The Managing Director of Accenture Nigeria, Mr. Niyi Yusuf, has confirmed in an interview with Punch in Abuja, that the company will render free technology and business grooming services to the three award-winning start-up firms at the just concluded Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).
The three start-up firms include L & L Foods, Accounteer and MyPadi.ng. L & L Foods, a peanut distributor came first with $15,000 prize, Accounteer, a business-management firm won $10,000, while MyPadi.ng, a hostel booking site won $5,000.
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group is a platform for public-private sector collaboration on Nigeria’s economic development. The summit takes place annually with an aim to promote open dialogues on the country’s development. The Managing Director said in the interview that the move was a form of social responsibility- to contribute to the rise of future business titans. He said:
‘Conveniently, Accenture works with large companies; but this is our own way of contributing to the nation’s development. We have been part of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group since inception 24 years ago. Now that NSEG is looking at promotion of indigenous entrepreneurs who can be globally relevant and globally competitive, Accenture’s role in that process is to provide free advisory services on how to redefine their business model.’
Accordingly, this is in tune with the organization’s belief that by rendering their support through this medium, the entrepreneurs will utilize the skills learned to begin their different companies in the near future- and this is a stepping stone to develop the nation. Accenture hopes to train the entrepreneurs for three to six months to help them redefine their business models, so they can be more attractive to intending investors. ‘As we work with them, they should stand a better chance of getting investors. Money is a lifeline of the business’, the Managing Director said further.
Mr. Yusuf also noted the importance of passion and competence for a business to thrive. While a business must be aimed at solving aching problems, the brains behind the business must be passionate about the subject matter and efficient enough to maintain a position in the competitive market. Also, he spoke against the idea of a one-man business. A business that needs to thrive and maintain relevance can only be achieved by a working team, other than an individual.
It can be deduced from his point of view that he was probably giving a hint to the winners to form a team because ‘investors are more interested in investing in businesses founded and run by teams because teams would make for cross-fertilization of ideas as well as longevity of business’.