One entrepreneur stands out in the vast landscape of business solutions, determined to make a difference. Meet Abiodun Oke, the founder and president of Cerial Project Services Inc., a trailblazer in comprehensive training, consulting, and business transformation services across Canada.
The Vision that Ignited Cerial Projects Services
At the core of Cerial Projects Services is a vision rooted in empowerment and community building. With a background shaped by his parents’ commitment to various trades, Abiodun discovered the power of flexibility and independence early in life. This foundation laid the groundwork for his entrepreneurial spirit.
In this interview, Abiodun reflected on the inspiration behind Cerial Projects Services. He shared,
“My parents, into various trades, instilled in me the value of entrepreneurship. I started my journey by learning how to assemble computers during my school days. That initial spark fuelled my passion to explore entrepreneurship further.”
A Mission Beyond Business
Cerial Project Services Inc. (https://cerialprojects.com) is more than just a business. It’s a force driving empowerment for experienced professionals and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) entrepreneurs across Canada. Abiodun emphasizes,
“We are knee-deep in projects that uplift individuals, connecting talent with opportunities and turning dreams into reality within the Canadian economy.”
Cerial Projects thrives on strategic and innovative optimization in a rapidly evolving marketplace, a secret to staying ahead. The focus extends to supporting the BIPOC community and addressing supply chain, operations and project management skill gaps.
Navigating Challenges as a Newcomer:
Abiodun’s journey took a pivotal turn when he moved to Canada. The challenges of social and cultural barriers confronted him. As a newcomer, he navigated the complexities of building connections and realized the power of community and networks. Also, the need for more social capital for foreign-trained professionals ignited his commitment to finding solutions.
Recognizing the power of community and networks, Abiodun founded Cerial Project Services to bridge the gap for foreign-trained professionals, especially in supply chain, operations and project management careers.
“The lack of social capital for foreign-trained professionals and entrepreneurs inspired me to seek solutions,” Abiodun shared. His experiences served as a beacon, driving him to bridge gaps and create opportunities for those facing similar challenges.
Cerial Projects Services: A Tale of Adaptability
Launching Cerial Projects Services came with its hurdles. Abiodun faced skepticism from organizations entrenched in the nonprofit sector, hindering collaboration due to perceived misalignment in goals. However, his innovative response was to segment services, focusing on specific needs and creating the Supply Chain Industry Network, www.supplychainindustry.net
“We build a community around the service, initially offering free services until we achieved product-market fit. This approach allowed us to understand the actual problems and mature our business model,” Abiodun explained.
The success stories emerging from Cerial Project Services are numerous. Most of their clients have become active mentors in favour of newcomers’ economic integration; some are actively involved in their training and service delivery. One notable instance involved a student finding exciting opportunities at the 2023 Industry Connect event. Additionally, an entrepreneur secured a consulting retainer after forging a valuable connection at the same event. Abiodun’s vision of connecting professionals and entrepreneurs continues to bear fruit, fostering collaborations within the BIPOC community.
Looking Ahead: Cerial Projects Services in 2024
As Cerial Projects strides into the future, Abiodun remains focused on what works. The Industry Connect conference proved a resounding success, and plans are underway to continue this empowering initiative. Cerial Projects aims to empower the BIPOC community, offering transformative solutions, creative projects, and innovative platforms for business growth.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Three Pillars of Success
Drawing from his wealth of experience, Abiodun imparts valuable advice to aspiring entrepreneurs:
- Achieve Product-Market Fit: “Try to achieve a product-market fit as soon as possible. Time passes anyway, and without it, you may run out of resources without achieving the desired results.”
- Be Creative in Financing: “Every business needs finance. Be creative in sourcing financing through family, freemium services (free + paid), or seeking different funding opportunities when ready.”
- Collaborate and Document: “Collaborate with others as you cannot scale a business independently. Seek resources and document your business meticulously, especially for financing purposes.”
We sincerely thank Abiodun Oke for generously sharing his success story as a founder in Canada. His journey with Cerial Project Services exemplifies resilience, creativity, and the transformative power of entrepreneurship. As he continues to shape the future of his business and uplift individuals while contributing to the BIPOC Canadian economy and community, his story inspires others to dream, adapt, and build bridges toward success and community collaboration.
BIPOC Foundation’s Role in the Journey:
Abiodun acknowledges the pivotal role of BIPOC Foundation in supporting his entrepreneurial journey. Participation in the accelerator program provided access to specialists, valuable business insights, and different resources, such as crafting a compelling business pitch and practicing it at the end of the accelerator. From crafting business plans to refining pricing models, BIPOC Foundation’s programs are ready to help entrepreneurs and founders in Canada, just like with Abiodun Oke.