Burger King

Counting on in-store transactions, Burger King berths in Nigeria

Burger King, an American quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain, has finally entered Nigeria with eye on the volume of in-store transactions that Africa’s most populous country offers.

READ ALSO: Oil Price Gains For 5th Consecutive Month

The QSR chain will open its first stores in the country by the third quarter of 2021. One of the assumptions supporting Burger King’s aggressive entry into Nigeria is that at least 20 percent of Nigeria’s population is middle class. This is about 40 million people out of Nigeria’s 200 million-strong population. This compensates for the possible lack of repeat unique customers.

“We are proud to bring this iconic brand to Nigeria, and believe that our Nigerian guests will love Burger King flame-grilled sandwiches and other famous Burger King menu items, that guests can have their way,” says Antoine Zammarieh, managing director from Allied Food and Confectionery Services Limited, and who was managing director at Eko Hotels for 10 years, at the launch in Lagos, Tuesday.

In late 2000, QSR businesses started moving forward with the brands such as Mr Biggs. People familiar with the industry say that unfortunately Mr Biggs did not follow the rules and failed, but is in a revival mode.

KFC, an international restaurant brand followed, then Chicken Republic, Dominoes, Coldstone and some South African brands of QSR too. Some of the South African brands did not succeed and left.

Nevertheless, the QSR business has become one of the hottest businesses in Nigeria. It employs many and contributes to the country’s gross domestic product. The growing QSR industry offers Nigerians more options.

Zammarieh has lived in Nigeria for 38 years, and says there has been an evolution in the lifestyle of Nigerians. In today’s Nigeria, the husband and wife are working; unlike in the past when being a stay-at-home wife was common.

In fact, as the children grow up they are also quick to join the labour force. This means there is little time available to cook at home. Quick service restaurants fill this gap. This was not the case in the past because many women were stay-at-home wives, which is no longer sustainable.

“The Nigerian market is the number one in Africa with 210 million people of which 60 percent is youth. You cannot say this is not a good market for this kind of business,” Zammarieh states in an exclusive interview. “How to adapt your business to the market is the most important thing.”

Adaptation here means that flavours and menus have to fit local pellets. For Nigeria, adaption also means meeting up the demands of a market where there is a huge infrastructure deficit. It is not a plug-and-play kind of market. Plug and play meaning there is electric power, water and sewage systems that work. This is a foresight many new entrants into the market miss. This can lead to massive failures.

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Nigerian Startup

Nigerian startups raise more money in a single month than whole of 2020

In a month tech investors decided to open their investment wallets in an unusual manner, five Nigerian startups have found themselves $202 million richer. It is the most investment in a single month since 2019 and beats the whole money raised in 2020.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s fiscal position remains precarious despite rising oil price

Flutterwave opened the month of March with a $170 million Series C funding that pushed its valuation to over $1 billion; Havenhill Nigeria Limited, a clean energy company raised $4.5 million on the same day as Flutterwave; Kuda Bank followed with $25 million; Termii and Kwik came a day later announcing raising $1.4 million $1.7 million each.

It is the most funding closed in a month since the $200 million investment by Visa in Interswitch. Although Paystack pulled in $200 in the deal with Stripe in October 2020, it is an outright acquisition and so does not count as funding.

The $202 million funding is even more impressive as it eclipses the record of the entire investment in 2020 when about 82 Nigerian startups could only haul in $170 million. According to a report compiled by StartupLists, venture capital investments in Africa took off on a high note in the first three months of 2020 only to be blindsided by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdowns and economic meltdown across the world.

Fear and anxiety left many investors scampering for safety with their funds put on ice until some certainty could be restored. Hence, investments in tech startups were impacted negatively in the second quarter but in the third quarters, investments began to pick up hitting more than 75 percent of the funding raised in previous quarters 2020.

2021 has been significantly different. Startups such as uLesson, an education technology company, with $7.5 million kicked off the year, indicating investors may be regaining their confidence and are willing to start writing big cheques again. March is certainly proving the investors are ready to push more money into the hands of Nigerian startups.

One reason experts say is responsible for the rise in funding is growing confidence driven by returns on investment of venture capitalists in the country. Paystack’s acquisition may have sold the idea once again that Nigeria does have the talents and solutions to tackle payment and other developmental challenges in Africa.

This could be responsible for the influx of first-time foreign investors. Quona Capital which led a $3 million investment in Cowrywise in January and the lead investor in Kuda Bank’s $2 million Series A raise, Valar Ventures – founded by Peter Thiel – were investing for the first time in Africa.

