L-R: Shittu, Mrs. Funmi Babington,-Ashaye and Agekameh during the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation launch in Nigeria...recently
Ebere Nwiro writes that a new global report puts entrepreneurs at the heart of job creation as global association launched chapter in Nigeria
Twenty - five years ago, 22 young entrepreneurs from across the globe merged ideas in Virginia, the United States. They invested US$1,000 each to create an organisation that would provide learning and networking opportunities for its members. At the time, the founders couldn’t have anticipated that those investments would mark the genesis of a worldwide coalition of today’s brightest and most innovative minds. But, in its latest report, The Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) says Entrepreneurs are hiring at a much faster pace than they were a couple of years ago.
Globally, 59 percent of entrepreneurs reported net increases to their number of full-time employees during the six months preceding the survey, compared to the only 42 percent who made that claim two years ago. 62 percent of business owners expect to increase their number of full-time employees in the coming six months, which - if the prediction holds true - would continue the acceleration observed during the past couple of years.
In Nigeria, the global group says it has found a haven to nurture local entrepreneurs to enviable level in the global market. Last week in Lagos, the Nigeria chapter of the global body was launched to boost job creation that will endure.
According to the Global Entrepreneur Indicator, a bi-annual survey of business owners from around the world, regionally, Latin America/Caribbean and the United States created jobs at the highest rate during the past six months having 66 to 60 percents respectively.
The survey focused in part on performance-related metrics, such as jobs, profits and debt loads. The other factors that the survey explored are related to the business climate, including access to capital, predictions on the economy and even entrepreneurs’ proclivity to start a new business.
Jason Jacobs, the lead researcher on the EO Global Entrepreneur Indicator initiative said, “We are seeing some very positive signs from the world’s entrepreneurial community. Hiring, revenues and profitability are all on the rise, and there seems to be a general optimism about the business climate. Compared to the pessimism we observed in the survey six months ago, the trending seems to be headed in the right direction and considering the entrepreneurial sector’s place as the driver of growth and innovation, any momentum in the right direction is welcome.”
And as its prominence goes, EO knows there’s more to entrepreneurship than just business,
“This is why we support all areas of entrepreneurs’ live through our EO360° initiative. Entrepreneurs constantly juggle their businesses with their families, communities and personal wellbeing, so we created a platform for business owners to ventilate themselves”, He said.
Through impact investment initiative, EO aligned with Nigeria’s 52nd independence anniversary and its own 25 years anniversary to launch chapter in an economy analysts have described as hope of Africa.
The regional Chair for EO (Europe and Middle East), Mr. Elliot Jacob said that his organization launched chapter in Nigeria to give meaning to the report that by 2025, Nigeria will be one of the twentieth largest economies in the world.
“Nigeria is strategically positioned for Entrepreneurs to thrive and that is one of the reasons we are here.” He says.
According to a member of the five-man Board of Directors and the Director of communications and Learning of the Nigeria’s chapter, Mr. Dele Agekameh, EO is in Nigeria to forge a creative and competitive economy with support to local entrepreneurs to enable them advance to global level.
“We are creating a global community committed to enriching members’ lives through dynamic peer-to-peer learning, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and connections to the experts.”
The Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) is a dynamic, global network of more than 8,000 business owners in 40 countries. EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to a greater business success and an enriched personal life.”
The EO president in Nigeria, Mr. Abdulrazaq Shittu during the launch said, “The clear difference that made Entrepreneurs’ Organisation stands out is that our members identify opportunity and pursue it. They are not setting up businesses because of job loss or out of necessity and that is why we are at the heart of development. Entrepreneurs are the people that create businesses. Without entrepreneurs, you cannot expand the economy. You need entrepreneurs to run the economy of the country. You cannot run the nation’s economy with civil servants. Those who create real wealth are the entrepreneurs. Now with EO coming on board, I think there would be free flow or inflow of investments in the next few months. A lot of them are already making inquiries”.
“We are going to interface with the government. We are going to advise them, we are not trying to create a scenario or solution that is very difficult to achieve. We are going to share our experiences; we are going to tell them that in budget formulation and everything the government should put the private sector into consideration. All tiers of government should do this. It is the local government that should even drive development in this country because they are the ones nearest to the people.”
Shittu, who manages a chain of business in Nigeria, harps on responsible business management. “It may take you 20 years to become a CEO of an organisation, or to build your own company but you will find out that if you mismanage it, if you don’t put best practices in place, within two months or even two days, you can be down if care is not taken. So, this organization enables you as an entrepreneur to maintain a foothold, a strong hold on your businesses by teaching you the best practices. We teach you how to sustain your business and about your successor because in Nigeria you will find out that many businesses die as soon as their owners die. It is because they don’t have good succession plans or methods in place. Even some of them don’t go out of their way to employ capable hands to manage their books. This is what EO is all about.”
Though still trending upward, marked regional differences exist in entrepreneurial development, this is the gap EO says it hope to fill in Africa with Nigeria and South Africa in the lead for the continent. EO is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with events around the world, which will highlight the growth of entrepreneurs’ network and its role in the lives of members everywhere.
L-R: Shittu, Mrs. Funmi Babington,-Ashaye and Agekameh during the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation launch in Nigeria...recently Mayowa Adebajo