Lawyer Launches Platform to Boost SMEs

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A United Kingdom-trained Nigerian lawyer has launched a start-up to help Nigerian businesses escape the frustrations of incorporation, operations, filing, and taxation

Efe Ugboro, who has worked as a corporate lawyer in Nigeria and in the UK, before co-founding 618 Bees, said she was dedicating her career to ‘helping businesses grow’.

“Working as a corporate lawyer, exposed me to the issues many businesses in Africa face,” she said.

“It’s difficult to register a business, difficult to understand all the issues around filing, taxation, and so much more. And most young businesses find themselves crumbling under the frustrations. There are many who just wing it until they realised that they’re in a mess,” she added.

According to Ugboro, 618Bees.com was set up to be the quickest way to get a company started in Nigeria. The company is launching with a focus on Nigeria for now, but plans to expand to other African cities where aspiring entrepreneurs are facing similar challenges.

“618 Bees is a technology company using innovative solutions to help small, medium-sized, and big businesses succeed. We are the best way to get a company started, and we don’t stop there”, Ugboro added.

From Lekki area of Lagos, Ugboro is working with an all-female staff of four, pulled from different parts of Nigeria, and from different disciplines, to solve a problem that continues to plague many small and medium scale businesses, using technology.

According to data from Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the body charged with the responsibility to regulate the formation and management of companies in Nigeria, over 95,000 online applications have been made since the body launched its Companies Registration Portal (CRP) in 2015.

This entrepreneurial drive amongst Nigerians may be considered a positive indicator, seeing that the country’s unemployment rate stands at over 18%, with over 40% of the country’s labour force either underemployed or jobless, according to data from Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

“Our goal is to register 4,000 new businesses every year, with the plan to pull many informal businesses into the formal sector,” she said.

Part of that plan, Efe Ugboro says, is to encourage many social media based businesses to incorporate, by giving them ‘offers they can’t refuse’.
‘We want to help everyone, but especially young, passionate women, succeed’, Ugboro noted