Before you start a business, you
need to have an idea that can birth the business. Generating a business idea is
not an easy task; sometimes, you may experience an “idea block.”
According to Wikipedia, a Business Idea is “A concept that can be used for
financial gain that is usually centered on a product or service which can be
offered for money.”
When thinking of ideas for a
business (old or new), it is very important to carry out research, pay
attention to details and follow a rigorous development and review process. Follow me…
Before an idea is generated, it
is wise to carry out research to identify the needs of your target customers.
Brainstorming is the key to Concept
Creation. You must also keep track of all ideas (as no idea is a bad idea),
evaluate them and determine which is most valuable and profitable.
This involves market research
where data about your idea is collected and analyzed. You must assess all aspects
of an idea before moving to the next stage.
A well-defined business plan
will steer your business in the right direction and increase the chances of having
a successful product launch.
At this stage, your ideas will
be developed. You should create manufacturing and operations processes and
market testing plans.
This stage involves a test market that is as close as practicable to a real market. Here, your prototype will be released to the public. The prototype will be tracked and your test market results will determine whether your idea is valid enough to become a product.
A successful product launch
should address whether you have:
A sufficient number of products in existence.
Correct planning and marketing strategies.
Appropriate documentation for your product.
Business Idea Development can be high-risk, time-consuming and money-consuming, especially if the wrong steps are taken. This is why we go beyond offering courses on Business Enterprise Training at LEAD Resources. We incubate your ideas and give you all the necessary support for a successful product launch.
Need some help? Contact us for organizational support here.
Adetoyese Oyedunmade is an Associate Solutions Architect at Lead Resources. She is an Agriculturist by profession and is enthusiastic about entrepreneurship.
There is no universal definition for SMEs (Mutula and Brakel 2006, p. 403). Across countries, SMEs are defined on the basis of employment, assets or a combination of the two (Ongori and Lutham 2009, p. 94). According to the European Union (EU), SMEs are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and have an annual turnover of 50 million euros or less. The Central Bank of Nigeria, in her Monetary Policy Circular No. 22 of 1988, defined SMEs as enterprises which have an annual turnover of five hundred thousand naira (N500, 000) or less.
ROLES OF SMEs IN NIGERIA
Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises form the bulk of businesses in Nigeria. According to a survey conducted by PWC, SMEs contribute 48% of the national GDP, account for 96% of Nigerian businesses and create 84% of employment in Nigeria. Since SMEs drive the economic growth, industrial transformation and export growth of the nation, it is safe to conclude that they form the backbone of Nigeria’s economy. Some advantages of SMEs include:
They serve as the breeding ground for domestic, entrepreneurial capabilities (SMEDAN, 2005; Aina, 2007). They provide employment and income for most citizens.
They facilitate the industrial development of the nation in accordance with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
They help to reduce the urban-rural income gap.
CHALLENGES FACED BY SMEs IN NIGERIA
SMEs are often faced with challenges that are
peculiar to individual businesses. Certain challenges which stall their growth
High-interest rates and maintenance costs of credit facilities as well as demands for duly registered collateral obligations.
Inconsistent government policies and bureaucratic holdups in the administration of incentives and support facilities from all levels of government.
Multiple taxes from both the State Government and Local Government.
Poor infrastructure such as poor power supply, bad roads and poor transportation systems.
Unavailability of local raw materials.
High cost of procuring machinery.
Export constraints, amongst others.
SOLUTIONS FOR SMEs IN NIGERIA
Provision of adequate infrastructure i.e. good road networks, adequate power supply, good communication and health care system.
Elimination of the multiple taxation system.
Tax holidays and rebates for startups which show initiative by sourcing for local raw materials.
Provision of accessible and well-priced credit facilities.
Effective marketing and distribution channels for SMEs through government agencies like SMEDAN.
Loan availability and attainable payback mechanisms.
