How Akudihor equips early-stage businesses with support services

Deborah Akudihor is a lawyer and founder of Business Genesis – a business that supports start-ups and early-stage businesses with the necessary support services to kick-start their businesses.

Akudihor was inspired to establish Business Genesis owing to the challenges she experienced while setting up her initial business in the fashion industry.

“My first business, Hazle, a fashion brand, was founded in 2017. It gave me insight into the challenges of starting a business in Nigeria,” she says.

“I needed to know where I could hire a website developer and how much it would cost, what is the procedure for registering a business, and who can I hire to prepare my business plan,” she notes.

“I couldn’t get anybody to hire easily. It took a while with help from friends and family before I could resolve it,” she explains.

To change this for others, the lawyer-turned-entrepreneur established Business Genesis in 2019 as a one-stop shop for start-ups and early-stage businesses to get relevant resources to kick-start their businesses.

“Business Genesis is addressing foundational issues of setting a corporate entity,” she notes.

“We have put together a team of professional freelancers and project managers with experience in a variety of services to develop and implement the structure required to launch a new company,” she explains.

She states that having a brilliant idea is not all that guarantees a successful business but execution, noting that not finding the qualified and trustworthy employees to drive the idea could lead to the collapse of the business.

The young entrepreneur says her initial start-up capital was less than a million naira and was from the money she saved from her fashion business.

She spent her start-up capital on building a website, incorporating the business, branding, hiring, and digital marketing.

Since its establishment, her business has grown steadily and supported over 60 start-ups to kick-start their businesses.

Speaking on why most start-ups fail after five years, Akudihor says lack of adequate planning, depleted cash flow, and inadequate market research are major factors responsible for high failure rates among start-ups.

“Many start-up founders just pick an idea and start executing the idea without adequate planning and this leads to a high collapse rate of businesses,” she says.

“Also, a good business idea must identify the market that requires its services, and to do so would require extensive research on potential customers and how to reach them.”

Speaking on the business expansion plans, she notes that her business is currently working to partner with vocational institutes in fashion, culinary, cosmetology, and carpentry among others in the short run.

Read also: Adequate finance is critical for start-ups survival — DFET founder

Also, the business plans to own its own office space and build a hub in the long run.

Responding to questions on what stands her business out from other centres supporting early-businesses kick-starting their businesses, the young entrepreneur says that Business Genesis is more than an organization that supports start-ups.

“We are dedicated to ensuring that there are no loopholes in your business more than we want to make money. Essentials like registration, planning, and agreements, are not overlooked,” she says.

“Also, we serve as a hub for new freelancers and professionals. This is a win-win situation for all. Companies we worked with that offer B2B services become a part of our network of freelancers and professionals,” she further says.

“Another thing that stands us out is the transparency in our processes. We have a delivery timeline, we stick to it while keeping the clients informed in every stage,” she adds.

On major challenges limiting entrepreneurship in Nigeria, she notes that the huge infrastructural deficit in the country remains a big problem for the ecosystem.

She adds that inadequate access to finance, lack of skilled professionals, and get-rich syndrome are also major challenges responsible for the high failure rate in the landscape.

On how Business Genesis supports start-ups dealing with these challenges, she states that her business offers advisory service to them that helps navigate these challenges in the ecosystem.

Similarly, she adds that her business provides assistance and project management services in ensuring that start-ups get the right tools and employees to deploy their services.

On her advice to other entrepreneurs, she says, “Do not run your business in isolation, seek professional assistance at your formation stage and as you grow.”

“Carve your niche and continually solve their problems, spreading yourself too thin can result in missed opportunities to capture an engaged audience,” she advises.

“Think omnichannel to create more access to your products and enable flexible options for your customers to contact you and purchase your products,” she adds. “Lastly, pricing is not a strategy, put value first.”

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