Nigerian SMEs
Sim Shagaya

Nigerian serial entrepreneur and former CEO of Konga, Sim Shagaya, has shared some insights into the challenges facing Nigerian SMEs today. He explained that contrary to the assumption that the challenges are primarily caused by environmental factors, they are also “self-inflicted”.

See his Twitter thread below-

The primary challenges with entrepreneurship in Nigeria are not to do with strategic choices and operational issues. It’s environmental issues. And these issues are not always government or infrastructure related. They are brought on by the people themselves.

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They have to do with employees you hire who seem inexplicably ineffective and inenergetic…until you find out that these young people have been waiting for a paycheck (sometimes their first paycheck ever) to take care of some chronic health issue.

It’s trite but there are diesel generators. Even worse, there’s the landlord who hands over the property to you with a problem from the electricity utility company stemming from his theft of electricity. So you can merely settle a bill. You have to sort out a legal issue.

There’s the tax authority who, because you are the one who proactively pays your taxes, becomes subject to unending perennial “audits”.

Oh yes… Then there’re friends and family who have such a deep sense of entitlement to the jobs you create and the scarce capital needed to create those jobs. The goose that lays the golden egg doesn’t stand a chance without being Scrooge.

It’s the unpredictable nature and pace of the problems. You literally don’t know what or when to expect.

People’s Reaction to the Thread: Everyone who responded to the thread agreed with  Mr Shagaya and the points he highlighted. One person even briefly narrated how he had to close down his small business because of these problems.

It is important to note that findings have shown that small and medium scale enterprises are the bedrock on which any economy can survive/thrive. Most developed countries of the world are successful today because of the foundations laid by their SMEs. It is, therefore, important to resolve the problems bedeviling Nigerian SMEs in order to ensure their success.

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