CFAtech Startups Forum Harps on Scalable SME Business


Emma Okonji

The need for technology startups and entrepreneurs to run their Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) businesses efficiently, successfully and also ensure business scalability, were the focus of this year’s CFA Startup Hangout, organised by CFAtech, in collaboration with Infographics and SB Telecoms, the developers of TAMS Software.

The August 2017 edition of CFA’s Startups Hangout had in attendance startups and entrepreneurs who were empowered with life experiences of the chief executives of both collaborating companies.

The Chief Executive Officer of SB Telecoms and Devices, Afolabi Abiodun, and the Chief Executive Officer of Infographics, Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, provided critical information of value to attendee startups to run their businesses efficiently, successfully and in a most scalable manner.
Abiodun narrated an intriguing story of how he started running a thriving recharge card business which landed him into indebtedness of about N26 million.

He said fleeing to Ghana afterwards cooled off his heels from the pursuing creditors after which he returned to Nigeria to face the problem squarely, with a view to resolving it.

“I was close to my grandmother and thanks to the influence of her, she was one who contributed, in no small measure, to the initial capital of my business, as well as supplied the collateral that I used in standing for the loan,” Abiodun said.
He explained that some of the lessons learned from his story include having the “I can do” spirit in conducting the affairs of one’s business.

He added that engaging the services of professionals in areas that one does not know anything about, as well as having a working experience, especially in the line of business one intends to pursue or start, are key to business success.
He advised entrepreneurs to consider team work when it comes to business negotiations and decisions taking.

“Decisions taking should not be only about you alone, but you need to consider the interest and point of view of the other parties too,” he said.

He concluded that business owners must learn not to run away from business challenges because no creditor is delighted in a failed business, and explained that the creditor will rather ensure the success of the business.

Mba-Uzoukwu advised the startups to always learn from their mistakes, make make amends and move on. He argued that there are two sets of entrepreneurs, the ones that have clear cut vision of their objectives and the opposite.

“For those who have a clear cut vision, it is imperative to start planning towards it and hit it. Meanwhile, for those who are still struggling to figure it out, they should learn from their struggles and make the necessary corrections,” Mba-Uzoukwu said.

He advised on the importance to have a critical mindset in figuring out prospects, who are determined to work and bring them on board.

He gave a chronological account of how his business ran flat four times and at some point, amassed a debt running into about N18 million, before it started making profits. He, however, said that entrepreneurship has to be nurtured and that patience is needed to make it grow.