Growing a business in Nigeria is not for a privileged few.
It’s a commonwealth meant to be enjoyed by anyone without exception. Starting a business as an undergraduate in Nigeria seems impossible to those who have not positioned their minds to think deeply about possible opportunities that surround them.
In the Nigerian business narrative, a class of people is not properly catered, for undergrads. The nurturing of freshmen is one of the reasons why the American business scene has gained a big brother in enterprise status.
Freshmen visionaries peddled ideas turned global businesses such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple.
A lot of other people started their business when they are still undergraduates in universities and while some dropout, others managed to complete their degrees and focus more on their business.
This gave them some leverage to be able to mix up with different people in society, learn new things, and experience doing two things at a time. It is a skill that most visionary entrepreneurs who started or managed two businesses at a time learn when they are young.
“The Nigerian undergraduate can do better if he knows better.”
This article seeks to inspire undergraduates who want to give the enterprise a try, permitting them to do so.
Why You Should Start Business As an Undergraduate in Nigeria
1) Start early, arrive early
This is the basic reason why I advise undergrads to start businesses in college. Not because of employment wahala or money palava. It’s noteworthy to mention that starting early equips you to arrive early. Arriving early is relative but the general connotation is an accomplishment. Clear?
“He who gets to the pond first catches the biggest fish. There is no need getting to the pond when the water is all muddied with only small fishes to catch.”
Ideally, the best time to become a model before owning a global modeling agency is when you’re a sweet teen not a mum at 40. What’s stopping you?
When you start early in your university days, you give yourself the chance to achieve a lot of stuff before other folks even realize what they want to make out of life.
Your early start confers you with the title of gatekeeper. This comes with numerous benefits and perks, trust me.
2) Visit Google
This is not about cheesy fame. Nope. Doing grievous stuff like manslaughter will earn you fame a lot faster. That said, the era of the Google of things is upon us.
Even in the dictionary, only God comes before Google. No one needs to have your contacts to know you these days. They just ask Google. For the sake of your future self, the earlier Google recognizes you the better.
As Google’s paddle, you get to claim your spot and commence the building of your online real estate. Don’t joke with online visibility. It often separates the good from the great. Are you thinking of becoming a best-selling author?
Your best bet would be to start a blog or feature on an already existing blog in Nigeria. Remember we are not talking about money yet.
“If you do it right, money is your right.”
Gain increased influence in that subject area of yours and leverage on it to build….
3) Social capital
This is what defines many businesses in Nigeria. This will help you build a client base that you can leverage NOW and in the future. It’s your cement to effectively build a strong following.
Social capital is more accessible than a bank loan these days and it’s interest-free. Worthy of mention, is the need to pay emphasis on people and platforms in building social capital.
You must know that your ideas are the new global currency, not Naira or dollars.
Guess who pays for these ideas? You’re smart! Now you see why you need to pay attention? I often tell folks in online business seminars I teach that wherever they see a group of people, there’s potential money to be made.
So don’t ask where the money at. Error! Rather ask, where the people at. Then go ahead and introduce yourself to them. By yourself, I mean your business.
If you’re a make-up artist, your roommates will evangelize your service far better than Linda Ikeji or Aunty Bella can. They offer a critical ingredient you need to start early- grass-roots following.
As a world-class baker in the making, your primary thought shouldn’t be money. I need to be realistic right? Yeah, I am. I am aware that you have bills to pay, handouts to buy and levies to pay.
However, money as a primary thought has been the major reason why most promising brands fade from our consciousness. They are blown by every wind of “how to’s” and “must do’s” in the name of money-making.
My advice? Make do with the half crate of eggs and a quarter bag of flour you have.
Make the best thing in the world since bean cakes. Serve and embrace your process. You’ll get there. The Nigerian University provides you with valid lab partners to test the quality of your products in the laboratory of business.
Also, platforms are social capital freebies that make you smile at the ATM. They serve as channels that water your ideas to reality. Gone are the days where you wait till you’re in your late forties to earn big.
Hence, I see no reason why you should keep dreaming of a world-class IT company when your app and website design skills can make that a present-day reality.
You can leverage any platform for monetary gain from Snapchat to Whatsapp. In doing so, remember to offer an overdose of value.
I know you’ve gotten the import of this article by now.
So? Go ahead, I permit you to start a business as an undergraduate in Nigeria. Don’t forget to send me a mail when you get your first bucks okay?
I appreciate your feedback in the comments as always