In 2020, the joblessness rate in Nigeria was at roughly 7.96 percent, as opposed to its 3.79% in 1999. Many graduates are unemployed, not on grounds that they are lazy or because they lack the skills necessary to get them hired, however we continue to hear similar recycled tales. The Labor market is saturated, competitive and as such requires the evolutionary theory of “survival of the fittest”. If you are not strong enough, the streets of Nigeria are not made for you. This is an overall conviction which numerous Nigerian youths can attest to.
The Nigeria labour market to some degree offer unfavourable remuneration to the labour force but we are yet again blessed with the term “half bread is better than none” it seems for every condition faced in the country, there is a phrase or quote. Over and over again, the Nigerian youth have clamoured for change. Always hoodwinked by politicians who campaign with plans that they fail to remember when they come into power. Who is to be blamed for this failed cycle? The Nigerian youths who continue to place their confidence in them or the politicians who continue to fail?
In other to survive this circumstance, the issue of job creation not only becomes an agenda for the government, but individuals take it upon themselves, particularly the youths to create jobs. Where they see problems, they proffer solutions and are paid for it. People will in general focus on and pay money to individuals who are capable of solving their problems. In this way, upon graduation from the university and the fulfilment of the mandatory one (1) year service under the NYSC (National Youth Service Corps), the following positive activity after is job hunting and when there is no placement, the next line of action is to become an entrepreneur. Indeed, even the NYSC scheme prepares you for this possible outcome. During orientation, a training program under the umbrella SAED (Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development) provides corps members’ basic training in different skills to empower them to become successful Entrepreneurs.
Who then is an Entrepreneur?
An Entrepreneur is an initiator, a problem solver, someone that creates something new. Investopia defines An Entrepreneur as ‘an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards’.
One word is reoccurring and that is CREATE. Obviously, it infers the deficiency of the labor market.
Having established this, it is important we try to understand the entrepreneurial struggles from the grassroots, on the ground that frequently, people will in general sabotage ‘hustlers’. Must you sell everything? Must you learn new skills? Don’t you get tired? These are but a few questions a new entrepreneur encounters in Nigeria. In providing an answer, I would like to ask a question.
Why do we work?
It might not cross your mind to ever consider this question deeply. Be that as it may, the fact of the matter is various individuals have various inspirations to work however they work for the cash. To earn a living. An Entrepreneur similarly does what he/she does to make money. What’s more, for what reason would we like to make money? To escape poverty.
The fear of poverty has kept many striving and struggling to meet up and keep up. As an Entrepreneur in Nigeria, sustaining a business could meet obstacles such as:
- The Nigerian foundation limits pioneering viability is very low and this poses an obstruction to progress of the entrepreneur
- Funding and starting a business is significantly expensive, particularly when importation is involved. The different parastatals will take turn extorting.
- Getting investors to support and back up innovative ideas of young brilliant minds in Nigeria is difficult and near impossible as a result of the political and societal insecurity. Words on the streets are that you have to know somebody that knows another person. Simply put, you have to have Connection.
- The absence of sufficient power and essential necessities for the populace disrupts enterprising action.
- The strategies and policy implementations of the Nigerian government are a hindrance to the achievements of many entrepreneurs. Take for example the Nigerian Crypto Currency trading CBN ban or the sudden high cost of procuring a SIM card.
- Nigerian patent laws are not respected, because of the heavy corruption imbedded in the system. This stops entrepreneurs from commercializing their thoughts and innovations. If a poll was conducted on entrepreneurs who might offer their thoughts and innovations to European government over Nigerian, the odds will be in favor of the former.
Whatever has a disadvantage, also has ample advantages; in light of supporting the Nigerian entrepreneur, there is a reduction in tax by the government. Also, to ensure that the Nigerian entrepreneur is not lacking in any area of competition among world counterparts, at the early stages of education, ICT is introduced to schools alongside Entrepreneurship studies at secondary and tertiary levels respectively.
Despite the fact that there are many downsides, business in Nigeria still thrives. Onitsha, occupied with many entrepreneurs has one of the largest markets in West Africa, Kasuwar Kwari in Kano and Alaba International market in Lagos. These are but a few.
Aside from having a physical space, entrepreneurs are utilizing social media spaces. Recently, during a discussion with my friend, this statement left a positive imprint “nowadays you don’t need to go to the boutique, everything you need is on display on WhatsApp status”. This is gradually becoming the norm. People are actively looking for ways to reach a larger audience. If you are about starting the journey on becoming an entrepreneur, don’t be discouraged. Many failed and many succeeded. Alhaji Dangote made it, Mike Adenuga did too, Tony Elumelu didn’t fall short either. Becoming an Entrepreneur in Nigeria is difficult but I urge you to rise above the challenge and soar.