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Experts task entrepreneurs on right business models to boost funding

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ENYO Retails and Supply, Abayomi Awobokun. pHOTO; BUSINESSDAY

Experts have charged entrepreneurs to build their business profiles, earn investors’ trust in order to facilitate access to funding in terms of investment capital.

They stated this at the annual reception organised by the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) for its current honourees, the Class of 2019 100 Under 40 in Lagos, noting that it was wrong to assume that there are no funds to grow small and medium scale businesses in the country.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ENYO Retails and Supply, Abayomi Awobokun; Managing Director, Flying Doctors Nigeria, Dr. Ola Brown; Managing Director, Kobo 360, Obi Ozor; CEO, Venture Garden Group, Bunmi Akinyemiju and Head, Edo State Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs), Ukinebo Dare are among the experts who stated this at the weekend.

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Speaking on the theme “Raising Capital in Africa,” the panelists comprising past and current honorees, said entrepreneurs who are looking for capital must build their profiles and that of their companies before approaching their prospective investors.

Awobokun noted that investors always look at market realities and would go for businesses that are poised to maximally exploit these realities, adding: “You must show the problems they are solving, show passion and energy to solve those problems in order to attract investments.”

He listed another enablement to include a dedicated team to scout for investors, entrepreneurial resilience, a long-term investment horizon, the integrity of entrepreneurs and in-house of the corporate governance structure.

Speaking, Brown said ideas are not enough to attract investors but also the viability of these ideas in the market.

“It is true that investors look for companies that can fill the gaps in the market but they also ensure that there is enough market in the gap to ensure good and timely returns on investment,” she added.

She urged entrepreneurs to enlarge their businesses and social circles to include people with clout and social stature in order to ease their search for investors.

On his part, Akinyemiju, proposed the deployment of venture capital funding to groom more entrepreneurs in the country, stressing that the funds would help provide support for start-up companies and small businesses believed to have long-term growth potential.

While congratulating the 2019 honourees of the group on their exploits in their various fields of endeavours, Founder & CEO, MIPAD, Kamil Olufowobi, said the leaders would represent Nigeria in the world of People of African descent at MIPAD Recognition Week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York from September 27 to October 3, 2019.


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