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Barinaada: The ‘Legalpreneur’ Whose God Never Sleeps, Gets Spotted By Africa’s Billionaire

The Oasis Reporters

August 17, 2019

Barrister Barinaada Alexander Bema Iheanacho.

Between legal ethics on advertising, soliciting for briefs and the rule of professional conduct for lawyers, here comes Barinaada Bema Joy Alexander Iheanacho who can swim and navigate the waters. Something she learned naturally from her riverine Ogoni homeland in Nigeria’s Rivers state.

Barinaada is a “legalpreneur” who identifies a need, launches a business to reach out and address it. And for this reason, she was as much surprised as anyone else, when the multi billionaire founder of Econet Wireless, Dr. Strive Masiyiwa spotted her online and took time out to write about her.

This was what he said about her:

“Every once in a while, I read a comment and I think it should become a post. Today is one of those days. This is not because I want to promote anyone’s specific business but because you can all learn from each other how to stand out amongst a crowd of entrepreneurs on this platform and beyond, and also be inspired.

Congratulations to Mrs Barinaada Bema Alexander in Lagos, Nigeria for your legal entrepreneurship venture focused on start-ups and SMEs. We have never met nor spoken before, and I don’t know (yet) from direct experience if you are a good lawyer… but to all of you on this platform: What parts of her “pitch” comment earlier this week do you think caught my eye?

“Dear Sir, #StriveMasiyiwa I am a young lawyer with 5 years post call experience from Nigeria”.

Strive Masiyiwa was wondering, and he had a poser:

“I wonder who among you knows that SMEs create about 80% of new jobs in emerging economies? That’s a big potential market for some of you. SMEs are huge drivers of innovation and economic development.

And, of course, we nearly all start out as SMEs” !

Barinaada Bema Iheanacho.

Therefore when he read a comment from Barinaada, whose name actually means, “God never sleeps” in Ogoni language, Dr. Masiyiwa went back to his writing desk to do a follow up on his post, “Learn to use the law to protect you and your business (Part 2)”, using the lady lawyer as a case study.

We at The Oasis Reporters got curious and found out a little about her.

“I grew up in an all girls home,” she says, and she actually is the third of four girls.

“My Law firm, Barinaada Legal is a very unconventional law firm. We have been able to leverage on the power of the internet and social media to position ourselves as the go to authority for corporate and commercial law practice without breaching rules” on advertising .

“ Barinaada Legal is an SME inclined law firm, We are a specialized law firm which focuses on start-ups, small and medium scale business organizations, fast growing companies, especially online entrepreneurs who are exposed to thousands if not millions of people every day on social media many of who convert to paid clients”.

Barinaada Alexander attended Lagos City Senior college, then proceeded to the University of Lagos where she studied Law and there after, got admitted into the Nigerian Law school where she was eventually called to the Nigerian Bar, after passing the Bar finals in one sitting.

She’s married to her heartthrob from Abia State, speaks English, Gokana and Yoruba fluently. But “still trying to learn my husband’s language”, she adds.

Barinaada’s journey to her legal firm started after her National Youth Service in Abeokuta, Ogun state where she served at the Law office of Abimbola Akeredolu (SAN)

Few months after the service she was absorbed in a shipping agency as it’s Company Secretary/Legal Adviser for about 5 months before she quit.

In her legal practice, the success she has had is attributed to God, her determination, hard work and consistency. “I had to invest in myself, I had to learn relearn and unlearn some things about business and entrepreneurship. All of these factors contributed to my success as a female legal entrepreneur”.

We asked her to speak extempore on her desire, vision and reasons to follow the legal business through, and got profound thoughts.

Here’s Barinaada Alexander, unplugged !

“‪In Nigeria and perhaps other developing countries, SMEs are a major player in promoting National Economic Growth and to a large extent they help in reducing unemployment.

‪I realised early on that one of the major problems faced by many SMEs (small and medium enterprises) is lack of access to legal Service.

‪I realised that they are a vulnerable set of people with special legal needs and attention than what the traditional law firm can offer.

‪I realised also that there are no dedicated law firms that are SME focused.

‪Knowing all of this, and understanding the peculiarities of small business owners, I decided to set up a specialised SME inclined law firm called Barinaada Legal that caters for the legal needs of SMEs.

‪The primary aim for establishing and registering Barinaada Legal is to provide SMEs with legal support and act as their legal bodyguard so that they can channel their energy, efforts and resources into growing their businesses.”

Her Vision:

“‪The vision for Barinaada Legal is to be the go-to Law firm for SME related legal issues not just in Nigeria but across Africa as a whole and so we are open to partnerships and collaborations that will make this vision a reality.

‪As a young lawyer this is how I am contributing my quota to the growth of SMEs in Nigeria.”

By Greg Abolo

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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