The funding in March has almost come at the back of each other. Flutterwave’s $170 million was announced the same day Havenhill Nigeria Limited said it raised $4.5 million from Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund (NIDF), the first listed infrastructure debt fund in Nigeria and Africa. The funding is for the construction of 22 mini-grids being developed by Havenhill Synergy Limited (Havenhill) under the Nigeria Electrification Project.

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Lagos State Government

Key To SME Growth In Lagos State

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) are generally regarded as the engine of economic growth in any developing economy. Similarly, a large concentration of SMEs including Micro and Nano businesses are easily noticeable in Lagos State, the economic hub of Nigeria. The State enjoys a high presence of SMEs, Micro and Nano businesses more than any State in Nigeria. Why is that? The simple metric to this is that Lagos State has a population size of about 15 million, according to United Nations (UN) projections and it appears like a country within a country considering the strength of economic activity and populace. 

READ ALSO: P&G Nigeria Partners FG, BoI to Start SME Academy

In fact, without a doubt, Lagos State has a population estimate that is higher than some West African countries namely Guinea (13,132,795), Benin (12,123,200), and Togo (8,278,724), Sierra Leone (7,976,983). Even the population of the State is higher than that of some developed countries such as Finland (5,540,720), Belgium (11,589,623), Sweden (10,099,265), Denmark (5,792,202), and Ireland (4,937,786). Supportably, the population is even higher than the combined population of Liberia (5,057,681), Mauritania (4,649,658), Gambia (2,416,668), Guinea-Bissau (1,968,001) as at 27th February 2021. However, the painful reality is that over 60% of the residents of Lagos State are poor and live in various high density and informal settlements scattered across the State. These residents lack proper sanitation, power, and other basic services, and most of them eke a living from small businesses which includes Nano and Micro businesses most importantly. A visible reference usually includes the operators of kiosks, commercial tricycles, motorcycles and many other informal business operations in the State. 

The estimated figure of micro-businesses in Lagos State is 3,224,324 and to add to this, over 11, 663 SME operates in the State, according to a recent statement from the Lagos Ministry for Commerce, Industry, and Cooperatives. In my opinion, these data are underreported and do not reflect the large informal economy that exists. From reliable data the informal economy employs about 5.5 million people in Lagos State if not more. So, a reliable data base is necessary for adequate planning in the State. 

The small business economic activities in Lagos State can contribute largely to the growth of non-oil sector, employment generation, and the creation of sustainable entrepreneurship. These can largely be driven by businesses in the formal and informal sector in the State. Arguably small business represents over 90 percent of private businesses in the State and contribute to more than 50 percent of employment in the State. Yet the State government has not duly recognised the significance of this sector in the economic development of the State. For instance, the popular computer village in Ikeja, Ladipo spare part market in Oshodi and Balogun market in Lagos Island all consist of clusters of mostly micro-businesses with huge economic engagements but the government of Lagos state is yet to facilitate their formality and capacity building with the required policy and incentive considerations. 

The novel Coronavirus (COVID19) and the harsh economic climate currently with us, has made many of these businesses struggle and some have shut down due to these challenges which includes the perennial issues. That is, from infrastructure deficits (power, road, technology, and so on) to inconsistent government policies, security problems, multiple taxations, regulatory burdens, stiff competition from large companies, entrepreneurial attitude of operators, huge financial and funding problems, lack of meaningful structure, longevity and succession plan among others. SME operators and entrepreneurs strive with different strategies and tactics to absolve many of these challenges and shocks to make any meaningful balance with little or no external support. However, the government needs to realise and recognise that small businesses are crucial to job creation, economic diversification, innovation, poverty reduction, wealth creation, and income redistribution in their policy-making activities. If this sector is well harnessed in Lagos State it can be a huge catalyst in transforming the State economically. 

The vivid truth is that a well-functioning SME sector would add more value to the economic fortunes of the State, sustain livelihoods, reduce poverty by creating more job opportunities in the economy than any other sector. Therefore, proper monitoring and evaluation of this sector are crucial for the economic development of Lagos State. When businesses survive, there will be a reduction in market failures and the more businesses are without survival threats the government can equally benefit from their growth and development. It can increase tax receipts and accelerate the growth of industrialisation in the State. Therefore, the Lagos State government should focus more on policies and programmes to widen the SMEs’ involvement in the formal sector particularly the Micro and Nano businesses. The State government through the appropriate Ministry can implement policies that will enhance ease of doing business in the State to attract operators from the huge unregulated informal sector to the formal sector. The informal sector in Nigeria refers to economic activities in all sectors of the economy that are operated outside the purview of government regulation. Therefore, policies to attract business formality should be considered and formulated, and also the capacity and sustainability of these SMEs, Micro and Nano businesses should be enhanced. Because if all these are set in place it will encourage the development of the formal posture of the SME sector in the State. 

