You can’t separate entrepreneurship from love – be it in theory or in practice. You can’t. If you try it, what happened in ‘1923’ will happen to you. That’s why I frown at the way they teach entrepreneurship in our Nigerian tertiary schools these days. If you ask me, I think it is simply a joke!
I think that’s one of the reasons why this whole concept of entrepreneurship is still crawling in Nigeria, simply acting like an add-on to our overall national priorities.
Apart from it being too watery, the love element is largely missing.
Instead of LOVE, we replace it with FEAR.
We project to the students a large mob of unemployed people, reel out scary statistics, and then end with the following statement, “You see, there are no jobs out there. So you better go and become an entrepreneur and start your own business.”
Of course, entrepreneurship helps address pressing issues like unemployment and poverty, no argument about that. And with the current state of Africa and Nigeria in particular, it makes a reasonable sense of necessity for survival to always hang on our lips.
But then you see, if we leave out the LOVE FACTOR in the entire philosophy and practice of entrepreneurship, we somehow place a limitation on the actual potential that this concept actually bears.
Do a study of every trailblazing ‘true’ entrepreneur you know of in your locale, you will find that love for their trades, love for the art, for the process, is what drives them at their very core.
For example, young entrepreneurs like:
1. Grace Ihejiamaizu – OpportunityDESK
2. Simeon Ononobi – MyAds Global & SimplePAY
3. Daniel Adeniyi Speaks – GidiCakes
4. Engr Chris Okoli – SeaRock Hydrosystems
5. Sara Nana Yeboah – The Sangy Foundation
6. Essienanwan Irene Bangwell – Hands & Minds
8. Gossy Ukanwoke – Ben American University
9. Okocha Nkem Christiana – Mamamoni
10. Bishop Mike – Pancrete Consults
(Just to mention a few)
Are fundamentally driven by love – love for the game. Note I said, fundamentally. They simply enjoy what they do. For them, it transcends beyond just putting food on their tables or running away from the scary, cold arms of unemployment.
It is not about subsistence. Their purpose is way bigger!
As an entrepreneur, love takes you farther; it inspires you to make the hard sacrifices required to serve the market exceptionally; it keeps you awake at night and gets you up early in the morning to swing again; it radiates smiles from your face as you work as well as gets you to stay open to constant learning and reinvention.
As an entrepreneur myself, I started out from the ground floor with nada. And in all, I have been through hell and back!
I have cried on several occasions, gotten kicked in the teeth many times, gone for days without food, without money, without anything, I have been betrayed and broke. But you see, what kept me going and growing was the deep hunger and love that I possesed for the value proposition that I wanted to create, the difference it would make in the lives of my tribe, and the relevance it would have in the marketplace.
I just love what I do! Very, very much. So my point here is this: As an entrepreneur, never lose or play down on your love element. Let love be engrained in the entire field of your business purpose, culture and processes. Let it be your guiding credo and that of your team. The good part is, love, money and fame are not mutually exclusive. They can all co-exist.
Because truth is, when the love is there and strong in the mix, you will still be here even when others have long gone!
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Source Beauty is pushing the boundaries of Egyptian e-commerce
Egyptian e-commerce: the county’s digital drive has not yet gotten to the growth typically seen in European countries and North America. However, as businesses have started shifting online, customers are now following suit, resulting in the gradual development of the digital eco-system.
Innovation, such as digital marketing, is reinventing the consumers’ path to purchase. The Egyptian e-commerce market is expected to grow at a rate of 33% annually to approximately $3bn by 2022, according to Oxford Business Group.
Source Beauty and disruption
The increase in e-commerce comes from rising internet penetration rates, driven by connected and digitally savvy millennials. Several platforms, both locally and internationally, such as the direct-to-consumer beauty platform Source Beauty, have disrupted the beauty industry in the region to drive their growth by truly connecting with their customers.
By being aware of the changing consumer behaviour trends in the e-commerce landscape, service providers like Source Beauty are continually fostering customer engagement with a community they have created. The customer service team, along with the editorial and marketing teams, respond to each comment and direct message, making customers feel listened to.
Lydia Schoonderbeek, the founder and CEO of Source Beauty, said:
“Egypt has traditionally been a price-driven market. After devaluation and high inflation rates, people have become much more price sensitive. People are consuming less and are shifting away from imported products due to price, accessibility and inconsistency in supply. As a result, they’re looking for local alternatives.”
In line with its digital transformation and financial inclusion agenda, the Egyptian government has set in place directives to raise the limit for electronic payments for individuals via mobile phones to EGP30,000 (USD1,905) per day, and EGP100,000 (USD6,350) per month, since March 2020. Traditionally, 70% of online purchases were cash on delivery, which has proven to be a major challenge to e-commerce growth throughout the region. This preference has changed to credit card payments, increasing to 30% from 16% due to the spread of Covid-19, but it remains to be seen whether purchasing behaviors will be affected in the long term.
The CEO of Source Beauty further added that, the company had seen substantial growth thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with existing and new customers wanting to limit in-person beauty services and adhering to social distancing and mask-wearing requirements. Beauty customers, she says were changing spending habits, moving towards products that allow them to recreate the salon experience in their homes and protect them from the potential impact of an increasingly digital lifestyle. Finally, she believes they have seen customers prioritising skincare and haircare purchases over makeup.
The question is, ‘Is anyone in Egypt going to buy beauty products online?’. Who thought people would buy books on the internet from a website called Amazon! Well, the answer seems to be YES. Consumer spending in Egypt on non-essential goods has reached EGP 3.90bn in 2020 and is set to reach 8.81bn in 2021, according to FitchSolution’s 2021 Report.
According to the Egyptian e-commerce beauty company, Source Beauty, it believes that the world is in an era where consumers are looking to associate with brands and not products, to make their beauty purchasing decisions and this is where homegrown brands like theirs will doubtlessly lead to economic growth in Egypt.
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