As someone who is very passionate about entrepreneurship and what it can do for the entrepreneur and the society at large, I never pass up on any opportunity to talk about it to others. And when I start, I could go on and on. One of the most common responses I have encountered is that of no capital or finance to start one’s own business. The lack of start-up finance is a very major obstacle, but is it enough to prevent entrepreneurship? One thing I have noticed, both from my experiences and observations is that you rarely ever have enough capital to get that your ass-kicking idea off the ground. This is especially so in Nigeria where there are barely any venture financiers willing to take risks with a new venture, where the banks are also sceptical about lending to small businesses, and have cut-throat interest rates.
In other words, to start a business here, you must have enough personal funds or have family to support you. I remember my first business idea when I was 18, an internet music start up for which I needed a modest few hundreds of thousands of naira. It wasn’t the fact that I had the capital that spurred me to create that idea, because I didn’t have the money. What I believed in was the power of the idea and its immense potential. I knocked on doors with my business plan and travelled to meet people whom I could pitch my idea to. Even though the idea never took off eventually, I learned an invaluable lot from that experience, especially in trying to raise venture financing. I learned that in looking for a breakthrough, God doesn’t give you one. He shows you where to break through. It is your persistence at that point that does the work for you.