Seeing as SMEs are the backbone of the economy, it is expedient to devise means to increase their productivity, with or without the help of the government. Lead Resources offers programmes which educate entrepreneurs on how to access finance as well as manoeuvre the challenges that are peculiar to the Nigerian business climate. For more information, click here.
Adetoyese Oyedunmade is an Associate Solutions Architect of Lead Resources. She is an Agriculturist by profession and is enthusiastic about entrepreneurship.
On 15th July 2020, LEAD Resources joined YALI and NACCIMA to commemorate the World Youth Skills Day (WYSD). WYSD is designated by the United Nations to celebrate skillful youths who channel their competencies towards causes that benefit the society. By so doing, WYSD creates awareness about the value of youth skills development.
LEAD Resources commemorated WYSD by hosting a seminar themed, “The competencies the youth should develop to leverage on COVID-19 era opportunities.” The speakers at the event were Alhaji Popoola (Ogun State Coordinator, NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs) and Mr. Kehinde Sogunle (Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources).
How to Leverage Your Skills for Growth
Alhaji Popoola was the first speaker at the event. He taught, “How to leverage your skills for growth.” He stated that he was particularly pleased that the event was commemorated at a time where many have lost hope in Nigeria. The aim of his presentation was to help the youths identify skills (often regarded as useless) and determine how to make the contribute their quota by engaging their skills.
He explained that many youths regard their skills as irrelevant for income generation. He gave an example of a friend that loves to iron who established a laundry business that is scaling. Leveraging skills for growth begins by identifying one’s skills. He suggested that youths ask themselves the following questions to identify their skills:
What can I do
What do I derive joy
What are my parents
and grandparents good at?
What skill do I
believe can make me a better person?
Next, he emphasized the principle of apprenticeship. Submitting to a mentor helps one refine a crude skill to the end that it becomes money-spilling. Everyone needs to follow successful mentors to know the ups and downs to generating income from their skills as well as what made them successful.
He gave the following tips in submitting to mentorship:
building a brand takes effort, patience and determination.
Allow your mentor to
determine the time-span of your apprenticeship.
Note the points that
your mentor makes at every opportune time.
Determine to be a
voice in your choice industry.
Avoid bad company
and societal influence.
Connect with people
of like minds.
He informed the youths that his organization, NACCIMA, pools information about relevant opportunities such as:
Training with GIZ
for the growth and commercialization of tomato and chili pepper.
Access to CBN
COVID-19 response loan (as well as multiple kinds of loans).
Aso-oke textile production
in an organization in South Africa.
He encouraged the youths to connect with organizations such as his, play their roles and benefit from the influx of information to develop their skills and/or scale their businesses.
He wrapped it up by emphasizing that in this digital era, businesses become seamless, efficient and worthwhile when digital competencies are integrated in the administration of one’s skills. He said, “If you want to work for the future, learn whatever you need to learn including AI.”
“If you want to work for the future, learn whatever you need to learn including AI.”
Alhaji Moruf Popoola, Ogun State Coordinator, NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs
The Competencies the Youth Should Develop to Leverage on COVID-19 Era Opportunities
After acknowledging the efforts of NACCIMA and YALI in raising skilled youths especially in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Kehinde Sogunle (Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources), the second speaker for the day, took the stage at the WYSD celebration.
He started out by pointing out the fact that following the outbreak of COVID-19, a new era has emerged. Due to the restricted movement of all peoples for over 90 days, it is scientifically proven that this new lifestyle has been formed. He gave examples of how convergences happen online via the use of networking tools as opposed to unnecessary physical meetings.
Therefore, he highlighted the need to develop necessary competencies to thrive in this new era. He gave the following framework for personal discovery:
He said, “There are two types of people in life: Those who live with purpose and those who don’t.” In addition to the simple steps given by the first speaker, he gave the following steps to personal discovery:
Understand why you are here.
Identify where you are going to.
Have confidence in your convictions.
Determine how to arrive there (character and competence).
