• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

Inflation: Experts share strategies for MSMEs to survive

Nigeria’s stubborn inflation and how government must focus on engineering growth

Amid the prevailing surging inflation in the cost of doing business in Nigeria, experts shared ideas on how entrepreneurs can mitigate the challenges many micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) face in the country.

Experts who shared their wealth of knowledge on how entrepreneurs can manoeuvre through the challenging business turfs in the country during the 2024 edition of the Doing Business in Nigeria Conference (DBNC) held recently.

Linda Uneze, the convener of the programme, who is also the managing partner of Maurice Xandra Solutions speaking about the conference, said; “DBNC was created to ensure that we can have people who have the experience to share with other SMEs.

I run a business and I know sometimes, it can be difficult, and at times I feel isolated because not everyone feels the unique hurdles that entrepreneurs face.

I wanted a platform where people can inspire others by sharing how they were able to navigate some of the peculiar challenges that we find in our nation.”

The 2024 edition of DBNC themed; “Sustainable Transformations: Innovation for Growth” which had Aruoture “Rotus” Oddiri, a television host with Arise Media Group, as the master of ceremony, beamed light on businesses in Nigeria and how to scale through the challenging turfs.

Uneze is known for her passion for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship. She invests her time and resources desiring their growth, as she is also one of them.

Besides, she believes one of the ways business hurdles can be tackled is through learning from professionals, which was what led her to convene DBNC.

Attendees at the event, which was held at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, got an insight into how to seek alternatives for long-standing growth in their businesses.

Speaking at the event, Wole Adeniyi, the chief executive officer of Stanbic IBTC Bank, expressed his belief that size plays a major role in the success of a business.

“In this country, size matters, that is why a lot of companies are excited to do business,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mitchell Elegbe, the founder/group chief executive officer of Interswitch proffered ways enterprises can navigate through inflation.

“Whenever there is a problem, I go back to ask if it has ever happened in Nigeria and what was done about it.  Whenever I do this, I tell myself to relax because this case is small.

“Inflation is 31 percent now and you are screaming. Know that in this beloved country, inflation was once at 72 percent. So, it is nothing new.  It is only new to you but it is not new to the country. If you go back and learn history, you will know what companies that survived then did,” he said.

The event had three keynote speakers, two panel sessions, and one business pitch. Attendees were taken through the topic, “Doing Business in Nigeria: The Opportunities, Challenges, and Realities” for the first panel session.

The second panel session was centred on the “Catalyst for Success: Strategic Business Growth Approaches.” A major highlight of the event was the business pitch which had four people battling for the grant to enhance their enterprises.

An entrepreneur Ruth Ede won the grant of N5 million after her business idea was said to solve problems and had the potential for immediate success.

One of the four businesses that contested the grant received some money for its advancement because the judges deemed it worthy.

The judges on the business pitch were Paul Onwuanibe, the chief executive officer of Landmark Group; Hansatu Adegbite, the executive director of Wimbiz; and Ayo Adegboye, the chief executive officer of Arravo.

Mitchell Elegbe, the founder/Group CEO of Interswitch; Binta Max-Gbinije, the chief executive of BMG7even; and Wole Adeniyi, the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Bank, were the keynote speakers.

Some of the speakers at the panel sessions were John Uwajumoju, the special adviser to the President on Industry, Trade, and Investment, Federal Republic of Nigeria; Yemi Keri; the founder of  Heckerbella Limited; George Uduku; the general manager of West Africa General Electric Healthcare; Chidi Iwuchukwu, head of Investment Banking of Rand Merchant Bank for RMB in Africa; Ibrahim Salau, managing director of Accord Environmental Svcs Ltd; and Toyin Bashir, Partner at Banwo & Ighodalo.

Others are Tony Okpanachi, the CEO of Development Bank of Nigeria; Jane Egerton Idehen, the MD/CEO of Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT); Patrick Nwakogo, the country director /CEO of Dale Carnegie Nigeria; Ejiro Gray, the director of governance and sustainability at Sahara Group; and Chantelle Abdul, the GMD/CEO of Mojec Group.

The event was sponsored by Maurice Xandra Solutions, AA Holdings, Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), UnoTelos, Arravo, Landmark, GE Healthcare, Guinness, Environmental accord, Clarendelle, Stanbic IBTC Bank,

Josien, Mamador, and Obasanjo Farms Nigeria Limited (OFN). Mimi Kasu collaborated with the programme while the media partners were Business Day, Nairametrics, Punch, Business Insider, Streamline, E-motion, and BellaNaija.