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The Chairman of First Bank Nigeria, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika has said that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) remains the bedrock of an economy that will survive shocks.
She argued that SMEs constitute the bulk of most African economies, and comprise business enterprises that employ fewer people, but many in numbers.
According to her, “Path to a sustainable economy for Africa, particularly Nigeria, is feasible only if efforts are made and sustained to build as many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as possible”.
Awosika, was guest speaker at the maiden edition of Fate Alumni Conference, organised by Fate Foundation in Lagos within the week. She noted that infrastructure and other key challenges were surmountable if entrepreneurs cautiously build their businesses on lasting value.
Delivering her speech on “Road to Sustainable Growth for Nigerian Entrepreneurs”, Awosika, who narrated her business experiences, said entrepreneurs must build on lasting relationship and leverage on skills, technology and the right people.
“As an entrepreneur, you must evaluate your environment to know your advantage and manage growth in a sustainable manner.
According to her, entrepreneurs must have a sense of what is sustainable to understand the nature of the opportunity that wouldn’t get business into trouble.
“Once you eliminate the option of compromise in business, you build a strong foundation for your business.
To remain sustainable, Awosika stressed on the need why businesses must not be built around owners, noting that entrepreneur must find a way to limit themselves to strategy and ideation and must be deliberate about finding and leveraging the right people and relationships.
She advised entrepreneurs on how to build a long-term business on a sustainable model in an ever-changing business environment and how to handle business opportunities, pointing out that some opportunities are dysfunctional and unsustainable.
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