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Unity Bank calls for increased mentorship for SME up-starts

UNITY Bank Plc has called on successful entrepreneurs to yield their platforms for mentorship in order to redress the growing trend of business failures among start-ups, especially in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) space.

Head, SME Banking, Unity Bank, Mr. Opeyemi Ojesina made the clarion call while addressing a group of budding entrepreneurs during a workshop organized by MitworkLimited, at the Nouveau Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, weekend.

Quoting statistics from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Mr. Ojesina who spoke on the subject ‘Effective Structuring for Business Successes’ said: “Averagely, about seventeen thousand new businesses are registered every month. After 5years, only about five hundred would have done business effectively”. He attributed the transience rate to the ‘band wagon’ mentality which characterizes the nature of businesses in Nigeria and noted that to be successful, start-ups needed advice and periods of hand-holding by experienced entrepreneurs.

“Issues ranging from creation of relevant values for the demographics of your target, marketability of business ideas, accountability and skills for running a structured business are fundamental for aspiring entrepreneurs and these are experiences that require deliberate efforts to acquire”, he said.

Hope, however, has risen for the aspiring entrepreneurs; particularly, participants at the workshop as the CEO of Protection Plus Group, Mr. Ubong King, has offered his platform as leverage for budding entrepreneurs to sharpen their skills. Mr. Ubong king who spoke on the topic “defying the odds to start your business” also provided guided-skills talk to the participants while noting that ‘interest’  should be one of the major determinants in choosing area of  businesses to play.

He however regretted that most youths are driven by sentiments and said relevant data in the areas of interest remains the business binocular.

“Most successful business people are self-driven and tenacious. But you cannot persist on an issue or a course you are not interested in. That’s why I encourage up-starts to sign on to areas they have strong interest in”. he said.

The Convener of the workshop and a Business Builder, Timothy Ikhide, said he organized the workshop to scale-up success rates among up-starts as a means of driving traffic into the SMEs market segment.

According to Mr. Ikhide, the workshop was part of his contribution to the growth of SMEs development. He also used the occasion to present his latest book titled “Take the Leap from Idea to Reality.”


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