What Female Entrepreneurs Have that Male Entrepreneurs Need

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.

4.   Persistence:

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”.

Source

1 http://www.phillipsconsulting.net/files/informal-economy-survey-report-nov-2014.pdf

Continue reading “What Female Entrepreneurs Have that Male Entrepreneurs Need”

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Business, An Art of War: a business adaptation of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

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 and the Servitude Relationship

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”

MAXIMIZING STRIKE PERIODS AS A CHRISTIAN STUDENT. by Friday Osarenkhoe

… if anyone will not work let him not eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but as busybodies. 2Thess 3: 10b – 11 

Strike is an ill-wind that blows no one any good. The period of strike is always a period of breakdown in society; economically, educationally, administratively and even morally. When civil and other public servants are on strike, economic and administrative functions are grounded and sometimes totally paralyzed. This paralysis is also evident in the educational sector when teachers are on strike too.

The traumatic effects of strikes are often times unimaginable because all sorts of ills and negative attributes are usually exhibited by various segments of the society. Continue reading “MAXIMIZING STRIKE PERIODS AS A CHRISTIAN STUDENT. by Friday Osarenkhoe”

Beyond the Convention of Education.

Gone are the days when we leave Secondary school and crown ourselves with the title of ex-students, also awarding to ourselves the certificate that guarantees our gallivanting around the streets like big boys without a care in the world for the future. After all, we will soon be going back to school, to the university, where freedom is liberal and independence surfeit. The hiatus between secondary education and university education can take between a year and 6 years for some people; for me it took 3 years; a time almost allowing for me to graduate if I had entered directly into the tertiary institution. When we finally gained admission, we were local champions in our neighbourhood, having finally entered the coveted walls of the university, polytechnics or even colleges of education. Our lifestyles, modes of communication, dress-codes and in totality behaviour radically changed within a few months of becoming students. However, maybe it is just me; because I have grown up or the prevalence of tertiary school students around now, the hype that used to surround secondary school students who have entered the hallowed gates of the university has greatly reduced and I hope that crucial matters may be clearly seen now that the dust has cleared and the smoke is settling down.

As I said in the above passage, I wasted 3 years waiting for admission before I finally got admitted into a polytechnic which culminated in another wasted academic period in my life (this is a vitriolic discourse for another day.) while waiting for admission, I tried to read voraciously so that my O’ level papers will be complete and so that I could easily pass JAMB whenever we met again. Reading was the only meaningful thing I did in 3 years! Of course, I looked for work, but my frailty and young face was an obstacle towards achieving that aim so I resigned myself to nothing. If my opinion is sought, the years after a child’s graduation from secondary school could turnout to be the years for future fecundity and not for present prodigality. Parents and students alike wish for a seamless entry into tertiary institution from secondary school but this may be a huge waste of time in that we allow our worldly-wise, but business-foolish children from one controlled environment into another semi-controlled environment. The period after secondary education should be the period where our kids are taught real-world experiences.

When kids drop their pens after their O’ level exams, the seemingly ‘wise’ ones go to look for work while waiting for JAMB to get their acts right. The foolish ones patrol the streets and every social place trying to live up to a new image they cut out for themselves. However, the ones who are really wise don’t get a job but they learn a job. Some parents and their wards think this is demeaning. “How can my child go and learn tailoring or hairdressing?” they query. That vocation could be the best and cheapest investment you may hand over to your child considering the level of unemployment and decay in our academic system. When you equip your wards with a vocation you have taught him/her how to fish and stirred up in them an extant sense of responsibility that is dying out in our kids below 20. The best time to make money is while in school. Ask Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and a host of other young entrepreneurs. They made their money while under the four walls of school and discovered that they could make their mistakes anonymously too without shame of being found wanting. Your kids can too.

The education that is being passed to our kids are as archaic as the Walls of China even on subjects that are daily evolving such as computer science and engineering. The lecturers don’t know beyond what they were taught in 1980 (which was already outmoded as at then) and which is what they are transferring to your wards now. They will graduate “left-handed in old age”. Also, the incessant strike actions that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) constantly engage in to improve their lot and not that of their students is not a guarantee of a good life for your wards. Finally, there are no jobs out there and the competition is going to be biting in the next couple of years because 50% of Nigeria’s population is below 25 years. In ten years time, these 25 years and below kids will be out of university and will be jostling for the few places available for employment that Nigeria’s private and public sector have to offer. Do you want your kids in that cutthroat, red ocean of job-seekers? Definitely no!

A child with a vocation will go to the university and build on it. He has a focus and vision but will need the certificate and most importantly the relationship he will forge in school to enhance his vocation. Vocation differ and include arts, handiworks and skills. What are you giving to your child today? Running off to school to run off into the ever-expanding labour market may not be the ideal legacy for your child. Besides how may salary earners do you know that are rich if they did not dip their fingers into the messy pots of financial impropriety? Think of the future of your child beyond the conventions that reigned supreme during your time. Times have changed and we will do well to change with them.

THE ENTREPRENEUR

The Entrepreneur; Succeeding with Bible-Principled Strategies.
This piece is for people who have made up their minds to let go of salaried work and forge ahead on their own in the business world. It is a rule book for people who have agreed to become entrepreneurs and need a sure-fire way to succeed. You will find answers here. However, we are compelled to take some few paragraphs in our introduction and make you understand why you need to be your own employer, if you are not yet fully convinced or consolidate your decision if you have decided to. The reasons are varied but simple and of course they are lifted straight from what the bible prescribes. A portion of the life story of a slave boy tells us all we need to know about servitude which is what paid employment is veiled as. Genesis 39 has the necessary narration;
1. And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
2. And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
3. And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
4. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.
5. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
6. And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
Paid Employment is Slavery.
and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites
Paid employment is limiting and inhibiting because you have been bought for a price.
Continue reading “THE ENTREPRENEUR”