The Connect Nigeria Business Fair is done and dusted, but here are a few things about Africa’s biggest business fair that stood out for us
Aside from the exuberance and color in the exhibition hall, as vendors and exhibitors displayed their wares and services, the other highpoints of the day were the two business meeting sessions in which key business executives spoke.
The first session which dealt had Bernard Oriyomi, Abimbola Balogun, Chibuzor Ike, Agatha Amata and Ndu Anyanwu deal with “What Nobody Tells You About Starting a Business”.
They explained that your business must be solving a problem or meeting a need, and that innovation and adaptability are key in any business as changes are guaranteed to keep occurring in the business environment. Mrs Amata particularly noted that one must not wait for the green light to start. Just start with what is available and improve as you go, otherwise you may never start
Mabel George in capping up the session mentioned that every entrepreneur must be able to make smart decisions. Such decisions might include knowing when to quit or restrategize
The second session of the day focused on The Difference Between Building A Business And Building an Empire, and had Femi Oye of SME Funds, Afolabi Abiodun, Ayodele Ojosipe , and Kanyisade Ademuson speak.
The speakers highlighted the fact that navigating the complexities, competition and constant changes is paramount to any business and that whether or not a business grows into an empire is dependent on the internal structures within the business.
The last speaker emphasized the importance of having a thick skin, clear vision, business plan on paper, and the ability to make the best out of negative situations and criticisms.
Participants on the second day of the fair were engaged in discussions about the struggle with stability and continuity as experienced by most businesses, and the importance of scaling your business.
In the first session, speakers including Olufunmi Odunuga, Ayotunde Coker and Opeoluwa Senbanjo encouraged businesses to put in place trans-generational structures, be open to calculated risks, and pay attention to the choice of people who make up their team as these go a long to determining how stable and sustainable the business becomes.
Tunde Balogun, CEO od Rent Small Small, added that people should engage in business for the right reason – providing solution to problems, while Fela Durotoye advised that entrepreneurs develop a growth mindset and pass same across to the team as this was crucial to the sustainability of their business
In the second session speakers took turns admonishing business owners from their wealth of experience and knowledge, to learn from their experiences, build partnerships that grow their business, know everything you need to know about your business, stick to their core products and act fast otherwise they might lose their market to competition.
There were also Business Master classes on Branding and Packaging, Creative Enterprise, 5 Financial Lessons In Business and Empowering the Nigerian SMEs Through Locally Hosted Cloud Technology.
Another highpoint of the event was the announcement of Zainab Rahman as the winner of the raffle draw 1st prize at the end the two day event. The cleaner had clinched the grand prize, a return ticket to the United Kingdom or the United States, courtesy of Air France and KLM, and she could not hold back her excitement.
The Connect Nigeria Business Fair 8th edition will be holding next year, 2020, at the same venue, The Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos on the 6th and 7th of March.