The beginning of each year is an ideal period for actively reflecting on personal and professional outcomes, as well as making predictions and plans for the upcoming year. At Endeavor, we spend a lot of time thinking about the promise of high-impact entrepreneurship for Nigeria and the challenges our ecosystem faces as we move towards a more sustainable model for startup formation, support, growth, and productivity. We are excited about the potential of this generation of entrepreneurs to transform the economic landscape of our country, but we remain keenly aware that the challenges the country faces will require innovation and the ability to quickly harness the digital opportunities before us.
At the end of 2019, we asked some friends of Endeavor, across various roles and industries within the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Nigeria, to share their predictions for 2020. We consider these predictions to be an inspiring challenge and a learning opportunity; to read what key doers, builders, and thinkers are focused on, hopeful for or worried about. We intend to expand the project every year, and over time, these predictions will record how our ecosystem evolves in character and sentiment, beyond tracking investment numbers.
Read the compilation here.
Tayo Oviosu (Founder & CEO, Paga) — THE ENTREPRENEUR
Mantra: “Capture the opportunity, take no prisoners!”
Prediction: We will see a new wave of tech entrepreneurs aiming to build sustainable businesses that are solving problems in various sectors outside of financial services (healthcare, retail, fast-moving consumer goods, corporate enterprise, etc.) leveraging appropriate existing technology for their addressable market.
Eloho Gihan-Mbelu (MD & CEO, Endeavor Nigeria) — THE ECOSYSTEM BUILDER
Mantra: “Think big, scale fast, pay it forward!”
Prediction: My bet is that we will see at least 1 rockstar all-female co-founder team launch a new high-growth, tech venture in 2020. We’ll also see female co-founders in diverse teams come to the fore. Their timing would be perfect!
Jason Njoku (Founder & CEO, IROKO) — THE ENTREPRENEUR
Mantra: “Impose ta chance, serre ton bonheur et va vers ton risque.”
Prediction: 2020 will be more focused on how our African tech community will need to shift their attention from pitch decks and term sheets, to revenue generation and liquidity events.
Rimini Haraya Makama (Government Affairs Director, Microsoft MEA Emerging Markets) — THE OPERATOR
Mantra: “You only live as long as the last person who remembers you.”
Prediction: There will be deeper technology investments in Nigeria resulting in more growth in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We will see more international players taking advantage of the talent pool, Nigerian can-do spirit, and high unemployment numbers.
Kola Aina (Founding Partner, Ventures Platform) — THE ECOSYSTEM BUILDER
Mantra: “The emergent or dynamic strategy might get you so far, but it’s the deliberate one that will take you home.”
Prediction: Interventionist regulatory surprises that will shake up the space and require players to change their existing business models and value propositions. Expect legacy banks to truly bring the fight to the Fintechs who are now decoupling traditional banking into stand-alone services.
Odunayo Eweniyi (Co-founder & COO, PiggyVest) — THE ENTREPRENEUR
Mantra: “Aim very high, work very hard, care very deeply”.
Prediction: 2020 will be all about M&As in our ecosystem, especially in the fintech space. “Customer is King” will take on new meaning as more companies across several tech-enabled sectors rise, offering products with slimmer to no differentiators, and fighting for customers and users within the same segment.
Jessica Hope (Founder, Wimbart) — THE STRATEGIST
Prediction: CEOs will be even more focused on building trust through earned media. They will need to become masters of their sector, owning the narrative on the business environment within which they operate [and seek to own] — giving themselves a platform to continue to earn trust from end-users. They will also use evolving media platforms as well as the more traditional news outlets.