FG Restates Commitment to Entrepreneurial Devt





Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has reiterated the commitment of the federal government towards entrepreneurial development in the country. Osinbajo said this while speaking yesterday at a co-creation conference with the theme, ‘Catalyst for Innovation,’ organised by Venia Business Hub in Lagos.

While noting that co-working and collaboration remains key for sustainable development, he lauded innovators in the country.

According to Osinbajo, innovators who had taken the risk to invest in providing co-working spaces to spur innovation and ideas that would be commercialised in the country, are contributing to the growth of the economy.

He said: “I want to emphasise that this is an economic and social phenomenon and I say that most profound idea of the industrial revolution was probably the concept of division of labour and am sure many of us are practically familiar with that concept and the government is fully in support of this. In this age, in the knowledge economy, it is co-working and co-creation that would define the way we work and progress.

“But let us first understand that the deconstruction of the conventional work environment as important as it is, is the least profound of the implication of the co-working. As a matter of fact, a lot of people are sharing working space. A lot of us today are sharing working space. That is profound.”

The vice president described co-creation as the process by which groups of people from across boundaries, come together with a shared purpose, to create value through improving or developing services and products.

“The work spaces will be liberating not restrictive, allowing for flexibility, not just in working hours, but in modes that we work. But more importantly, it will allow for collaboration, co-innovation, and co-value creation. It emphasizes the power in the interdependence and cross-pollination of ideas, not as an inadvertent occurrence, not as a mistake, but as a currency, as a way of creating, marketing and selling value. We must prepare for the creative disruption of this phenomenon. It will redefine how we teach in our schools, how the students learn and to some extent, the content of learning in schools.

“The truth of the matter is, the knowledge economy is bound to change everything, co-working is bound to change everything, how we learn and work,” he said.

Also speaking at the conference, the CEO of Venia Business Hub, Kola Oyeneyin commended efforts of entrepreneurs and innovators in the country.

The Importance of Market Research


Debbie Larry-Izamoje


Most people wake up with a business idea and the next thing they’ve launched a new product. And although this works initially, you make money and maybe make a name for yourself and brand, with time you might realize that there are loopholes in your business that should have been treated in the first place.

In Nigeria now, most people a lot of people admit to launching products and services because they think it will earn them quick cash and therefore do not any form of market research…
In marketing the customer is king and therefore you must understudy your customer to know what exactly their needs are.

A market research tells you what products and services consumers are looking for and the direction to take your brand. So starting a business without a market research is almost like ordering a meal at a restaurant without looking at the menu!

In doing a market research you can choose primary or secondary research. Primary research is usually less unbiased and your chance to understand the buyers’ decision. Primary research can be done through a survey, phone interviews and more. It involves contacting potential consumers themselves. The beauty of primary research is that you can study the psychology of the customer, direct your research objectives and much more.

Secondary research, on the other hand, is using data or records out there to make the best conclusions for your business. The only issue is that the major details you require might not be available.

So how do you do a market research?
1. Define Your Objective: You must start each marketing research with an end goal in mind. So what exactly are you trying to achieve? And what is the time frame to achieving this? Setting precise goals will help you achieve a substantial market research. If your business already exists, you must ensure that you understand the problems in your business and focus your research around it.

2. Research Method and Design: In many ways, research starts with a problem that management is facing or will most likely face. This problem needs to be understood, the cause diagnosed, and solutions developed. However, most management problems are not always easy to research. A management problem must first be translated into a research problem. Once you approach the problem from a research angle, you can find a solution. For example, “sales are not growing” is a management problem. Examine the expectations and experiences of several groups: potential customers, first-time buyers, and repeat purchasers. We will determine if the lack of sales is due to:

3. Prepare Your Research Questions: Conducting Professional marketing research should be handled carefully, questionnaires can provide you with valuable information about your competition. Consider using a marketing research firm so as to save you time and legwork. Much of the information you need in order to profile your competitors is readily available to all business owners. As your business grows and expands, you should consider supplementing your own research efforts with some formal research conducted for you by an outside firm.

Before you begin seeking out the sources listed below, keep in mind that you need to obtain answers to the following questions:

• Who are my top three competitors?
• On what basis am I able to compete?
• What is the range of products and services they offer?
• Are their products or services aimed at satisfying similar target markets?
• Are my competitors profitable?
• Are they expanding? Scaling down?
• How long have they been in business?
• What are their positive attributes in the eyes of customers?

4. List Your Primary Competitors: Whether you want to admit it or not, your competitors are out there and they’re hungry for your customers. While it might seem unfair given everything else you need to keep on top of in building up your business, you might want to consider devoting the time and energy to keeping tabs on your competition.

