Experts in the country’s entrepreneurship landscape have said that lack of business structure and inadequate training top issues hindering growth of small businesses.
The experts, who spoke at a breakfast meeting organized by The SME Mall and themed ‘Adaptability & Resilience in the Current Business Landscape,’ said that these two internal factors were challenges limiting small businesses from scaling.
Funmi Komolafe, head of the SME and Wealth Team at Axa-Mansard Insurance, said that SMEs need to put a structure in place to enable them access funding and training.
She stated that his organisation would be partnering with The SME Mall to offer training on bookkeeping, accounting, and advisory alongside insurance services for small businesses.
“A lot of SMEs die within the first five years due to lack of structures like insurance, bookkeeping, accounting, and board members among others while businesses abroad live decades due to the structure they have in place,” she said.
Fikayo Babatunde COO at SME Mall said that many SMEs were bothered by the Nigerian landscape’s uncertainty, especially because of this year’s peculiarity with the coming election and fluctuations in forex.
“So, we wanted to let people know that even in the face of uncertainty there are methodologies and frameworks that they can put in place and use to leverage across all businesses.”
“This is why we have developed The SME Mall, a digital growth toolkit that provides access to the core six pillars that cater to every problem that an SME might be facing,” he said.
“These problems are usually around legal services, marketing and branding, finance and accounting, business advisory, human resources, and technology and even have complimentary partners to cater for the loan, insurance and pension aspect of their business,” he explained.
“With this platform, we simplify these services to make it easier for business owners to access a pool of professionals to help them with basic products to make them grow,” he added.
Also, Eizu Uwaoma, business consultant at Hexavia Nigeria who facilitated the session said that one of the reasons a lot of businesses lack structure is due to cultural issues like lack of routines, and character and also because most were birthed for survival with no plans for longevity.
“A lot of people don’t think of selling their businesses otherwise they’ll put structure in place, the government can impose certain regulatory requirements before a business gets its CAC, like taking a three-month business training, or submission of the business plan.” He said.
Susan Ogunleye, cofounder of Jasmin Ultra Blue Solutions, said, “I learned a lot of new strategies during the breakfast meeting to tackle the uncertainties that come with the year.”
As part of the many problems that SME business operators face, Startup Digest spoke to David Osagie a business owner within the travel industry said “The biggest issue we face as a travel concierge is a human capacity issue, the workforce is under qualified in terms of their competencies to feature in those areas. We have a lot of travel agents under us and we see that the major problem they go through is the human capacity problem.”