By Providence Emmanuel
The Founder and Chief Executive of Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, said entrepreneurs should limit bank credit to not more than 10 percent of what is required to build their businesses.
Maduka said this at the 3rd Fate Foundation Annual Alumni Conference held in Lagos with the theme: “Building for Scale”.
He stated: “The mantra in today’s business is to innovate or die, innovation is driven by having the right talent on your hand. To stay ahead, small businesses must be adventurous and entrepreneurs in their thinking must be driven by entrepreneurial culture.
“The easiest way to commit suicide is to borrow money from a bank when you do not have an established business. You can only leverage on bank borrowing and not plan your business on it. Bank borrowing should be 10 percent of what is required to do your business. It is better to build your own capital or get suppliers credit.
“Honesty is prerequisite for trust in business. You cannot compromise integrity to succeed as an entrepreneur. I worked with the Japanese who taught me integrity,” he said.
Giving a highlight of how the Coscharis group evolved, Maduka urged entrepreneurs to set goals for themselves and their organizations, having a clear vision, simple and comprehensive business plan and therefore building a team that can think and live long.
“We did not get to where we are overnight. The journey has been long and hard. Many times we were tempted to quit, but we have a clear vision and we persisted despite the odds. Ours therefore, is a story of resilience, focused implementation of agreed objectives, and desire to build a business that is not only able to compete today, but also to be there in the future providing for the next generations,” he added.
Also speaking, Executive Director, Fate Foundation, Adenike Adeyemi stated: “If you look around Nigeria, everybody has been talking about entrepreneurship and that is what we have been talking about in the last 18 months. But entrepreneurship that would grow Nigeria and get us to achieve the economic scale that we want to, are businesses that starts that grow their scale, businesses that create jobs beyond the founder that started the business.”
Dangote urges deepening of African economy through free trade
The President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has called for conscious efforts at deepening African regional market by African investors and governments to aid rapid growth and development of the continent’s economy.
Speaking at the 5th annual Financial Times African Summit, the Nigerian entrepreneur said the key to Africa’s economic growth and strength is in the development of the regional market, saying “Regional markets in Africa must work.”
Dangote said Africans must patronize African markets which is why the free trade agreements by African nations are the direction to go to strengthen African markets.
Citing an instance of his own experience, Dangote referred to the case of neighbouring Benin Republic where the country continues to import cement from China while his Nigerian factory is only 35 miles away from the border, adding, “We need to trade with ourselves.”
Dangote said that there are huge prospects in the African economy, the free trade agreement and the availability of huge raw materials to attract investors.
He said, “Our aim is to always provide jobs and worth. As an African investor, I don’t want any investor anywhere in Africa to have a bad experience.”
Dangote repeated his central mantra for African growth, urging the reduction of exports of raw materials to other continent but create greater wealth within African economies.
“We need to continue to transform the structure of African economies,” Dangote stated.