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February 13, 2014

Entrepreneur Fills a Gap in the Toy Market With Nigerian Fashion Dolls

Taofick Okoya with his Nigerian Dolls

Seven years ago, entrepreneur Taofick Okoya acted on an observation he made about the lack of Black dolls on the market in his home country of Nigeria. He started his company, Fico Solutions Ltd, and today, the doll maker is selling between 6,000 and 9,000 of his special dolls each month.

Found A Void and Filled It

Okoya noticed that not only were there no Black dolls but no competition for such a product on the market. He decided to do something about it. He started his own business. The 43-year-old now offers two lines of dolls, Queens of Africa and Naija Princess, all in traditional Nigerian costumes. The dolls have been a huge hit. In addition, he produces books, comics, music and an animation series that all help to empower children of African descent to be confident and matured ethically.

The Nigerian Economy is Growing

Okoya feels his success is due to finding a consumer need in the marketplace, and using his knowledge of the local community to produce and sell a product that will be successful. In addition, the economy in Nigeria is growing at about 7 percent, which makes it an opportune time for entrepreneurs and small business owners to create opportunities for themselves in industries such as toys that have not been fully developed.

While Nigeria is experiencing growth, it is still an emerging market where price is a factor for the families of two thirds of its children. But the potential is there for the grabbing for entrepreneurs like Okoya and others who can find a local need and run with it.

For more details about his dolls, visit