He said, “Those who create their life purpose are often able to live with extraordinary energy and motivation to overcome challenges.” He gave the example of the situation the Nigerian teachers have found themselves in: the inability to teach in classrooms and get paid. He explained that teachers in this age can thrive by sharing knowledge using new age tools and techniques to leverage their skills.
“Those who create their life purpose are often able to live with extraordinary energy and motivation to overcome challenges.”
Mr. Kehinde Sogunle, Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources
Purpose is an intersection of the following:
What you love doing.
What you are good at.
What the world needs.
What you can be paid
Furthermore, he taught the concept of the virtual realm. The virtual realm is the realm between the physical realm and mental realm. For example, people wrote on paper tangibly but now write on devices intangibly. The former exemplifies the physical realm while the latter exemplifies the virtual realm.
He made the audience understand that this is the new normal for the new economy, the digital economy. He gave the elements of traditional economy:
Resources, e.g. Raw materials.
Secondary, e.g. Manufacturing.
Tertiary, e.g. Real estate.
Quaternary, e.g. Education.
He also gave examples of the elements of the digital economy:
Resources, e.g. Big
Customers, e.g. IoT,
The Business and Sustainable Development Commission gave a projection that a staggering $12 trillion & 380 million new jobs will be enabled by the digital economy in 2030. Especially in Africa (the continent with the largest and youngest workforce), the youths need to develop the new age skills to create solutions, play in the Digital Economy and make Africa great.
He taught that regardless of what a person studies, he or she can find a niche in the virtual economy. He highlighted that the critical areas and business imperatives that Africans can engage among the 17 global goals:
Food & Agriculture.
Transport, Infrastructure & Logistics.
Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them.” Mr. Kehinde Sogunle explained that the problems we created in the traditional economy and physical space can only be solved in the digital economy and virtual space.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them.”
Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist
Furthermore, he encouraged the youths to choose to contribute to the global goals by leveraging technology. He explained that they will get value if they resolve to attain them.
After it was established that accelerated acquisition of knowledge and skills is required, he taught that it is wise to subscribe to the offerings of transition organizations such as LEAD Resources that help raise a new breed of competent youths that can take the world by storm.
He said, “Education + Vocational Skills + Computer Literacy are not enough to guarantee employability and entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy.” He stated that the required competencies for the digital economy are:
Business Enterprise Literacy.
“Education + Vocational Skills + Computer Literacy are not enough to guarantee employability and entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy.”
Mr. Kehinde Sogunle, Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources
Access to Finance through Business Enterprise Development
Start Up School Nigeria/Scale Up Academy
Emerging Managers’ Programme
Research into Innovation
Personal Talent Management
Profiling & Management
4. Successor Generation Streaming Initiative
To learn more about these offerings, click here. He added some other relevant avenues for the youths to upskill such as:
He gave the ten jobs in highest demand in 2020 and encouraged the youths to explore and acquire skills in these areas:
Mr. Kehinde Sogunle rounded off with the parable of the sower in the Holy Bible. He encouraged the youths to have hearts that are fertile soils by choosing to develop their skills, acquire competencies and revolutionize their world, one day at a time.
To subscribe to relevant updates and opportunities for youths, click here.
LEAD Resources was awarded a contract to design and develop the premiere online, socio-cultural platform for Ogun state by the Digital Economy Advisory Group (DEAG). This platform would serve as the “Wikipedia for everything Ogun.”
Between October and December 2019, all hands were on deck as regards this project. All Associates of LEAD Resources actively contributed their quota to the development of this platform as coordinated by the Technology and Innovation team of LEAD Resources, Marcellus Nwankwo and Ayo Lala.
This platform was named, “Hamora.” This name is a derivative of the Yoruba word, “Amǫrawa,” meaning, “We know who we are.” This depicts that via this platform, the people of Ogun state can contribute and harness relevant information about their past in order to create a better future.
Hamora is a crowdsourcing platform which allows for the indigenes of the state to share their own content about history, artifacts, commerce, business, projects, festivals and related socio-cultural topics. This will enhance the participation of all classes of indigenes of Ogun state and ensure the promotion of the core values of Ogun state. Of course, other states may subscribe to this development too!
