Key Insights From Sim Shagaya, Jason Njoku, Ayo Adewunmi and Tayo Oviosu
‘A Conversation With…,’ an interactive session as organised by the Co Creation Hub Lagos had in attendance Sim Shagaya, Founder & CEO, Konga; Ayodeji Adewunmi, Co-Founder & CEO, Jobberman; Jason Njoku, Founder & CEO, iROKO and Tayo Oviosu, Founder & CEO, Paga.
The session provided young startup founders and aspiring founders an avenue to ask and get responses to questions about entrepreneurship and growing a business venture in Africa.
The four panelists shared their experience in the brutal world of entrepreneurship – from launching and growing business in the country to sourcing fundings. So I have captured some of the top thoughts from the conversation at the event:
“Nothing drives me more than people telling me that something is impossible” – Sim Shagaya
“It is very possible to build a startup with little experience or knowledge about the sector, or little or no connection” – Ayodeji Adewunmi
“You cannot fake passion for an idea” – Sim Shagaya
“Passion is a sexy way of referring to an entrepreneur’s interest in his idea, it’s actually an obsession” – Jason Njoku
“Funding is easy but getting the right talent is key” – Jason Njoku
“In seeking funding, talk to people who really know you and believe in your passion” – Tayo Oviosu
“People don’t back idea, people back people” – Ayodeji Adewunmi
“Investors are not your friends, they are just your investors” – Jason Njoku
“Take time to first interview your potential investor before going for his questions” – Sim Shagaya
“Understand your business environment, your customers: you really don’t need coding experience to start a tech startup” – Sim Shagaya
“The worst kind of entrepreneurs are the ones that already knew what you are about to tell them” – Sim Shagaya
“As an entrepreneur, you can’t grow without people” – Sim Shagaya
“More people have actually worked with one startup or the other before ending up creating one” – Jason Njoku
“It’s tough and rough out there and most would not survive it” – Jason Noku
“Go for what you are genuinely passionate about, that’s what will keep you going when it gets tough” – Tayo Oviosu
“Don’t try copying foreign business model” – Sim Shagaya
“Technology is only an enabler” – Sim Shagaya
“The most important virtue is courage, it would keep you going when things aren’t as expected” – Ayodeji Adewunmi
Aside the above, one key part that the four founders keep hammering on is that if an entrepreneur must do without external funding to grow a business, he should do and if otherwise, caution must be applied.