• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Exploring impact of 2015 elections on SMEs

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What impact can the 2015 elections have on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)? The impact come in form of opportunities or challenges. Some businesses could rake in lots of money if they strategise well to tap into the opportunities while some without adequate plans would not only miss the opportunities but could be overrun by the challenges.

This, according to Uzo Nduka, chief executive, Domino Information Company Limited (DICL), is the reason the company at its fourth annual Business Manager Planning Workshop series had as its theme: ‘Business and Politics: Opportunities and Challenges for SMEs in an Election Year.’

Speaking further at the forum, Nduka said, “The coming election in February 2015 is a once-in-four-years opportunity for SMEs. Caterers, transporters, entertainers, event managers, these are only a few of the businesses that could harvest bumper revenues and profits in the year 2015. But you must plan and position your business for this before the competition beats you to it.”

Speaking further, he said, “The DICL Business Manager Planning workshop series seeks to create an environment as well as provide expertise and tools for entrepreneurs to produce their own business plans for the year -2014. The workshop also provides an opportunity  for entrepreneurs to network and share ideas on common business challenges.”

At this workshop, Sam Ohuabunwa, president, Nigeria – America Chambers of Commerce, taught the entrepreneurs on how to lead a business in atmosphere of uncertainties as the coming elections may bring about some unexpected incidents, which may present opportunities or challenges.

Nduka, the DICL chief executive provided the entrepreneurs with strategies on tapping into opportunities and hedging against challenges in the coming 2015 elections, also a representative of Fabian Ajogwu from the law firm, Kennar Partners shared insights on contracting strategies for SMEs generally and specifically in an election year.

The lawyer drew attention to the fact that by 2015 even if the country’s president or the governor of a state does not change, there would certainly be changes in their cabinets. He therefore advised on how the entrepreneur could protect his business in the event that politicians or political appointees whose roles are crucial to the contract they are currently entering into were no longer occupying the office after the elections.

As running a business may have adverse effect on the health of the undiscerning entrepreneur, Gbenga Adebayo, chief executive, Living Health International, a medical doctor, spoke on healthy living for business executives.

Very relevant insights such as financial management and raising funds for a business, building a winning team from bottom up, taxation for small businesses and marketing/conducting business online were handled by seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals which include Thomas Okojie, chief executive, Total Ascent; Patrick Idode, Penielgate Consult; and Fred Agbata, CFA Leverage.

At the end of the workshop, every participant left with the knowledge, strategy and action plan for their business including a clear financial picture of where they expect it to be by the end of 2014. Another edition of this year’s 4th Business Manager Planning Workshop will be held next month (April) in Port Harcourt according to the organisers.

The partners in this year’s DICL annual Business Planning workshop include Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Quest Advisory Services Limited, Nigeria-America Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Stanbic IBTC Bank, Sterling Bank, MoneyCom Finance, Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), Lagos state ministry of agriculture and cooperatives.

OLUYINKA ALAWODE