As any entrepreneur knows, launching your business is only one step in the entrepreneurship journey. After you have overcome those early-stage barriers and start showing a track record of success, how do you take your business to the next level? And how can you find investors to help you move from startup to scaleup? Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria hosted a business scale-up workshop to help entrepreneurs answer these very questions and more.
This exclusive event brought together investors and 30 Shell LiveWIRE entrepreneurs to network, share advice, and explore opportunities for partnership. The workshop included panels, pitch sessions, an exhibition, and much more.
“This programme was organized because of our commitment to encourage the youths who have participated in this programme to evolve from start-ups to become successful business entrepreneurs,” said Hephzibah Odekina, Shell Nigeria community skills and development advisor. “This cannot be achieved in moment but the skills they acquired during the workshop will go a long way to achieving their dreams.”
Access to finance remains a key ingredient to growth. That’s why Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria invited representatives from banks and other financial institutions to share their advice with the LiveWIRE entrepreneurs. For instance, Kelechi Ihediwa of GT Bank led a discussion on which skills, knowledge, and technology entrepreneurs should leverage to enhance their market access. Chibuzor Bart Akaba, a branch manager with Standard Chartered Bank, focused on when entrepreneurs should consider scale up and when they should focus on strengthening their core business instead.
Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria also invited four of its past Top Ten Innovators to join in on the workshop: Ngozi Atalor (De Rahbs Energy Services), Precious Adeho (Emobella Engineering), Yolo Bakumor Smith (De Rabacon Plastics), and Henry Chukuogu (Alternate Energy Nig. Ltd.) Top Ten Innovators Competition is a global competition that highlights and rewards LiveWIRE businesses that demonstrate excellence in innovation. These past winners were able to network with investors but also share advice with the newer, up-and-coming entrepreneurs
Both investors and entrepreneurs found this workshop valuable. Ihediwa praised Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria for bringing these entrepreneurs in front of financial institutions that may not have encountered these entrepreneurs otherwise. He added, “[Scale up workshops like this] should be embarked on by more companies.”
Meanwhile, John Bosco, a Shell LiveWIRE entrepreneur, said, “The scale up workshop was quite interactive and impressive. I am delighted to be here and look forward to having an investor scale up my business, all thanks to Shell.”