In a nutshell, the aim of Hamora
platform is identifying, creating, managing, proposing and promoting a single
and harmonized platform for exhibiting interphase between social and cultural
activities that affect the daily lives of individuals in the state.
The objectives for developing the Hamora
data on the history, heritage and other socio-cultural aspects of Ogun state
from certified and trusted sources.
the fundamental, cultural practices and heritage of Ogun state so as to create
an ecosystem to facilitate the growth of the people’s identity.
structuring and facilitating the growth of Ogun state’s heritage for effective
value communication and exchange.
previous, current and upcoming tools, techniques and technology for promoting
social and cultural practices in the state.
The Hamora platform is ready and will be launched soon. Stay tuned!
Abeokuta Business School is the Business and Executive arm of Crescent University. On the other hand, Crescent University is the pioneer Islamic, co-educational tertiary institution in Nigeria.
Abeokuta Business School has a goal to
develop entrepreneurs who implement (not just understand) practical knowledge of
business education thereby filling the gap in Nigerian Business Education. It
is located at Km 2, Kobape road, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.
Seeing that LEAD Resources has a vision
to be the indisputable knowledge, leadership and real solutions provider in
Africa, LEAD Resources continually seeks to collaborate with institutions that
are driven towards “knowledge revolution.”
Therefore, LEAD Resources is working to forge a synergy an sign an MOU with Abeokuta Business School to organize executive education workshops, seminars and capacity building interventions in the school.
Abeokuta Business School will have the responsibilities
of oversight of the courses and provision of certificates for successful students.
On the other hand, LEAD Resources will take on the responsibilities of
development of course contents and designing of suitable capacity development
methodology for the achievement of the objectives of the courses.
Thus far, LEAD Resources has proposed to run 13 executive courses. Eight of these courses are based on Digital Economy Competency while five are based on Government and Public Finance Management.
The proposed courses are as follows:
Drivers of Digital Economy
Understanding Digital Transformation
Leading Digital Transformation
Data Science and AI
Building Digital Social Business
Leading Economic Development
Leading Sub-National Government
Managing Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies
Mastering Public Finance Management
Public Finance Management
The tentative fee per course is N150,000 while the duration of the training is 2 – 3 days. Meanwhile, a plan is underway to organize a Business Outlook Seminar for CEOs, HR Personnel, Public and Private Finance Management Experts in 2020. For enquiries or more information, contact us here.
SMEsabi is an e-learning platform which offers a variety of online courses that demystify the basic and intricate knowledge needs of an entrepreneur in an African economy. In other words, SMEsabi builds capacity in entrepreneurs to start or scale their businesses in the bespoke atmosphere of the Nigerian economy.
The courses are offered in multiple languages including Nigerian Pidgin English. Each course also has video content, written content, assessments and additional materials. This reaches to the various kinds of learners such as the layman, the elite, audio-visual learners, hands-on learners etc.
SMEsabi courses and modules were developed through the combined effort of a team of professional business coaches and ICT consultants with GIZ SEDIN Support in collaboration with FUTMinna and of course, LEAD Resources.
The development of SMEsabi was coordinated by GOPA consultants as part of a contract to develop interactive training materials for MSMEs and start-ups on behalf of GIZ-SEDIN.
Some of the basic courses available on
the platform are:
Typically, prior to taking a course, a short assessment is taken by a registered user to determine the level of practical understanding that he or she has about the the course in question. After the completion of the course, he or she will be directed to take a programme assessment.
Now, if you register for a course, take the programme assessment and score 65% and above, you will be issued a certificate of training by SMEsabi (in conjunction with all her partners). Alongside earning a certificate, you will gain practical knowledge for making profitable, entrepreneurship decisions.
Taking these courses is a step in the right direction as regards recalibrating the minds of the Nigerians to be creative and resourceful employers of labour as opposed to the mindset of being employees for life.