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Group restates commitment to SMEs growth, poverty reduction



With a vision to establish Nigeria as a global economic force through empowerment and wealth creation, Stanford Seed Transformation Network Nigeria (SSTN), has restated its commitment to empowering more start-ups to build strong processes and sound governance principles.

The President, SSTN, Mrs Nwamaka Okoye, who outlined this vision during the group’s first anniversary and end of year dinner in Lagos, said will ensure that poverty rate in Nigeria is reduced to its barest minimum.
Themed, “Refresh”, the keynote speaker at the event and Chairman, MTN Nigeria, Dr Pascal Dozie, advised entrepreneurs to remain focused, have a great mission in order to stay afloat, and succeed in business.

He noted that apart from being intelligent, three other key requirements needed to be a successful business entrepreneur is that one has to sweat, make sacrifices and be patient. 
According to him, “Don’t try to jump the system; make sure you climb the ladder without missing each step, or trying to get an advantage, because whenever you are collapsing, you wouldn’t know where to touch because you have missed some steps on the ladder. There is no science for success.
“You can rationalise whatever comes to you in life, believing that whatever comes to you comes to you for good. A philosophy one has to adopt in order to stay afloat in business is to stay focus till the end. Your mission has to be great, your starting point has to be moderated but your course and trajectory has to be specific,” Dozie said.
He recalled how he sojourned in his career and business life, and rose to the peak by maintaining the philosophy and paths of a successful entrepreneur despite many challenges that ensued along the line.
The entrepreneurial icon also remembered how he overcame a big challenge when he partnered with the telecommunication giant, MTN to come into Nigeria, due to lack of fund based on the 40 per cent and 60 per cent profit agreement. This caused the company between four and five years to sign the shareholders’ agreement, noting that MTN’s survival and success today is because the telecom firm has never cut corners, as it is based on truth.
He insisted that integrity and knowledge also held sway at Diamond Bank, which he founded, saying that money should not be the major parameter of an entrepreneur, rather, integrity, and finding the right people should be the major focus to ensure sustainability.
Okoye had earlier said: “What makes us different is our goal at the Stanford Seed Transformation Network. We seek to help Nigeria become a global force and economy to reckon with. We want to be the most vibrant network of entrepreneurs in Nigeria. We have a number of programmes that we currently execute.
“We are enriching the environment through the quality of start-ups and entrepreneurs that we produce. We are establishing ourselves as thought leaders in the society to help propagate some of the solutions that we have developed as well as stories of how some entrepreneurial challenges were addressed.”

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Nwamaka OkoyeSMEs’
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