ENTREPRENEURS and anybody desirous of starting his own business must put on their thinking cap and unleash their creative powers at this time when the country is going through a recession in order to continue to stay afloat.
Chief Dakuku Peterside Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, made the proposition at the Lagos/South West, University of Liverpool Alumni in Nigeria, 2016 Business and Career Fair, in Lagos.
He said it is important for entrepreneurs to develop what he termed, ‘The You Economy”, rather than continue to wait for the country’s economy to improve before taking important decisions that would move their companies forward. He observed that remarkable progress are usually made in challenging times as long as business owners are willing to dare and step outside their current position.
Speaking on the theme of the programme, “Staying Afloat: Strategies for Surviving and Thriving in Challenging Times”, he said that entrepreneurship involves identifying existing gaps with a view to fill them, creating something originally not in existence or improving on something already in existence, while insisting that those innovations must also be relevant to the market need.
He emphasized the need for entrepreneurs to originate their own ideas. Most important pillar Dakuku argued that money is not the most important tool required by entrepreneurs to succeed, but rather a well thought out plan and detailed execution of the plan. He said: “The most important pillar you need to succeed is to innovate; you need to unleash your creative power in times like this. Innovation is, in itself, the key to unlocking your potentials in times of depression if you truly want to maximize or optimize opportunities in times like this.
It is good to be an employer of labour, but you cannot be an employer of labour if you are not offering service and if you are not offering service, then, there is no reason to be an employer of labour. There must be something you are addressing. You must have entrepreneurial capacity and you must be addressing a need, if not, you cannot be said to be an entrepreneur.
At best, you are a trader. You must have your personal plan; you must have your financial plan, an investment plan and growth plan, including investing in advancing yourself and you must be mentally ready to follow through with your plan. You must retool yourself to be mentally alert to execute your plan,” Peterside added.
To innovate, he said there is need for entrepreneurs to study their environment, the marketplace and build the network necessary to leverage on opportunities. In her welcome address, Mrs. Joy Duncan, Coordinator, Lagos/South West, University of Liverpool Alumni in Nigeria, said the programme is an annual event that offers members opportunity to continuously learn in an informal environment. Speaking on the theme, she said they ensure that their themes align with the current economic realities to prepare members to take advantage of opportunity presented by every situation.
“From time to time, changes in the environment, changes in technology, changes in trend and changes just like we have in Nigeria. Nigeria is facing a challenging time, so every year, we come based on what is trending and what we think is needful for the community, we bring in resource persons to teach us from their knowledge how to do things better.”
Speaking on the topic, ‘The Lean Start-up’, Mr. Edwin Monife, Chairman, Angelos Interbiz, encouraged prospective entrepreneurs to start small, experiment, pilot every new concept and ensure they are prudent with money.