• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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The case for good business

The case for good business

In the unpredictable journey of entrepreneurship, it’s undeniable that we all need a helping hand along the way. This premise is one I firmly stand by. As the wise old African proverb advises, “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, then walk together.” These words resonate deeply, underscoring the significance of collaboration and community in achieving enduring success.

Entrepreneurship, by its very nature, is rife with challenges and solitude. Entrepreneurs are tasked with the formidable feat of creating something out of nothing and tackling problems with ingenuity, discipline, and unwavering focus. Yet, in the exhilarating pursuit of turning dreams into reality, entrepreneurs shoulder a weighty burden. They not only strive for commercial success but also bear the responsibility of rallying others to join them on this rollercoaster journey, often risking their own livelihoods and the well-being of their families in the process.

If you find yourself nodding in agreement with this description, then this column is dedicated to you. Together, we’ll embark on a journey to explore what it truly takes to build not just any business, but a good one—a business characterised by virtues that extend far beyond financial gains. Our premise is simple: there exists a distinction between a good business and a bad one, and it’s not solely defined by its profitability. The true cost of a business must be thoroughly examined, even if it boasts commercial success.

So, what exactly defines a good business? This is where your input becomes invaluable. We’ll delve into thought-provoking questions such as the role of a business in its community as a responsible citizen, strategies for scaling beyond personal capacities, methods for growing a positive organisational culture, and approaches to navigating ethical dilemmas that threaten the existence of a business. These questions may not always yield straightforward answers, but through collaborative discussion and introspection, we can begin to unravel the complexities of entrepreneurship.

This column aims to guide you through the thought process of arriving at principles that will serve as a compass in guiding your business endeavors. We’ll engage in topical conversations surrounding ethical leadership, the current business landscape, and the challenges that entrepreneurs face, offering insights and solutions along the way. Additionally, we’ll draw inspiration from business leaders who exemplify these principles in their daily endeavors, shedding light on their experiences and strategies for success.

Looking ahead, our next steps involve digging deeper into key topics such as values, business ethics, sustainability, critical thinking skills, leading a team, and the role of governance in business. We’ll also examine government policies that affect businesses and explore their implications, offering practical solutions to address pertinent issues.

Why now, you may wonder? Well, the business landscape is tough enough as it is, particularly in volatile environments like Nigeria. With rapid currency fluctuations and new laws emerging unpredictably, entrepreneurs need a steady source of guidance and support to navigate these challenges effectively. Moreover, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners wield significant influence over their employees’ lives and, by extension, their families’ lives. By providing support to these leaders, we indirectly serve a greater population and contribute to the broader socio-economic well-being of our communities.

I urge you to join me on this journey as we strive to redefine the essence of entrepreneurship and build businesses that not only thrive but also make a positive impact on the world around us. Together, let’s empower each other to overcome challenges, seize opportunities, and create lasting change. Your journey starts here—let’s walk it together.

As we embark on this journey together, your input and feedback are crucial. I invite you to share your thoughts, experiences, and perspectives. What challenges are you currently facing in your business? What topics would you like to see addressed in future columns? Your contributions will shape the direction of this column and ensure that it remains relevant and impactful.

Nwamaka Nwobi Okoye
[email protected]

Nwamaka Okoye, an accomplished entrepreneur, interior architect, speaker, and writer, co-founded thriving businesses like Design Genre, Housessories Ltd., and Gearshift Africa. As CEO of Housessories Ltd., she champions ethical business leadership, proving success can be achieved in Nigeria while doing business “the right way.” Her expertise spans commercial design, serving top clients like Unilever, Mitsubishi, and Procter & Gamble. Chair of the Stanford Seed Transformation Network Nigeria, Board of Trustees, Nwamaka advocates for ethical entrepreneurship. She hosts “Seed Diaries,” on YouTube and serves on the faculty of Covenant Capital Business School, where she teaches Business Ethics. Nwamaka supports multiple initiatives empowering women, Christian leaders, and youth through education, mentorship, and life skills training.