Innovate, not adapt, or die

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I recently started working for an entrepreneurship development Non-profit because I wanted to be more holistic in my understanding of how to run a startup but also to widen my knowledge on different approaches to tackling development.

I had been so fixated on the ‘K’ or capital component of the Cobb-Douglas equation as I had worked as an investment banker to try and fund project in real estate, mining, energy and infrastructure. However, entrepreneurship, especially in Nigeria, addresses both the ‘L’ or labour component and the TFP (Total Factor Productivity) or technology factor since most startups are trying to innovate and be disruptive.

Most people if given time can come up with an idea to solve a problem or capitalise on an opportunity, but the discipline and perseverance of an entrepreneur to continuously and consistently address issues by generating many ideas while maintaining a core ideology, which is not only focused on the value proposition, but the business at large from operations to legal to tax to customer service etc., is what distinguishes those who “Build to Last” as Jim Collins will say.

Therefore, we have a new boom of businesses, even here in the developing word who are disrupting rather than adapting to the industries they find themselves in such as Andela, Farmcrowding, Printivo, Flutterwave, and many more. And these businesses have created jobs and improved the economy despite the infrastructure bottlenecks of power and internet that Nigeria suffers from.

We also have the social entrepreneurs like She leads Africa, Slum2School, M.A.N.I etc. who champion a cause and use innovation to inspire, educate or care for disadvantaged or discriminated groups.

So now, after having tried my hands at entrepreneurship and not yet succeeded even though my idea still seems viable as I have people still asking for the product, I am happy to be in an organisation that will teach me to innovate and persevere in my entrepreneurial ambition while educating me on the right structures to put in place to make a startup business more successful in Nigeria; how does it do this you might ask-  it brings experienced business minds and successful entrepreneurs to share their experiences and challenges with the next generation of entrepreneurs.

So work resumes tomorrow at FATE Foundation.

God bless.


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