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The run-up to Catalysing Conversations 2020 came with a flurry of uncertainty and excitement. Uncertainty because this year’s summit was going to be virtual as a result of the global pandemic. Excitement because we knew what was in store for attendees. The event would represent a melting pot of Africa’s leading visionaries, who are paving the way in their various sectors and regions, with attendees joining in from all over the world.

Catalysing Conversations was developed to do just what its name suggests — create an avenue for deeper and more meaningful conversations about how to sustain economic growth and development in Africa. This year’s event did just that — it was a celebration of all entrepreneurs in Nigeria and on the continent. During the keynote address our Managing Director, Eloho Omame, reminded us that “2020 has been a battle, and entrepreneurs are warriors”. …


by Eloho Omame (Managing Director & CEO, Endeavor Nigeria)

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This week, along with Briter Bridges, Endeavor Nigeria released a report titled “Scaling Through Crisis: Impact Assessment on Startups and Scaleups in Nigeria”. The report is a qualitative assessment of the impact of the pandemic on Nigeria’s innovation ecosystem. It examines the rising trends from the “new normal” — which we are all in the process of adapting to — and assesses what strategies are being implemented by various stakeholders.

The pandemic took the world by surprise, and the subsequent financial downturn in the global economy was severe, causing a number of businesses to struggle for survival. It is clearly important to track and study the effects of these phenomena on businesses and governments. In-depth conversations were held with founders, business leaders, investors, institutional lenders and policymakers and agencies in Nigeria. …


A whitepaper with policy recommendations for Nigeria’s innovation ecosystem as startups and scaleups navigate the fallout of the global pandemic

Read the whitepaper here.

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by Eloho Omame, Managing Director, Endeavor Nigeria

If you are the founder of a high-growth startup or scaleup in Nigeria, then you have inevitably been affected by the crisis that has tilted the entire world on its axis since early in the year. Necessary measures by governments to mitigate the health impact has had ripple effects on businesses worldwide. Governments have had to very quickly respond to stymie the potential disaster, including providing support programs to keep both large and small businesses afloat. …


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Leaders who can respond quickly, think outside the box, and communicate clearly and with empathy, tend to be more effective than others.

While many leaders around the world are struggling to figure out how to transition their companies to adjust to the harsh blows the crisis has dealt the global workforce, some leaders have managed to quickly come up with inspiring work-from-home policies, remote-friendly perks and benefits, and flexible work schedules.

Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, was one of the first to embrace the work-from-home model after the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States. As the virus spread from country to country, Jack decided to take things a step further and introduce a permanent, and mandatory, work-from-home policy. In addition to offering their workers the option to stay home, Twitter also announced additional support for parents, hourly, and contract workers — as well as an increase in workers’ work-from-home stipend. …


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In September 2019, Paga, a mobile payments company led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs (Tayo Oviosu and Jay Alabraba), launched their Merchant Spotlight series. By using storytelling to highlight the businesses who use their platform to collect and disburse payments in Nigeria, Paga was able to amplify their clients, tell their stories, and also showcase the different ways their customers use Paga to pay and get paid.

When we think about companies who use storytelling to make their customers fall in love with their brands, become advocates and loyalists, and buy their products and services, we tend to think of companies like Nike, Apple, Netflix, and Amazon. …


A journalist, Don Hoefler, coined the term “Silicon Valley” in a 1971 article about computer chip companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. At that time, the region was home to many prominent chip businesses, such as Intel. All of these companies used silicon to manufacture their chips and were located in a farming valley south of the city. Silicon Valley is now the most famous technology hub in the world, but it was a very different place before these businesses developed.

When the computer chip industry was emerging in the mid-1950s, the Bay Area was far behind cities like Boston and New York in the chip industry. No one expected the region to become a hub for these technology companies. Silicon Valley’s rapid development offers good news to other cities and regions. While it is impossible to replicate the exact events that established this region more than 50 years ago, the development of Silicon Valley can provide insights to leaders in communities across the world. …


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Nigerian entrepreneurs have a lot to offer to the world and pursuing globalisation is one of the ways they can make an impact beyond the African continent.

According to a recent Statista report, Toyota is the world’s largest car brand. Sales outside Japan account for over 51%, with North America contributing over 10 trillion Japanese yen to the company’s 2020 revenue. But this wasn’t always the story.

From its first car in 1937, Toyota rapidly established its brand in Japan, and in 1957 the company attempted to expand into the United States of America (USA) — one of the most profitable global markets. …


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Without comprehensive and effective policies to support entrepreneurs, Nigeria’s entrepreneurship ecosystem could face an overall setback.

Entrepreneurship is a powerful mechanism for economic and social development, generating income and jobs, while enabling and enriching individuals and communities. This awareness has prompted a significant shift in focus among policymakers, and today, entrepreneurship is a core aspect of many National Development Programs globally. Entrepreneurs are responsible for coming up with ideas and leveraging technology to create solutions, and the government is responsible for creating an economic environment where their innovations can thrive.

Over the years, the Nigerian government has shown increasing appreciation for the role of innovation in socioeconomic development. Government agencies and institutions such as the National Investment Promotion Commission, National Information Technology Development Agency, Bank of Industry, and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy all have a role to play in the creation and implementation of policies relating to entrepreneurship. In response to the global health crisis, the government can develop more entrepreneurship policies, particularly as startups and scaleups continue to demonstrate their economic value by contributing to lifesaving solutions for businesses and families. …


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Now more than ever founders must continue to dream big, take more risks and utilise available tools and resources to scale their businesses.

Bukky George defied the odds in Nigeria’s healthcare industry when she founded HealthPlus in 1999, Nigeria’s first Integrative Pharmacy and the fastest-growing pharmacy chain in West Africa. She saw the gaps in Nigeria’s health and beauty industry and found a way to establish HealthPlus Group’s presence in the market.

In 2004, Endeavor coined a term that would set these unique individuals apart from the rest of the entrepreneurial world — high-impact entrepreneurs. They are the out-of-the-box thinkers, risk-takers, innovators, dreamers, outliers and creators. High-impact entrepreneurs create scalable businesses that have the potential to grow, create jobs in their local economies, make visible impact in their communities and inspire a generation of new entrepreneurs. …


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For entrepreneurs, the crisis has become a vehicle for innovation, leadership, and growth.

Globally, the health crisis has tested the resilience of many businesses at different stages in their lifecycle, presenting a mix of threats and opportunities depending on which sector they operate in. Over the course of history, we have witnessed how various crises have helped shape society, fueling advancements in technology, medicine and healthcare systems. …

About

Endeavor Nigeria

Endeavor is leading the global high-impact entrepreneurship movement. We are accelerating the growth of Nigeria’s high-impact, scaleup & growth-stage companies.

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