By MAGNUS EZE
The investment climate of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was enlivened last week when the Fijeh Roseline Aadum Foundation (FRAF) organised a forum for aspiring entrepreneurs and stakeholders in enterprise development and equipped them with secrets of successful investment.
It was a gathering of young entrepreneurs, cutting across various sectors such as agriculture, fashion, cosmetics, laundry, publishing, blogging and photography, to mention but a few.
Founder/promoter of FRAF, Mrs. Roseline Aadum, said that it was the need to fill in training and equipping of entrepreneurs that made her create the value centre arm of the foundation: “I am particularly happy that I saw a gap and I am bridging the gap by providing solutions. Most employers and employees offer low productivity and don’t live up to their potential, especially in this trying times; so we come in to assist through capacity building and business support. Our goal is to help entrepreneurs know that the current economic situation is not a reason to either pack up business, give up or stop doing what they are doing. It can actually be an opportunity”.
She said the foundation would in the course of providing business support services to small and medium enterprises also offer incubation and mentoring for entrepreneurs.
Chairman, African Centre for Business Development Strategy and Innovation, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, who delivered the keynote lecture on the topic “Surviving in This Time of Economic Recession,” believed that recession was not a death sentence, but insisted that the nation’s economy could only bounce back if it was made competitively productive.
Some of the strategies for overcoming the challenges of recession and ensuring business survival issued at the summit included that an entrepreneur must activate thinking minds in the organisation; the organisation must have minds that believe that nothing is impossible, not those attuned to previous conclusions.
It also requires adoption of the entrepreneurial paradigm of always looking for needs to fill, problems to solve and value to create, because in doing so entrepreneurs must focus on areas of greatest need in a growing market segment/niche.
Among other tips, participants were also urged to radically re-engineer work and management; question all assumptions by troubleshooting, justify every expenditure, including sticking to budgets, strengthen marketing and sales activities as well as outsourcing, where feasible.
Aside from training and retraining of staff to sharpen their skills, entrepreneurs should always eliminate frivolities and manage time effectively because time flies and cannot come back.
There is also the centrality of God in the activities of men; hence those running enterprises should enthrone godly business conduct: “Many businesses cheat at several levels in an attempt to be profitable and successful, but everybody finds out sooner or later that all success worth having must be founded on godly rules and conduct”.
In an interview with Daily Sun, FRAF promoter charged young people to be determined, disciplined and courageous, saying that it was not enough for anyone to say that there is no job, when there is actually a need to fill out there. The only key she said was for them to think out of the box by being hyper creative.
One of the participants, Mr. Kelechi Anosike, said his take away from the seminar was that he is better equipped to run his enterprise.
Arising from the seminar, he said he would be all out looking for gap to fill, problem to solve and where to add value.
Anosike noted that as a lawyer, he had not confined himself to legal practice alone; instead he found a space to operate in the oil and gas sector, which after this training would receive some boost.
“As I go back, I would do away with the things that I don’t need in the immediate; wastage and redundancies, avoid all avoidable. I don’t believe that one should stay and say he is idle, when there is what to do out there. We must all learn to add value,” he advised.