Lessons for Nigerian Entrepreneurs ; Leo Stan Ekeh

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019    /  10.50AM  /  Bukola Akinyele for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: Youtube

 

Billionaire Leo Stan Ekeh, Founder of Zinox Technologies, at a recent tech conference in Lagos,  shared his perspective on entrepreneurship in Nigeria. 

He was of the view that aspiring to become an entrepreneur in the 21st century and particularly in a country like Nigeria, comes with tough choices.

 

The Configuration 

Mr Ekeh outlined the configuration that was critical for entrepreneurs to adopt to be successful. 

According to him, the configuration of successful entrepreneurship should cover the following; Common sense, 40% common sense, knowledge of the business 40% and spirituality 20%, noting that without these elements navigating the business environment will be difficult. 

 

Capital

Another component of entrepreneurship raised by Ekeh is capital, he observed that this was critical for sustainability in business. He said in raising capital, hope is not a strategy, and that the failure rate of startups in Nigeria is becoming embarrassing because of the perception that money is raised to live cozy lives. 

“An entrepreneur must accept an incubation period, successful entrepreneurs are seen as stingy because they know the value of every Naira spent but they use the same money to sustain the society”, he said. 

Speaking further the Serial entrepreneur who recently acquired Konga,  stated that, “my advice to Nigerians here, I see a lot of new startups now selling death it means technically you are leaving a company and if am an investor I watch your lifestyle. Entrepreneurs who have startups don’t drive the best cars they hide until they emerge”.

 

Character

Mr Ekeh also emphasized the need for entrepreneurs to have character, decrying the fact that some young entrepreneurs take their first level of financing to live in costly houses, taking first class flights to Britain. 

In an illustration, he informed the audience that the difference between an economy class and first class to the UK, is more than many entrepreneurs make in a year, and this for a six hour flight.

He wondered why some Nigerian entrepreneurs will by 5pm in the evening be lounging in 5-star hotels, drinking Champaign from the money they raised from investors. 

Giving a advice to young tech entrepreneurs, Ekeh said in places like the US and China when an entrepreneur fails, there is prospects of springing back, but highlighted the fact that in a country like Nigeria, after three failed attempts it could be difficult for enterprises to get their bearing. 

He charged Nigerian entrepreneurs to be very resourceful and leverage on their capital which is their greatest wealth, as the bankers who provide financing are holding money in trust for depositors. 

“As an entrepreneur build yourself first as personal collateral, an entrepreneur must suspend luxury in the short run” Ekeh argued.


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