That said, key stakeholders such as the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN), Nigerian Association of Small & Medium Enterprises. (NASME), Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN), The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN), The financial technology (FINTECH) associations, and groups in the Organised Private Sector (OPS) advocate for ways government can create innovative measures to improve business formality, enable secured environment, improve on rule of law, encourage public-private initiatives, invest in infrastructure, and consider policies as the needed. Corruption has also remained a very serious problem that needs to be genuinely addressed because it can threaten any development policies and programmes of the State. 

The support of these teeming Small, Micro, SME and Nano businesses is also imperative and strategies to sustain their business operations should be key in the decision-making process of the government of Lagos State. The national bureau of statistics suggested many of the Nigerian youth are unemployed, majority of them can be meaningfully absorbed into this sector through self-employment, startups, and financial technology (FINTECH), if the SME sector is made viable with adequate enabling environment. 

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Investing During Recession

Investing During a Recession

Recession has in the last few years become something of a buzz word in Nigeria to describe the harsh economic conditions in the country and its resultant effect on the income, spending power and businesses of the people.

However, by definition, a recession happens when a country’s GDP falls in two consecutive quarters, while the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) simply means the measure of goods and services produced in a country over a period of time.

READ ALSO: Traders happy as movement of food trucks begins…

Last year, the economy contracted by 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020, indicating that two consecutive quarters of negative growth had been recorded in 2020 following the previous decline by 6.1 percent in the second quarter.

Officially, this meant that Nigeria’s economy slipped into recession and for the second time in four years as oil prices plunged in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recessions are usually characterized by falling incomes, weakened sales and production as well as a drop in the confidence levels of investors. Consequently, this leads to an aversion for risk and often a tendency to err on the side of safety.

The interesting fact, however, remains that recessions often give way to recoveries soon after. In the light of this, with the right strategy, a recession might not necessarily be a bad time to invest.

These few tips will be useful in helping you create your personal investment strategy.

Avoid Panic One big mistake investors make in times of recession is to make panic-induced decisions and follow an inclination to liquidate investments in favour of cash. This could, however, mean that you box yourself into a “corner” which could eventually produce hefty losses once the economy begins to recover. This is especially for people who have a stock-based investment portfolio.

Also, patiently wait to get dividends for your existing investments and resist the urge to sell in panic. Carefully Inject Funds into Investments When a market is fraught with volatility and investor fear, it can be extremely difficult to time trades perfectly and properly predict when prices are likely to rise or fall.

The way to work around this is to find a personal saving pattern that works for you and then carefully identify investments that appear worthwhile to inject your saved resources into.

This can help you save money and also, significantly increases your purchasing power as prices are usually low at these times.

It may also be a good time to take advantage of low prices and get bargain deals especially in industries that have been hard hit by the recession but have clear potential to bounce back strongly.

Take a Peek In taking on new investments in this period, especially with direct investment like shares, always take a peek into the financial records as well as the business and operational models of the companies you are considering for investment.

Industries and companies that cater to basic human survival needs are a good bet in this regard because they can often expect to experience minimal upheavals even in a recession.

There is Nothing Wrong with Being Safe Investing in safety nets such as bonds and mineral resources such as gold can be a great way to store up value, as their performance is often unaffected by market forces.

This can help you diversify your portfolio properly and ensure you are not entirely reliant on how the stock market pans out. I leave you with the words of the American businessman, MichealNesmith “Behind every dark cloud, there is usually rain”.

SOURCE: VANGUARD

SME growth Lagos

Key to SME growth in Lagos state

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are generally regarded as the engine of economic growth in any developing economies. Similarly, a large concentration of SMEs including micro and nano businesses are easily noticeable in Lagos state, the economic hub of Nigeria. The state enjoys a high presence of SMEs, micro and nano businesses more than any state in Nigeria. Why is that? The simple metric to this is that Lagos has a population size of about 15 million, according to United Nations (UN) projections and it appears like a country within a country considering the strength of economic activity and populace.

