relationships and boat loads of encouragement from Madam DSG UN, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Kenya and Permanent Representative for UNEP and UN-Habitat, Ambassador Sheidu Omeiza Momoh, men and women of the Press, and all who visited the MitiMeth booth at the Sustainable Innovation Expo.
Thank you UNEP for selecting MITIMETH to exhibit at the Sustainable Innovation Expo. Thank you Madam Deputy Secretary General UN for your affirming and encouraging words and for promising to amplify our voices in places and organizations that can help us to scale our innovative solutions. Thank you Ambassador Sheidu Momoh for making good on your word when you said “these products ought to be on display at the Nigerian High Commission” and returned to purchase the OCHA (Gourd) collection and a few other items. Thank you to the Press for your coverage of MitiMeth in both local and International media. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth. Thank you ALL for making our ‘Showing Up’ at the Sustainable Innovation Expo so worthwhile.
The United Nations Environment Assembly is held every 2 years and with the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the 5th session of the general assembly (UNEA5) took on a different format. It was held virtually and there was no Sustainable Innovation Expo. If I hadn’t seized the opportunity and shown up at UNEA4, I wouldn’t have a story to share today - two years to the day today.
What is hindering your business from seizing an opportunity and ‘Showing up’ today? Is it finances? I could have easily given that reason too. But I thought long term - what if we never had this opportunity again. I bit the bullet and financed the trip not just for myself but also for a staff member. Through MitiMeth she got an International passport, a Yellow card and made her first trip on an airplane. The trip to UNEA4 gave my staff exposure and an expanded vision of MitiMeth and for MitiMeth. It was an experience I know she will never forget.
What opportunity is staring you in the face today? Step out in faith and GO for it.
📸: Natalia Mroz/UNEP
🎥/📸: Alexis Kerr