By Emma Okonji
The Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, has said the only way the Nigerian economy can realise its potential is for the federal and state governments to support disruptive entrepreneurs.
Ekeh, who spoke at the 2019 Africa Fintech Foundry event, which held in Lagos recently, cited America as an example which has produced the known whizkids of the century and raised global giants such as the Googles, Facebooks, Amazons and Microsoft of this world.
Ekeh, noted that Nigeria has a huge stock of smart people who can change and sustain the developmental story of this country, adding that all they require is an enabling environment, which is not too expensive for the government to provide.
While advising entrepreneurs not to see hope as a strategy in business, he reminded them of a critical configuration required for a self-audit before deciding if they really want to be entrepreneurs.
According to Ekeh, who also doubles as a global advisor to Microsoft, success as an entrepreneur in Africa requires 40 per cent common sense, 20 per cent spirituality and 40 per cent knowledge of the business.
He said the 21st century had already defined two types of entrepreneurs – disruptors and regular entrepreneurs.
While advising start-ups and other budding business owners, he noted that their passion must pay their bills, else there is no justification for the business they are launching.
He reminded start-ups of the essential few ingredients of success, humility, ability to see the end from the start, an eye for the bigger picture, creative mind-set, knowledge and energy to occupy the sector as well as the capacity to manage cash and excitement.
He, however, cautioned that they must be prepared to take reasonable pains before pleasure as they must postpone luxurious life until when they have built enough reserves to sustain such a lifestyle.
Counselling female entrepreneurs, Ekeh assured them that they would lead in the second quarter of this century as informed women are known to operate efficiently in structured environments with auditable systems.
He affirmed that no government has a choice to deny the youths of progressive infrastructure, except they want to face the wrath of this dominant segment of the populace.
Ekeh, advised those leaving the country for supposedly greener pastures to remain in the country, arguing that the population and lifestyle of Nigeria holds unquantifiable demand structure which is wealth on its own.