Investors urge SMEs to leverage digitalisation for growth
Investors have urged Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to leverage innovation to attract external funding to boost their businesses and the economy.
They gave the charge at the sixth edition of the Lagos Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Business Summit with the theme, “Next Frontier of Innovation and Leadership,” to commemorate the global entrepreneurship week.
Speaking at a panel session, the Chief Executive Officer, Loatsad Promomedia and Group, Oluwaseyi Tinubu, said investors are interested in ideas that will drive the growth of businesses and contribute to the economy
He said entrepreneurs should digitise their operations to enable them to reach a larger audience and help boost their businesses to attract investors.
Tinubu said most investors want to see a large market size because they want a market that can grow and multiply the money invested.
“The marketplace is digital, if you don’t digitalise your business you will be left behind. Make use of your social media platforms to spread and market your businesses,” he said.
Tinubu noted that for investors to fund small businesses, the entrepreneurs must have the product, implementable ideas, be trustworthy and in business as well as have the right team to deliver the strategy pitched for the growth of the business.
The Founder, SME100Africa, Charles Odii, said Nigeria is faced with the necessary task of having to look for other means of generating revenue beyond what oil has been able to achieve over the last five decades.
He stressed that at the centre of delivering the nation from an economic downturn, is the need to innovate. Odii noted that Nigeria has witnessed over the last decade, the emergence of innovative companies that are beginning to gain global relevance while questioning if the country’s business environment enables and effectively sustains innovation.
He said innovation enables businesses to navigate difficult economic terrains and remain profitable, scalable and sustainable.
Odii further added that having inspired, empowered and engaged over 15,106 entrepreneurs in Nigeria in the last 12 months, the organisation has partnered with the Federal Ministry of industry trade and investment to train 100,000 young entrepreneurs on digital and business development skills.
On her part, Chief Executive Officer, Quicklaw Limited, Sade Michael, charged entrepreneurs to legitimise their businesses and be conversant with industry regulations, as investors only invest in businesses that are registered.
She lamented that start-ups neglect to have the right structure nor do the business owners research and be familiar with existing industry laws.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, Bookings Africa, Fade Ogunro, advised small business owners to do personal findings and background research on the investors, especially on the money that would be invested as well as the terms and conditions for funding the business so they don’t run into trouble. Highlights of the event include giving of N1 million grants to some entrepreneurs to scale their businesses.