Somkwe John-Nwosu is the chief executive officer of Credo Consult Limited. In an interview with Josephine Okojie, he spoke about his 10-years entrepreneurial journey and how Credo Consults Limited is bridging the skill gaps in the public and private sectors.
What inspired you to establish Credo Consults Ltd?
Having come from the banking industry and completing an MBA in the UK, I realized the massive skills gap in the Nigerian government workforce and the general gap in the management and technical skills in the civil service. Credo Consults Ltd is a response to this deficiency I identified. We have set out to bridge this gap by equipping government employees in Nigeria with the vital knowledge, skills and attitudes required to drive and implement government policies. Also, we set out to help small and medium-scale businesses grow as we have also realized skill gaps in their ability to manage a business from inception to maturity. Statistically, only sixteen percent of businesses succeed beyond the first five years in Nigeria. Nurturing a business to go beyond five years, ten years or even centuries takes a lot of skills to do that. So, these are the areas we have tried to intervene in Nigeria and what we have been doing in the last 10 years. On the business consulting aspect, we also realized that there is a huge gap in the abilities of people to set up and run businesses successfully. Having all the resources needed such as funding, team, and innovative idea among others may not be enough. Getting expertise to manage a business successfully is a necessary skill that is lacking amongst many entrepreneurs. These are the two key areas in which we have found gaps and we at Credo Consults Ltd want to solve some of these problems bedeviling entrepreneurs/business owners as well as government employees and others. We have coached over 100 businesses since inception and have delivered training to top-tier government agencies and parastatals.
Following your inspiration for creating Credo, what is your expertise?
Credo Consults seeks to provide effective and efficient advisory services, human resource management, and business management solutions to firms and organizations. Over the last 10 years on the training front, we have collaborated with federal government agencies; state and local government offices; non-profit organizations, universities, and corporations helping hundreds of professionals unleash their potential. We are committed to empowering professionals to advance their careers and enabling organizations to achieve their missions with our high-impact training courses, professional development solutions and customized consulting services. On the management consulting front, Credo has supported companies and institutions on issues of strategic importance. This typically covers questions about raising capital, markets, business planning and models, growth techniques, and underlying business performance.
What have you done differently to remain in business and what strategic plan did you adopt to put the business on the path of sustainable growth?
We are not where we want to be yet. I will say that I am not even satisfied with where we are today. But of course, in life, we have to celebrate small victories and encouragements that keep us going ahead to achieve more. So, for the future, we want to become a household name, become an institute for training government agencies. There has to be like a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between credo consults, and of course, the government so that is the kind of model that we’re looking at creating in the future where there will be a more sustained and elaborate framework that will enable us to train and equip the civil servants, so that the consolidated civil and public service become attractive to young people, attract the best brains, and we can see the performance and results. Most government initiatives are not felt by the ordinary Nigerians and this is wrong. We want to change this narrative. We pulled some members of the academia that will train the civil servants with 21st century skills, leadership skills, and all of the necessary skill sets to achieve government objectives. And then of course on the business end, we are about to float Credo Capital a venture capital outfit that will provide startup funding for micro small and medium enterprises in Abuja, and other parts of the country. Also, we’re not just going to provide funding and investments with them, we will also provide some business education and mentorship for budding entrepreneurs.
1O-years is a milestone, what is your advice to young and upcoming entrepreneurs?
10 years is a milestone, in this time, we have trained over fifty (50) agencies and 1000+ individuals in over 10 cities (globally and locally), and have passed through our training sessions choosing from any of our 200+ flexible courses. We have also helped businesses access over 5 billion Naira in government interventions and funding through our financial advisory and business planning services. However, my advice to young entrepreneurs is I know that it is everybody’s dream to be your own boss however I will like to address these two notions. The notion on follow your passion and make money from your passion. I want to discounter that notion with young entrepreneurs who tell you to be your passion, no you don’t have to follow your passion at an early stage. Passion does not bring you all the success but learning the ropes, and focusing on solving problems, when you learn how to solve problems then you can follow your passion. Also, as an entrepreneur, you have to do some kind of apprenticeship or get some experience, learn how systems are run, and learn your account management, these are basic skills needed. My second piece of advice is, that as an entrepreneur you need to have a heart of stone because there are going to be a lot of downfalls and discouragement. My experience these 10 years has a lot of downfalls but we do not relent because at this stage you have to keep doing great and add a lot of mental toughness to deal with disappointment, you have to weather all these negative storms in the journey of entrepreneurship. You need to have a very strong support system, to support you when times are hard and also gear yourself up with a mentor.