What is an entrepreneur’s greatest problem? This item has formed the heading fo some many entrepreneurship questionnaires around the globe. In polls I have been privy to, either as a participant or as a facilitator, which were taken at different times, I am always appalled to see funding top the list. I know that funding is a challenge in business but would-be entrepreneurs have placed funding on a pedestal that it does not deserve to be. During facilitation I have come across people who think that if they have funding they would change the world in 80 days (trying out my literary rhyming skills). This makes the question, “what is an entrepreneur’s biggest problem?” very important.
Let me digress. I came upon the picture below of a woman beating the odds of a riverine location to still produce, market and distribute bean cakes. She got herself a canoe! Continue reading “Is Funding an Entrepreneur’s Biggest Problem?”
It made for a startling discovery when I discovered (data –driven, off course) that there is a marked difference in the attitudes of female and male Small Business entrepreneurs. In the course of monitoring and supervising participants who were writing their business plans I was hit with a stark variance between both sets of entrepreneurs. This character trait, although seemingly insignificant, eventually cascades into how they run their business and then extrapolates into their businesses success.
This study was undertaken within a six-month period in the Enterprise Development Centre where I facilitate business courses. Data revealed that despite the fact that the Entrepreneurship Development Centre had an average male to female enrolment ratio of 65: 35 I found out that the actual submission of business plans by participants was slightly ten percent higher for females. (See Figure 1 below) This revelation made me look further and I unearthed the following attitudes which women have that men need.
Figure 1: Participants’ Enrolment and Actual Business Plan Submission in percentages
So what do womenpreneurs have that menpreneurs lack?
I crafted out a list that you may not necessarily agree with but it is the result of more than six months of diligent research and findings. And they are…
1. Pride in lowly jobs:
I was in a vehicle moving from Ojota to Ojuelegba along the ever bustling – never sleeping – Lagos mainland when my attention was drawn to the traders hustling – no eking out – their daily sustenance by the side of the road and guess what? You know already, women were 80% on the side lanes having makeshift tables and selling without an iota of shame.
It is worthy of note that this figure changes drastically when we compare male to female vendors who roughshod life on the busy Lagos roads with their wares on their head then the figure drastically changes.
However, this variation may not be unconnected with the hazards of on-the-road hawking of goods and the Lagos state directive banning this economic activity. Moreover, this set of sellers is usually younger persons between the ages of sixteen to twenty unlike the earlier scenario (roadside sellers)
Figure 2: Percentage of male to female roadside sellers
2. A Driving Force:
Something drives both men and women, but what drives women is more fitted to micro-businesses compared to men. Our dreams are big along with the engines that drive us, but the truth is that the informal sector of the economy contributes more than 50% of Nigeria’s Gross National Product (GNP)1 and more women have rolled up their sleeves to work in this sector.
3. Grit & Resilience:
I brought this (and the above issues) to the focus of my colleagues when I asked them in January if they noticed that more women stuck around in our offices than men? Pardon me womenfolk but let us be frank, more men know how to operate a computer and use Microsoft Office than women but the persistence of women means that they stick around and finish their business plans with computer software tools that they are not overly familiar with. The men? They pop in and out and fizzle out, usually never completing their plans.
It is the women participants who usually stay a longtime after classes have closed to work on their business plans. Yes, some of them have husbands and children to attend to but somehow they find the time to do something they know is important to the success of their enterprise. For six months I don’t recall seeing a male participant doing “overtime”.
Continue reading “What Female Entrepreneurs Have that Male Entrepreneurs Need”
The title of this article should not put you off from reading it and neither should it imply that it is against the crusade of women to take over the world. It was titled such to capture the minds of people using the now popularised words of Donald Trump who labelled Clinton a “nasty woman” and unfortunately, inadvertently gave high-achieving women a rallying cry. It also happened at a time when another president consigned his wife – yes, his wife and not ours – to the kitchen, the living room and the other room ( I don’t know what the other room mean but lots of people have been very creative with it.) This article is a look at what women are doing, what they are thought of doing and what they could do to achieve lasting, painless results.
Tuesday, 9th of March, 2016 was International Women’s Day and, of course, it was celebrated with pomp and pageantry. Women all over the world gathered together to affirm the strength they get from being together. I didn’t attend any of the conferences but I can predict some of the hot topics discussed that day to include – The Girl Child Initiative, Violence Against Women, Gender Parity and Feminism. Women all over the world are shouting and we are hearing them.
As with all movements, everyone is joining the bandwagon so that they will not be left behind and their voices – and products – shunted out. Unlike everyone, I am sitting on the side-lines, arms folded with a smug smile on my face!
In a bid to push forward the women agenda, women, as well as the men, are pushing the women propaganda which is that “the end justifies the means”. To these women activists, women have suffered for too long that any means that can snatch them away from centuries of male-dominance will suffice. Continue reading “Nasty Women: Launching a Successful Revolution.”
