Access to Knowledge, capital and networks are some of the greatest challenges plaguing entrepreneurs in developing countries like Nigeria.
The best solutions to these hindrances are rooted in a collaboration between the public and private sectors of the economy.
One of the most notable private sector initiative to improving the lot of the African entrepreneur is the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship program (TEEP). The program is set up by the Tony Elumelu Foundation to support 1,000 African entrepreneurs with seed capital for ten years.
Tony elumelu was one of Africa’s representatives in Davos, Switzerland, at this year’s World Economic Forum that witnessed a gathering of top global decision-makers and elites in business and politics.
In an interview with the Pulse Business Insider, he laid bare his thoughts on how young entrepreneurs in Nigeria can achieve massive success in their businesses.
1. See opportunities in place of challenges.
Negativity drains the energy the entrepreneur badly needs to navigate the harsh and uncertain business environment in Africa.
We can easily become consumed by the pervasive, unfavourable economic conditions and be blinded to the inherent opportunities in the continent.
The Multi-million US dollar investor urged young entrepreneurs to “see opportunities and not challenges because even when I started we had more challenges in Nigeria than we have today.”
To realise their dreams and goals, “They should persevere and realise that tough times don’t last.” He said.
2. Be disciplined and stay focus.
Staying focused on why you are in business is a buffer against distractions and a catalyst to reaching your mark faster. And if you are constantly distracted by side attractions you will squander away valuable time and energy. Success will become eventually more elusive than ever.
The philanthropist advices entrepreneurs to “persevere and realise that tough times don’t last. They should be disciplined. They should stay focused. They should lay sacrifices.”
You must sacrifice all else to give room for your vision to blossom.
3. Defer consumption
Delayed gratification is a unique trait of successful people of all class and place. They splurge as a reward to themselves for achieving their audacious goals, not the other way round.
Entrepreneurs need to master and control their cash-flow. This is best practised by saving at times of surplus to fill the gap created by harsh times.
So, the investors says “They should have deferred consumption; deferred consumers will save and not eat everything one day.”
4. Think long-term.
Another common trait of the wealthy is to maintain a long-term perspective of their investments and business affairs. This entails a knowledge that the future swings between good and bad times and an appropriate strategy for managing both times.
So that they are not swept off balance when the unfortunate happens.
Tony Elumelu advices entrepreneurs to think long term because “in the short term, you have hiccups and if you are short-term in your orientation, you will get discouraged. “