The maiden edition of the Founder Institute (Lagos chapter) Velocity program was held on Saturday, November 16, 2019, at the Fajemirokun Hall of Commerce House Building, Victoria Island, Lagos State.
Sponsored by Connect Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Xaine Ingenius, and PAC SOLICITORS, the event was targeted at MSMEs and saw entrepreneurs from all over the country grace it. The event also marked the graduation ceremony of the first batch of Founders Institute Lagos graduates who had gone through a 14-week rigorous entrepreneurship training program and received mentorship from renowned entrepreneurs like the CEO of Connect Nigeria, Emeka Okafor, among others.
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Connect Nigeria brings you a full recap of the program.
The keynote address at the event was delivered by Mr. John Obaro (CEO, SystemSpecs) with major focus on most of the challenges confronting SMEs in Nigeria that are more likely to collapse within five years of start-up. In Mr. Obaro’s opinion, most startups in Nigeria are likely to fail within the first two years of starting. Some of the challenges confronting start-ups in Nigeria include:
Mr. Obaro went further to outline some attributes an entrepreneur must have to succeed in Nigeria despite all the risks involved in starting up a firm. They include:
- Hunger for success
- Building a strong team
- The power of focus
- Quality products and services
- Brainstorming and balanced thinking
- Automating your financials
- Building a good business policy and values
- Marketing and sales plans
- Being wise
A key point noted at the event is the relevance of platforms for capacity building to enable budding entrepreneurs thrive in the Nigerian market. Ayodele Ojosipe (Head Enterprise Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank) stated during his presentation at the event:
The biggest challenge encountered by startups in Nigeria is not funding, it is a platform for capacity buildingAyodele Ojosipe
FI Graduates Narrate their Experiences
Oare Ehiemua, the Founder of LaborHack, and the Tokeeto brothers on behalf of the FI graduates narrated their experiences during the 14-week long training. For the graduates, the training made them:
- Learn how to absorb criticism from all corners
- Get comfortable with asking for help (no man is an Island)
- The importance of team work
- Extended perspective on business
- Changed their mindset as amateurs in business
All 21 brands that underwent training were permitted to pitch their companies at the event. They include:
- COLORD TEES
- OSTEENA ORGANICS
- Baller Zone
- Tres Melanin
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A panel discussion session which largely focused on the Nigerian market was a major highlight of the event. Panelists which included Tosin Faniro Dada (Head, Lagos Innovates, LSETF), Atul Kshetry (CEO, IDM Services Plc), among others, pointed out key strategies to boost one’s enterprise in Nigeria, and ways to boost entrepreneurial ventures in Nigeria. Points noted include:
- The diversity of the Nigerian market which is infinite and the fact that majority of the successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria are the ones willing to evolve and adapt to this diversity.
- Addressing the bottom of the pyramid
- The need for businesses or startups to create avenue for digital and non-digital presence
- The need for startups to collaborate with partners
- The essence of going through business training programs and workshops
- Importance of networking in business
Presentation of Certificates
Graduates of the FI program were presented with certificates which serve as proof of their training. One of the leaders of the Founder Institute, Lagos chapter, Fred Chukwuemeka Agbata Junior, announced the change of the institute’s name from Founder Institute Lagos to Stanbic IBTC-Founder Institute Lagos.
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