Nigerian entrepreneurs all have varying views regarding entrepreneurship, but most all agree on one thing: early-stage companies and startups would be better benefited by investor accessibility. Dr. Ola Brown, founder of the Flying Doctors Nigeria Air Ambulance Service has a clear idea of what is needed for entrepreneurs to thrive in Nigeria and I think many of her identifiers are applicable across the industry.
- There is a Paradox Within Supply and Demand
Many companies are searching for investors, yet investors struggle to find the right investment opportunities. While these investors find ways to privatize their funds, entrepreneurs are still struggling to grow.
The type of companies investors are searching for have competent teams, sustainable business models, realistic expectations, and transparent financial records–this combination is hard to find. Investors and eager entrepreneurs need to shift their expectations in order to create solutions for this paradox. Instead, investors should ask ‘can our investment grow this venture?’
- Startups Often Don’t Have the Best Financial Records
Accurate financial records are incredibly important to businesses. Investors won’t want to work with a company that doesn’t have the proper financials. If an entrepreneur can’t keep track of their financial records, they need to hire someone to do it for them. They should also ensure they prioritize financial recording from the start.
- Have Enough Money
This tip seems obvious enough, but many entrepreneurs find that they are constantly struggling to make enough money to keep their business afloat. African companies statistically receive less funding than Western businesses. As there is no limitless “money tree”, it is imperative for Nigerian entrepreneurs to have a workaround for the limited funding and donations they do receive.
Coming to terms with this fact early on can help Nigerian entrepreneurs determine alternatives to funding their businesses. While they may have to get more innovative than their Western entrepreneur counterparts, there needs to be a way to pay for the company.
- You Likely Won’t Have Government Support
Government support is hard to come by in Nigeria. Most entrepreneurs will find that they can’t rely on a government contract for their income, let alone even get a government contract after applying for one.
- Women Entrepreneurs Have Less Support
While support is low across the board for Nigerian entrepreneurs, women receive even less support. While this isn’t the case in Western countries, women looking for support for their businesses in Nigeria are facing an uphill battle. This isn’t to say that Nigerian entrepreneurs can’t be successful. While the odds are against founders of startups and small businesses in non-Western countries, entrepreneurs that adhere to these five things will be more likely to find success.
In identifying these truths early on – you manage to set yourself up for success from the start.