Becoming an entrepreneur in Nigeria is one of the hardest decisions to make, however, it has been the most rewarding for many who have persevered. The benefits are immense but the risks are real.
There have been many articles that paint a gory picture of entrepreneurship in Nigeria. It is hard to go all out on your own, no doubt, but recognizing the risks involved makes it easier to avoid or address them.
Entrepreneurs face enormous challenges daily but it’s not always just the business risks, the social risks are huge, especially if you consider leaving a well-paying job to become an entrepreneur. If not for anything, the benefits that extended to family members in the old job, such as health insurance, will no longer be there. An entrepreneur will most likely get back in the good books of his family members when his business becomes profitable.
There is also the challenge of the complexity of the process new businesses have to go through before getting the necessary certification.
Eniola Okanlomo, a graduate of University of Ilorin, Kwara State Nigeria has had her own fair share of this challenge but she says it has never dissuaded her. She was 22 when she left the university and has never applied for a job. She has made a living from producing household materials and selling shoes and bags to ladies. Now 28, she works from her 3-bedroom apartment and has acted as an emergency fund to a couple of friends in the past six months, most of whom have regular paying jobs. “You have to be passionate about what you are doing. When the environment where you operate faces you with challenges that seem insurmountable, it is your passion that keeps you going,” she says.
Eniola admits that there are a lot of risks involved in entrepreneurship, “but aren’t there risks in every aspect of our lives?” she asks.
It is important to know that the risk of entrepreneurship can be reduced with some careful planning. Apart from becoming your own boss and creating jobs, with entrepreneurship, everyday could be your pay day. But you should never forget to save for the dry spell that is sure to come.
Being an entrepreneur in Nigeria may be difficult, but it is very rewarding if you persevere.
Watch Samson Adamu’s start-up story, CEO of Kinetic Sports/ COPA Lagos of how he started COPA Lagos, the annual sports event that has grown to become a brand of its own today.