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Published On: Wed, Jan 14th, 2015

Why SMEs operators fail-Okere – CWG CEO

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SMEDANThe Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Computer Warehouse Group Plc, Mr. Austin Okere has given reasons why some Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) owners fail.

Okere, speaking in Lagos, at a panel discussion, with the theme: “Leveraging Technology for SME Growth”, at the maiden edition of the Annual Fidelity SMEs conference, said “most businesses fail because the proprietors abandon them as soon as they face challenges; because it is not yielding as much as they want.

“After you have put so much effort into your business, you need to patiently wait for the benefits that will accrue from it”, he added, while charging entrepreneurs to ensure that their business visions are driven by the “3 Powers of success”. This, he said, includes the Way-power, the Will-power and the Wait -power.

“This is the essence of the third power; the wait power, which takes you eventually to light at the end of a dark tunnel,” he said.

According to Okere, “The three powers are secrets that will keep every entrepreneur going”. He explained further: “Will-power is the competence you possess to run your business. The knowledge of how to run the enterprise you want to venture into”.

“Many people will start a business, create solutions then go about looking for the problems. And when people don’t buy it, they become disappointed. You first ought to be finding out peoples’ problems and pain points, then create solutions that ameliorate the pain. This is the best way to ensure patronage”, he emphasised.

The Will-power, according to Mr. Okere, is “the resolve to keep going when everyone say: give up”. Sometimes people close to you will advise you to dump your venture and seek a proper job. But what should keep you going at such times is your passion.

“It is the passion of a footballer that makes him complain when he is benched, despite the fact that he will still receive his pay at the end of the day. Your Will-power makes you go the extra mile, while your passion makes you persist in your venture while waiting for pay-day”, he explained.

Speaking on how SMEs can leverage on technology to maximize results, Okere encouraged merchants to explore the opportunities that the CWG 2.0 platform affords.

According to Mr. Okere, the essence of developing the CWG2.0 platform is to democratize the technology, whereby companies such as Jumia and Konga have erstwhile used exclusively to great advantage, and make them available to the over 17.7m MSMEs in Nigeria.

The Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, in his opening speech, maintained that the bank’s commitment to building Nigerian entrepreneurs is one of its core business focuses.

“We have gathered here today to deliberate on the challenges faced by SMEs in Nigeria and proffer solutions that would guide entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses”, he explained.

“Our goal is to produce more successful businessmen like Alhaji Aliko Dangote from our entrepreneurs that are in SME category for now. We have watched Dangote transform from a merchant who went into manufacturing and later transformed into an owner of a multinational conglomerate”, he added.

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