September 07, 2021 / 12:45 PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image
Stakeholders at the maiden edition of the Ibadan SME Bootcamp harped on the need for Nigerian entrepreneurs to develop capacity and character to achieve sustainability and scale their business.
At an event well attended by young entrepreneurs aligning with the COVID-19 safety protocols, the organizers, the Lagos SME Bootcamp, provided a platform for strategic engagement and networking.
In his opening remarks, Oluwaseun Slim, the Co-Convener of the Lagos SME Bootcamp, charged the entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity to impact and create value for the Nigerian economy. He enjoined them to be open to learning, develop skills and strive to be globally competitive.
Giving the first presentation, the General Manager of Sprinte Media, Dr. Adeolu Dele, re-emphasized the need for entrepreneurs to imbibe the virtue of honesty in transactions.
He advised the entrepreneurs to build goodwill which is essential for them as they need many referrals to boost their business presence.
According to him, "Capital is very key for SMEs, and Nigerian entrepreneurs should manage their business like blue-chip companies", which must be accompanied by strategic objectives.
In his presentation, Mr. Gbenga Totoyi the Group Head, Human Resources, Chi Plc, said it was important for entrepreneurs to distil their vision so that people can understand.
Looking at SMEs that are entering the growth phase, he urged them to prioritize competence in their activities, which will lead to results and more market value.
He also identified capacity, character and advancement in technology as defining points for entrepreneurs to advance.
Providing further insights on the journey of entrepreneurship and learning points, Mr. Joshua Chibueze, the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder, Piggyvest, mentioned talent as a competitive advantage for businesses today in the globe.
Speaking further, he said Piggyvest, since its launch in 2016, had set out to look for product-market fits seeking opportunities to improve savings in Nigeria.
He informed the participants that the selling point of Piggyvest over the years had been the depth and competence of its team with a unique set of skills.
In her presentation, Mrs. Edememe Olajidi-Wusi the Senior Tax Manager, KPMG, charged SMEs to invest in accounting software to improve their financial processes.
She challenged entrepreneurs to track their revenue and expenses and stressed organized financial records and systems. In addition, the financial expert encouraged entrepreneurs to schedule regular time for bookkeeping and accelerate their cash inflows.
Mr. Tope Runsewe, the Managing Director, DUTUM, said entrepreneurs should put in all their energy and resources to ensure effective service delivery to customers. He was of the view that referrals are vital for SMEs.
Runsewe also reminded the participants that people only do business with entrepreneurs they know, like and trust, which he termed the "KLT" concept.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Adegoke Pamilerin, a social media influencer, said it was important for SMEs to be strategic. They leverage social media to sell products and services.
In his remarks, Seun Fakorede, a former Commissioner of Youth and Sports, called on the young entrepreneurs to prioritize relationships, service, volunteering, and partnerships(RSVP).
Tolulope Olorundero, a Global PR Consultant and Founder, Mosron Communications, in her brief presentation, described access to the internet as one of the key drivers for businesses. She urged the entrepreneurs to develop a suitable digital footprint to be accessible.
Mr. Ayo Bankole-Akintujoye, the Convener of the Lagos SME Bootcamp, said the event provided an opportunity for SMEs to develop their management skills and capabilities. Since its inception, the Programme has reached out to 6,000 SMEs and is focused on achieving efficiency and productivity.
He also harped on the need for business plans to be market and data-driven, with practical design thinking critical for dynamic and innovative products and services.
The event featured a Q&A session with Hon. Akin Alabi, the Founder of Nairabet and Author, and a Pitch session for selected entrepreneurs who met the criteria.