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Pantami mentors start-ups on business sustainability

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Dr Isa Pantami, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on Wednesday mentored young start-ups on how to sustain businesses.

The NITDA boss advised the young Information Communication Technology (ICT) start-ups at the Start-Up Clinic organised by the agency’s Special Purpose Vehicle, Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) in Abuja.

The start-up clinic is one of the programmes of OIIE organised as a follow up to Start-Up Friday (SUF).

This edition drew participants from Uyo, Enugu, Kano and Abuja in the regions where SUFs were held.

The clinic was targeted at improving start-up enterprises, supporting them to identify their business needs and open up opportunities for success.

According to Pantami, a start-up is a young company looking for saleable business model that can address problems in the society, and what differentiate start-ups is the mindset to succeed.

He, however, explained that 90 per cent of start-ups go into extinction even before their first anniversary due to the lack of patience and determination.

Another reason why some start-ups become extinct before their first anniversary, he added, was due to the lack of carefully identified minimum value proposition for their products

He advised that “the key components for a young entrepreneur is positive mindset for success, grit and sufficient early research. These will significantly reduce the percentage of start-up companies’ failure.

“For a start-up to be successful, there should be determination because it is practically impossible not to encounter challenges in trying to establish a company.

“Start-ups need to have revolutionary ideas toward improving their products and ensure that they don’t make money a priority because money will come when the product is a saleable business model.

“Patience guides you to take steps at a time, look at key areas you have dominance and emphasise on it. Start-up businesses need to have strong and effective value.”

He also said that ICT start-ups needed to identify market needs and possess the skill to convince people about a product.

The director-general further said that the channels for identifying market needs depended on four Ps which were the Party, which were the gatherings where such product could be marketed, the Pitch, the Publicity and the People involved.

Pantami stressed that start-ups needed business models and mentorship that could help them to be successful in any business venture.

He said mentorship could be virtual or physical, and emphasised that saleable products could yield income with time.

The start-up clinic started on Monday and expected to end on Friday.

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