A business consultant, Mr Afolabi Abiodun, on Tuesday said there were numerous opportunities for Nigerian entrepreneurs to leverage upon, in spite of the nation’s economic challenges.
Abiodun, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SB Telecom and Devices Ltd, said in an interview with agency reporters in Lagos, that entrepreneurs were not maximizing the full potential of such development windows.
“As volatile as the economic challenges of the country might be right now, due to the decline in crude oil price, the devaluation of the Naira and exchange rate volatility, there are still opportunities out there to tap into.
“There are opportunities in every challenge and a few entrepreneurs with foresight will identify and leverage on these opportunities,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria’s huge population and natural resources place us on pedestals to be very active as an export-driven economy.
He urged Nigerian entrepreneurs to leverage on the nation’s large population by creating need-driven services and products to meet the daily demands of the masses.
“Someone that is into production can have a product that is mass-market oriented; there’s population opportunity for you out there that you can leverage on.
“What stands you out as an entrepreneur is to offer a need driven product. You have to understand, identify the need and how to fill the gap in order for you to create wealth from it,” Abiodun said.
He advised entrepreneurs to tap into the commodity business and export based transactions as a strategy for survival in a challenged economy.
“If you look at the advanced countries, the top ten economies of the world, one thing that stands them out is their export business, compared to importation.
“For example, if you export food concentrates, you are buying locally in Naira, but your payment will come back in dollars.
“That your dollar fund, you are selling back to the local currency that will have more value to you. That way, you are making a margin from both the commodity and from foreign exchange, he said.
Abiodun said that existing opportunities in the nation’s economy limit the funding challenges of committed entrepreneurs who deploy unique and value driven ideas in managing their operations.
“Most entrepreneurs will cite funding as their number one challenge. The first hurdle you have to cross is to have a product that will sell, as well as ideas that are unique that will solve real problems.
“If you have that, there are different funds out there that you can actually access but every seed investor or financial investor will be interested in knowing the idea and seeing the essence before working with you.
“A couple of month ago, the Tony Elumelu Foundation inaugurated about 100 million dollars seed capital for entrepreneurs, YouWin is also another opportunity.
“People are also using ideas-based proposals to access other funds for their operations.
Abiodun also urged entrepreneurs to reposition their businesses appropriately toward the collective effort of sustainable transformation of the economy. (NAN)