Stakeholders at the one-day strategic conference on the Nigerian startup ecosystem have stated that the country must deepen collaboration between the private and public sector players for the country to attain the needed growth in the startup space.
Tagged, ‘Strategic fore-sighting: A peep into the future of start-ups in Nigeria’, stakeholders said access to funding and talent are key among challenges faced by startups in Nigeria. Accordingly, the 15 participants thereafter went into a closed door brainstorming session focused on market trends and changes for startups; customer needs and preferences; regulatory and policy changes; competitions, and strategic partnerships among others.
The one-day event was a closed boardroom event for (young) stakeholders, CEOs, thinkers and leaders focused on tabling future developments and their potential impacts on the emergence of Start-ups in Nigeria that was held at the board room, Walure Capital, Lagos.
“When we have a government that is so old and far away from those who are innovating; there is a disconnect. We need a good mix in government. I understand we should carry government along; I understand we should get their buy-in but the reality is that they are too far away from the startups,” Abimbola Adebakin, CEO, Advantage Health Africa said.
According to Adebakin, there is a need to build synergy between private and public sector players, just as she urged startup to build relation with the public sector by having contact in government.
She equally called on the government to seek avenues to sit on the same table with private sector players to deepen private-public engagement with friendlier and more proactive approach to governance.
“Naturally people want to work with established organisation. They don’t want to work for a one-man business; until and when you are able to show and demonstrate integrity and consistency.
“As an experienced entrepreneur I knew I needed to get the government on my side and so, even before I launched I went to create attention with the government,” said Adebakin.
Bayode Oke Thomas, an idea consultant and convener, said that people must first understand that every startup is a business. According to him, startups should concentrate more on building structures and strategies to survive and grow the business.
He further disclosed that many startups are usually carried away by excitement forgetting they needed to put structures in place to position the business for growth.
“There’s so much enthusiasm in trying to birth an idea but we fail to realise that a startup is still a business. Regardless of the change in the name of startup, there is a model a business should run. There are feasibility studies; there are predictions of the forecasting of the future that we must engage in to help position properly.
“So, what we do most times is that we are too enthusiastic than positioned for whatever is to come because by the time ideas come; it’s really exciting but there are structures that must be in place, there are strategies that must be in place, there’s also the funding conversation,” he said.