Late yesterday Time magazine announced their Person of the Year 2015 and it turned out to be Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. With that she became the fourth woman to win that honour solo since Wallis Warfield Simpson (1936), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986). I will call this another victory for the feminists. Some reasons attributed for her getting this accolade include championing Europe’s policy towards refugee migrant crisis, the Greek debt crisis, her stance against Vladimir Putin’s creeping theft of Ukraine and for her moral leadership amongst others. Donald Trump, a finalist, had something to say about it via twitter
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 18h18 hours ago
I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany
4,640 retweets7,866 likes
he definitely was not pleased about it and neither am I. Unlike Donald, my displeasure is not about who won but about who was not nominated.
First, I know the racism card would work here very well but I am not going to tow that path because I am a half-believer of racism. Time’s Person of the Year award 2015 pontificated about solvers of problems that have crystallized and not solvers of issues before they become problems. Before I reveal who was missing from Time’s nomination let us look at the other finalists. Continue reading “of nominations and awards”
I have the knack of testing people’s resolve by being an opposition. I have the belief that it helps strengthens my own belief system by purging untested arguments while giving my counter party food for thought. On Monday, November 23, 2015, I did my thing by trying to see reason with religious fanatics because this has been a research case study; trying to understand the line, the thin line, between fanaticism and spirituality. I argued my case briefly with a social media personality and all was well. However, I was not testing wills that same Monday, but was staunchly in support of an issue but the unfortunate omission of a word perpetuated by working under the constraint of having to write within 140 characters brought me to fore with twitter trolls and the vengefulness of social media. That morning, I had even skimmed through an article on what not to write or do on social media unaware that in less than one hour I would be the centre of a circusian attraction.
I tweeted in reply to someone’s tweet; “I don’t know why rape – unconsenting sex – is treated like a taboo and not consenting sex with multiple partners? Twisted world!” Continue reading “A Day with Twitter Trolls”
The striking similarities between War and Business are exposed in this e-book by the business author, Airende Emiaghe. In this blog we will have a glimpse at the book through the first two chapters. If you find it interestin,g you may request for the whole book FREE by commenting or critiquing this first two chapters on the blog. This offer is for the first 50 persons.
CHAPTER ONE: PLANNING
Airende Emiaghe says: Assuming business to be an art of war is vitally important for the success of any business concern.
Business is a matter of life and death, although very few people consider it to be so to their own undoing. It is a battle between servitude (paid employment) and freedom (entrepreneurship). Understanding and realizing it should be our topmost priority.
There are 5 factors to consider when making business decisions prior to setting up your business and whilst executing it;
(i) Moral Law (ii) Heaven (iii) Earth (iv) The Commander (iv) Method and Discipline
The Moral Law guides the morality of our choices and decisions in business.
Moral Law is the law of unity of purpose between the business man and his passion which becomes his business. Between indulging in business practices that weighs heavily on the pockets and on the conscience.
Heaven signifies economic conditions that are outside the control of the business owner.
Earth signifies economic conditions that Continue reading “Business, An Art of War: a business adaptation of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War”
Paid employment is working for salary. The salary may be paid at stipulated times such as hourly, daily, fortnightly or monthly. The world has taught and conditioned our young children that you go to school, get good grades, graduate, get a job and get married. This mindset is inculcated into our young ones from a tender age; parents say it, teachers repeat it, the society reinforce it and life conditions it. It has been taken that a well-paying job is the climax of good parental upbringing when in reality it is the antithesis. All over the world, people who have been able to revolt against this mentality have found themselves taking the economic world by storm. They broke away when they dropped out of school, a comfort zone, to face business realities. They broke away before the world was able to concretely enforce the paid employment mentality into them. These break-aways are young either physically or at heart. Pearl S. Buck confirmed this by saying that, “the young do not know enough to be prudent, therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it generation after generation.” Continue reading “Paid Employment and the Servitude Relationship”
I am lapsing into depression, the second time after my first and only experience in 2001. I have tried to resolve it by changing any radio station that is airing the news that 200 teenage girls were abducted just today in the Northern state of Borno by the Boko Haram insurgents, who only yesterday, claimed an official estimate of 71 fatalities with more than 200 injured. And official reports are always grossly underestimated in Nigeria. How did we come this far down the cesspit of callousness? How did we fall into a deep sleep that we didn’t know that the house we built or that we are trying to build is being destroyed. Calumny, accusations and counter-accusations are now the order of the day. They have never helped us and will not start now.
They say Boko Haram is faceless, is that true? Continue reading “Boko Haram: Our Contributions”
So many events generate so many diverse reactions in Nigeria and when you think you are done with one another steaming event crops up and you are caught in the eye of the gossip storm. On Sunday, April 6, 2014, Nigeria rebased her GDP from the primordial date of 1990 and the ensuing reactions from Nigerians have been as predictive as usual; “whats in it for me?”
GDP or Gross Domestic Product is the total value of goods and services produced in a country within a specific period of time. GDP rebase, according to The United Nations, is the process of replacing present price structure (base year) to compile volume measures of GDP with a new or more recent base year. Countries rebase their GDP regularly to get a recent view of how their economy is faring. Nigeria lagged behind for 23 years. Continue reading “GDP Rebase, The Optimism”