In doing these, you must go and do beyond Google Search, do more of Product reporting, tap into the social media, ask your customers questions, attend conferences, Conduct surveys, and try to hire your competition

5. Summarize Your Findings: Once you have completed your research into the wants and needs of your target market, you will be able to make any necessary adjustments to your product, as well as your marketing plan moving forward. Without prior research, your company risks introducing a product that costs valuable resources to produce but ultimately sits on a shelf collecting dust.

Debbie Larry-Izamoje AKA The Entrepreneur’s Best-Friend holds a BSc in Information management from the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. And MSc in management from University College London (UCL). She has also secured certificates in user innovation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Innovation and strategy from Harvard University.
She is the founder of the Image Boosters a digital agency that connects brands to consumers online and offline in various industries leveraging Digital opportunities in our local market.
Instagram: @imageboosters_

Investing into Tissue Paper Producing Plant for Daily Cash



In Nigeria some of the ways to adopt to increase the Gross National Product (GDP) is to develop Agriculture, establish more small and medium scale industries and diversifying to other mineral resources.

One of the most viable and profitable small scale industries to invest into is production of toilet tissues (toilet rolls, serviettes and facial tissue) Most Nigerians consume toilet roll. Its demand is influenced by population explosion, rapid urbanization and social awareness. It is generally used for cleaning and sanitary purposes in households, restaurants, hotels, canteens, social gatherings, parties, maternity homes, clinics, hospitals, educational institutions, churches, night clubs, shops, fast food centres and offices.

Research findings indicate that Nigeria alone now needs over 950 million tons of tissue papers per annum. While our total local production output is still less than 150 million tonnes, the supply gap offers a tremendous opportunity for Nigeria investors.

Nigerian investors can now go into this lucrative business using locally made machines. Though there are imported machines as well, our local investors do not need to waste their scarce foreign exchange for the importation. The writer will assist you in procuring and installing quality machines that stand the test of time at moderate and affordable prices. The attractiveness of this project is that both the raw materials and equipment are locally available and the technology involved is very easy to understand and master. The essential equipment is: –

(1) Core making machine
(2) Rewinding System
(3) Band Saw cutter
(4) Embossing Unit
(5) Perforating Unit

Thesemachine components are portable, simple to operate and durable. The machines will be procured from highly experienced local producers of such machines. The writer will supply the machines at the sum of N3.5Million. However, the imported machines (as indicated below) can go as high as N10million.

The locally made machines being introduced here is rugged, reliable and high performing with a capacity of one to 2tons per day. Operating on a single shift for a minimum of 250 days per annum, a total of 500 MT of tissue paper will be procured and processed into quality tissue products (toilet rolls & serviettes).

Raw materials include jumbo reels, and glue. Packaging materials include printed wrapping paper and nylon bags. All these are 100 per cent available locally.

The total sales revenue is N437.5million from which we deducted our total inputs of N315. 5million thus realizing a gross profit before tax of N122.5million in the first year.

Many Nigerians have burnt their fingers while sourcing local machinery from some inexperienced and dishonest fabricators who produce machines with very low efficiency. Many investors have been deceived. They also tell big lies about the efficiency, performance, capacity and life span of these machines. To guard against this industrial fraud, prospective investors can contact this writer for free investment advisory services. The issue of availability of raw materials should not disturb anybody because we have so many options to handle it.

On the whole, a toilet roll project can be done on a very good small-scale. It can also grow to a medium or large scale within few years if it is well managed. It can launch a small investor into the world of multi-millionaire within two to three years of operation. Anybody can invest into the business- those people that have been working for so long but have not thought of retirement date (which will eventually come); politicians, retired workers, state & local governments, bankers and oil workers who may want to have additional stream of income and as di-investment. You can also establish this project for unemployed young graduates in your family and community to manage and become fully employed and also generate income for all the stakeholders.

This project can be established by anybody. Those that are already into Toilet roll production can comfortably integrate these products into their existing plant.

A three-bedroom flat garage or warehouse may serve, as accommodation while staff strength of eight is required for effective production, marketing and administration. Bigger or smaller plants are also available at competitive prices.

For details on preparation of comprehensive & bankable feasibility studies/ report, sourcing & installation of quality & durable machines; Recruitment & Training, Sourcing of Investment funds, Estimated Cost Implications

Preliminary Expenses 500
Machinery &Equipment (depending on the type of machines) 3,500
Working (Variable) 5,500
Accommodation (Rented) (variable) 3, 500
Utilities 3,500
Contingencies 1,250
Total 17,750