In just eight years, a remarkable transformation unfolded for Joy Nkiru Ikpeoha from Nigeria. From pursuing academic excellence to founding her own company, Ikpeoha’s journey in Hainan, the island province in south China, is nothing short of inspiring.
Recently, Ikpeoha, born in 1992, completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, culminating in a master’s degree in enterprise management in 2022. Her venture into entrepreneurship commenced this year with the establishment of a company in Haikou, the provincial capital, dedicated to providing a seamless service platform for foreign talents in Hainan.
“My company is about helping foreign talents in Haikou or Hainan to set up their own businesses, and kind of feel at home here in Hainan,” explained Ikpeoha. Services offered by her company extend to translation and assistance in finding rental housing for foreign expatriates. Ikpeoha’s entrepreneurial spirit found its footing during her internship at an international talent center in Haikou. Managing events like entrepreneurial forums and project introduction salons fueled her passion for assisting foreigners. This experience inspired her to start her own company, leveraging the opportunities presented by Hainan Free Trade Port policies.
“I feel lucky to start my own business from scratch, thanks to Hainan Free Trade Port policies. This environment is very suitable for young entrepreneurs, especially for foreigners who don’t have that much money to start their own companies,” she shared.
Dreaming of owning a company since her enterprise management studies, Ikpeoha is ecstatic that her dream has become a reality. Despite being in the early stages of her business, she remains optimistic about the future, foreseeing positive impacts from Hainan Free Trade Port construction on her business and the broader foreign community.
“I believe that Hainan, in the future, will do better, because more and more foreigners are beginning to come here,” Ikpeoha stated, emphasizing the increasing influx of investors from around the world.
Ikpeoha’s entrepreneurial journey also signifies personal growth. “Ever since I opened up this company, I realized that I have more to learn, either practical or theoretical. I have a long way to go, and I need to keep learning. There’re a lot of opportunities out there,” she acknowledged.
Reflecting on her years in Hainan, Ikpeoha considers it a second home—calm and welcoming. Beyond her business endeavors, she shares her experiences through vlogging, offering glimpses of life in Hainan, diverse cuisines, and cultural joys.