I may not be the best person to comment on this but the local business scene needs reshaping so I will try.
With the scram of business funding by Youth immediately after the announcement of different funding avenues including the Youth Fund, many quickly registered business names. Others who had already were in operation saw hope while many others who had just recently been bitten by the entrepreneurship seizure stood to be counted.
Then came the conditions to access the facilities and numbers dwindled while many like some of us saw this as a discrimination for genuine business persons. The skeptical did not even try for they smelt something fishy. Many months and now years after the disbursements of these highly coveted funds only a handful of the recipient businesses exist. The fighters like some of us who missed but lived to soldier on press on for growth.
The issue is not really funding I would say. Many like myself are self made and determined to not only build business empires but create jobs. Years past in our business we have engaged quite a sizeable number on small contracts and casual jobs. We had our drive right and when recession knocked hard at us we cringed to the point of closure but like in the book Art of War, we declared broken arrow. Meaning we went under yes but it was so as to maintain healthy business that is we cut costs, lay off staff, vacated to smaller space, cut off internet and took up cyber communication and modems for very urgent responses. We went into payment agreement with our creditors and cash flow was a crisis management every day. We ditched our cars and put them up for hire. The point is we survived because we kept knocking at opportunity door.
What kept us afloat is being true to who were and always striving to offer the best given our position. Walk in clients were key as they paid on time and loyal corporate clients defended us by sending manageable business our way.
So from this we value people and small businesses. We try to promote them whenever we can. Here is where many lack professionalism; many promise what they cannot deliver. Many deal treacherously yet we strive to grow together. Business people should endeavor to develop systems and people that will form strong support systems for their growth strategy.
They may have a splendid business plan document, they may comply to all funding conditionality but without the zeal for proper work ethics it will all be in vain. We revise ours regularly and use it as a reference point day by day. This is where we strongly believe that growing business need mentorship from time – seasoned business leaders. We are yet to receive funding from any source but the mentorship of youth programmes, leading businesses, business books and case studies of Africa business champions we grow day by day.
I wish and pray that all youth entrepreneurs grow in business and culture professional work ethics. Today we celebrate four years of existence in business and we thank our esteemed clients, suppliers and all goodwill friends. God Bless You!