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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

SME: Okere prescribes 3 Powers for Success as entrepreneurs



FOUNDER and Chief Executive Officer, Computer Warehouse Group Plc, Mr. Austin Okere has prescribed three antidotes owners of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) must abide with to become successful, reports DigitalSENSE Business News.

The three antidotes are what he tagged “3 Powers of success” which include the Way power, the Will power and the Wait power.

Okere who gave this insight at the maiden edition of the Annual Fidelity SMEs conference in Lagos as a panelist on the theme “Leveraging Technology for SME Growth”, noted that the three powers are secrets that will keep every entrepreneur going.

The panel featured outstanding entrepreneurs in the ICT sector of the country, including Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, the Founder of Zinox Technologies; Mr. Nicolas Martin, CEO and Co- Founder of Jumia , Mr. Charles Anudu, CEO, Swift Networks, Mr. Bankole Cardoso, Founder Easy Taxi, Mr. Opeyemi Awoyemi, Co-Founder Jobberman and Mrs. Funke Opeke, CEO of Main One.

“Will power is the competence you possess to run your business. The knowledge of how to run the enterprise you want to venture into,” he said.

Many people, he noted, will start a business, create solutions then go about looking for the problems. And when sales are not made they become disappointed.

“You first ought to be finding out peoples’ problems and pain points then create solutions that ameliorate the pain. This is the best way to ensure patronage,” Okere advised.

The will power, Okere said is “the resolve to keep going when everyone say give up”. “Sometimes people close to you will advise you to dump your venture and seek a proper job. But, what should keep you going at such times is your passion. It is the passion of a footballer that makes him complain when he is benched, despite the fact that he will still receive his pay at the end of the day. Your will power makes you go the extra mile, while your passion makes you persist in your venture while waiting for pay day.”

“Most businesses fail because the proprietors abandon them as soon as they face challenges, because it is not yielding as much as they want. After you have put so much effort into your business, you need to patiently wait for the benefits that will accrue from it. This is the essence of the third power; the wait power, which takes you eventually to light at the end of a dark tunnel,” he concluded.
On how SMEs could leverage on technology to maximize results, Okere advised merchants to explore the opportunities that the CWG 2.0 platform offers.

“SMERP and Openshopen platforms are designed to meet the peculiar needs of SMEs in Nigeria. Openshopen will give you the visibility your business requires to thrive in this age where businesses are going online, while SMERP will take care of your accounting and generate the records banks like Fidelity will require from you to access loans. Beyond that, they are reliable and affordable, and are available on a subscription basis,” he said.

Okere emphasized on the essence of developing the CWG2.0 platform to democratize the technology that companies such as Jumia and Konga have erstwhile used exclusively to great advantage, and make them available to the over 17.7m MSMEs in Nigeria.

“Seeing the value that this platform shall bring to the SME’s in the country, SMEDAN recently signed an MOU with CWG Plc culminating in a partnership that will address the technology needs of the sector.” Austin asserted.

The Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, in his opening speech maintained that the bank’s commitment to building Nigerian entrepreneurs is one of its core business focuses. 

“We have gathered here today to deliberate on the challenges faced by SMEs in Nigeria and proffer solutions that would guide entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses,” he explained.

“Our goal is to produce more successful businessmen like Alhaji Aliko Dangote from our entrepreneurs that are in SME category for now. We have watched Dangote transform from a merchant who went into manufacturing and later transformed into an owner of a multinational conglomerate,” he said.

Earlier, Mr. Okere was given a Distinguished Partner Award for his role in the building of Nigerian entrepreneurs by Fidelity Bank plc.

In a commemorative statement, the bank appreciated Mr. Okere for sharing his ideas on the panel. 

“We have continued to receive excellent feedbacks from the audience who are inspired by the insights and knowledge you shared.” he explained.
 

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