Abimbola Akosile

A global network of business owners, the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO), has released the first part of its twice-a-year Global Entrepreneur Indicator (GEI) survey results, predicting a positive economic outlook for Nigerian businesses.

The prediction is coming amid great apprehension in government circles as well as the Organised Private Sector (OPS) about the challenges facing the Nigerian economy. The survey report provides a timely assurance of a better future for Nigerian businesses following a national economic summit hosted by the federal government to proffer solutions to the current economic challenges.

EO is a global network of more than 11,000 business owners in 48 countries with an average annual turnover of $52.3 million per member and a combined $565 billion in annual revenue.

The GEI survey, which is in its 6th year, was conducted from February 1 to 29, 2016, and is aimed at predicting the economic outlook and business landscape in 155 chapters from the 48 member-countries of the EO.
The survey examined the current economic market and realities for entrepreneurs in the member-countries, and provided insight into their predictions for the next six months with more than 7,000 of the over 11,000 business owners in the EO’s membership responding to the survey.

The participants were presented with 14 questions assessing current and projected economic health and the reports were then issued to each of EO’s chapters around the world, based on the responses collected from each chapter’s members.

The survey report indicates a positive outlook for Nigerian businesses in spite of the current challenges as 57.1 per cent of the respondents reported a willingness to start a business in their current economic environment with the expectation of improvement in the business environment in the next six months.

An interesting aspect of the survey was the prediction of a great improvement in the country’s economy with 85.7 per cent of the respondents affirming this; against the global average of 28.0 per cent.

The Nigeria business community also affirmed an increase in both the number of people in full-time and part-time employment, with 42.9 per cent of respondents expecting even a rise in the number within the next six months.
Furthermore, 57.1 per cent of the respondents expect business revenue, net profit and access to capital in the country to rise in the next six months while 28.6 per cent of the respondents expect an increase in the use of debt instruments in the next six months against what obtained in the last six months.

Commenting on the report, a business executive and Group Managing Director, NiGSA Energy Nigeria, Mr. Vincent Brown Molokwu, expressed confidence that the Nigerian economy would surely bounce back, especially with the concerted efforts of the government and the OPS.

Molokwu, also president of EO Lagos chapter, expressed optimism in the positive outlook predicted by the survey, advising that participants at the forthcoming economic summit should explore it before coming up with recommendations for the government.