Maria Ebenezer is an Ex-Model and a Serial Event Staffing Entrepreneur.
She is the Founder of Emerald Green Ushering Services – Nigeria's premium event staffing agency for West Africa conferences and exhibitions, and Creator of The Event Staffing Roadmap – an online course that has helped African women start and scale their event staffing agencies.
She has currently trained over 1,600 young women across Nigeria to become professional event hostesses and hired over 100 hostesses in her agency.
Maria is a CREA Global Awards Honoree 2021, a Cherie Blair Foundation Mentee Alumna 2021 and Nigeria's 25under25 Awards Nominee 2018. She has been published in international media outlets, including Brainz Magazine, She Leads Africa, Apreneur, to mention a few.
With an educational background in Business Management & Entrepreneurship, she established Emerald Green Ushering Services in 2015, staffing West Africa conferences and exhibitions held in Nigeria for globally renowned organizations across 15 countries in Europe, Asia, America and Africa, including Global Trade Review, Global Real Estate Institute, International Data Corporation, TMT Finance, National Insurance Commission, to mention a few.
Beyond growing her businesses, Maria is passionate about ensuring that young women maximize income opportunities. She established 'The Pro Event Hostess' project in 2018 which offers free training to young women across Nigeria on how to maximize ushering job opportunities in the event staffing industry, working as event hostesses.
Serial Event Staffing Entrepreneur, Maria Ebenezer
Who is Maria?
Maria is a Model turned Event Staffing Entrepreneur and Coach based in Lagos, Nigeria. She is the Founder of Emerald Green Ushering Services – Nigeria's premium event staffing agency for international conferences and exhibitions.
Maria is CREA Global Awards Honoree 2021, a Cherie Blair Foundation Mentee Alumna 2021 and Nigeria’s 25Under25 Awards Nominee 2018.
With an educational background in International Business Management, I established Emerald Green Ushering Services in 2015, staffing West Africa conferences and exhibitions held in Nigeria for globally renowned organizations across 15 countries in Europe, America, Asia and Africa.
In 2018, I began to receive mentorship request emails from several women across Africa. I haven’t really thought of becoming a coach, so I turned down most of the requests. However, one of them was persistent and insistent, so I accepted to mentor her. We successfully started her own event staffing agency in weeks, and her business did so much better than mine when I started out. I found this really exciting. So, I thought to put together everything I had taught her into a coaching program.
Till date, this program has been taken by several African women who have also successfully started and scaled their own agencies. I have since then created 2 additional courses that has helped more entrepreneurs scale their businesses teaching my best business growth practices.
When I’m not onsite at my events, or on my laptop, I’m at the cinemas or home seeing a movie. I enjoy staying indoors more, just in my own company. 😊
What is it that you do for your clients?
As an event staffing entrepreneur, my agency provides businesses and event organizers with staff to manage their event activities, communicate and represent their brands in a superior way at projects, conferences and exhibitions, with a core focus on international events.
As a Coach, I provide business owners and professionals with the best practical tools and systems to scale their businesses and land premium clients globally.
Why did you start your business?
I established Emerald Green Ushering Services to provide a means of livelihood with a decent working condition for eligible young women in Nigeria. But most importantly, it was borne out of the dire need to set a professional standard and change the narrative of event staffing industry, as I met it.
From hostesses' remuneration, to job perception, service quality to professional standards – I aimed for a time when event hostessing would become one of the elite professions in the country, as it is today.
I started coaching programs and online courses for business owners based on mentorship requests I received. Since, then I have created a total of 3 online courses that has been taken by business owners and professionals around the world, which has helped them significantly scale their businesses.
What are your top 3 business tips.
Never stop learning: Update and educate yourself daily on the industry trend and best practices. Seize every opportunity you get to learn about something new, then find a way to apply or infuse that knowledge into your own business.
Be great at the job: Don't be a mediocre or copycat. Set the standards that others would copy. Be excellent. Be professional. Embrace innovation and creativity. Stand out from the crowd.
Aim high: The popular advice is to “start small”, but I beg to differ. Go after the big fishes and never be afraid to name the price you deserve. As long as you are great at your job, you will get a YES eventually and a good portfolio sells better than any marketing tool.
What is your big goal? Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
Currently, every business move we make at Emerald Green Ushering Services is geared towards establishing the agency as a model framework for event collaboration and partnership between West Africa and multinational companies globally. In 2018, we accepted a global partnership offer to become the hostess supplier in Nigeria to our Spanish partners.
My 10-year goal is to see that we attract and secure more partnerships like this as we expand the company across more countries in the continent.