By Henry Uche
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sigma Pensions, Mr. Dave Uduanu, has noted that startup companies in Nigeria and Africa require more venture capital funding to accelerate more business growth, development and economic sustainability.
He also stressed that as much as startups focus on the importance of getting funding, they also need to ensure they embed good corporate structures, citing it as pivotal for growth.
Uduanu said this at the maiden edition of ‘Founders and Funders’ event organised by Melon Capital in Lagos over the weekend where startups and investors converged for cross- fertilization of ideas to grow the sector.
He said: “ The more venture capital funding is available, the better for the economy because when you find very talented founders and you give them substantial money, they can fast track and grow their business and the economy at large.
“So, I guess for me, the more venture funding we have in Nigeria and in Africa, the better and the easier it is to build these big companies and unicorns as they are so-called.”
He also urged that startups to have good corporate governance and management structure from the onset: “Investors in startups should ensure where they are investing in having good corporate governance, good management structures in these companies.”
On his part, Partner at SouthBridge Group and former Chief Executive Officer, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Mr. Andrew Alli, also speaking on the importance of corporate governance, said: “Corporate governance is super important, and certainly when I was at AFC and when talking about startups.
“We did many studies about what were the best predictors of success of our investments and corporate governance was more often than not, a better predictor of success. I also, I think the corporate governance needs to evolve with a company.”
Further alluding to the importance of good corporate governance, and speaking from a founder’s point of view, the Co-Founder, Trade Depot, Mr. Kachi Izukanne, noted its importance for startups to scale. He said: “Corporate governance is vital because it is a constant reminder to you as a founder why it is important to have corporate governance in place and why it is important to do things the right way.”