READ ALSO: FG Mulls Policy to Earmark Procurement Contracts for Women

In fact, without a doubt, Lagos has a population estimate that is higher than some West African countries, namely Guinea (13,132,795), Benin (12,123,200), and Togo (8,278,724), Sierra Leone (7,976,983). Even the population of the state is higher than that of some developed countries such as Finland (5,540,720),Belgium(11,589,623),Sweden(10,099,265), Denmark(5,792,202), and Ireland (4,937,786). Supportably, the population is even higher than the combined population of Liberia (5,057,681), Mauritania (4,649,658), Gambia (2,416,668), Guinea-Bissau (1,968,001) as of February 27, 2021. However, the painful reality is that over 60 percent of the residents of Lagos are poor and live in various high-density and informal settlements scattered across the state. These residents lack proper sanitation, power, and other basic services, and most of them eke a living from small businesses, which includes nano and micro businesses. A visible reference usually includes the operators of kiosks, commercial tricycles, motorcycles and many other informal business operations in the state.

The estimated figure of micro-businesses in Lagos is 3,224,324 and to add to this, over 11, 663 SMEs operate in the state, according to a recent statement from the Lagos ministry for commerce, industry, and cooperatives. In my opinion, this data is underreported and does not reflect the large informal economy that exists in the State particularly the nan businesses. From reliable data, the informal economy employs about 5.5 million people in Lagos, if not more. So, a reliable database is necessary for adequate planning in the state.

The small business economic activities in Lagos can contribute largely to the growth of the non-oil sector, employment generation, and the creation of sustainable entrepreneurship. These can largely be driven by businesses in the formal and informal sector in the state. Arguably, small business represents over 90 percent of private businesses in the state and contributes to more than 50 percent of employment. Yet the state government has not duly recognised the significance of this sector in the economic development of the state. For instance, the popular computer village in Ikeja, Ladipo spare part market in Oshodi and Balogun market in Lagos Island all consist of clusters of mostly micro-businesses with huge economic engagements but the government of Lagos state is yet to facilitate their formality and capacity building with the required policy and incentive considerations.

The novel Coronavirus (COVID19) and the harsh economic climate currently with us have made many of these businesses struggle and some have shut down due to these challenges which include perennial issues. That is, from infrastructure deficits (power, road, technology, and so on) to inconsistent government policies, security problems, multiple taxations, regulatory burdens, stiff competition from large companies, the entrepreneurial attitude of operators, huge financial and funding problems, lack of meaningful structure, longevity and succession plan among others. SME operators and entrepreneurs strive with different strategies and tactics to absolve many of these challenges and shocks to make any meaningful balance with little or no external support. However, the government needs to realise and recognise that small businesses are crucial to job creation, economic diversification, innovation, poverty reduction, wealth creation, and income redistribution in their policy-making activities. If this sector is well harnessed in Lagos state, it can be a huge catalyst in transforming the state economically.

The vivid truth is that a well-functioning SME sector would add more value to the economic fortunes of the state, sustain livelihoods, reduce poverty by creating more job opportunities in the economy than any other sector. Therefore, proper monitoring and evaluation of this sector are crucial for the economic development of Lagos state. When businesses survive, there will be a reduction in market failures and the more businesses are without survival threats the government can equally benefit from their growth and development. It can increase tax receipts and accelerate the growth of industrialisation in the state.

Therefore, the Lagos state government should focus more on policies and programs to widen the SMEs’ involvement in the formal sector particularly the micro and nano businesses. The state government, through the appropriate ministry, can implement policies that will enhance ease of doing business in the state to attract operators from the huge unregulated informal sector to the formal sector. The informal sector in Nigeria refers to economic activities in all sectors of the economy that are operated outside the purview of government regulation. Therefore, policies to attract business formality should be considered and formulated, and also the capacity and sustainability of these SMEs, micro and nano businesses should be enhanced. Because if all these are set in place it will encourage the development of the formal sector of the SME sector in the state.

That said, key stakeholders such as the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN), Nigerian Association of Small & Medium Enterprises. (NASME), Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN), The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN), financial technology (FINTECH) associations, and groups in the organised private sector (OPS) advocate for ways government can create innovative measures to improve business formality, enable secured environment, improve on rule of law, encourage public-private initiatives, invest in infrastructure, and consider policies as the needed. Corruption has also remained a very serious problem that needs to be genuinely addressed because it can threaten any development policies and programs of the state.

The support of these teeming small, micro and nano businesses is also imperative and strategies to sustain their business operations should be key in the decision-making process of the government of Lagos. The National Bureau of Statistics suggested many Nigerian youths are unemployed, the majority of them can be meaningfully absorbed into this sector through self-employment, startups, and financial technology (FINTECH) if the SME sector is made viable with an adequate enabling environment.

In conclusion, the Lagos government should get more involved in the growth, development, and sustainability of SMEs within the state. More so, the state government needs to ensure the development and patronage of locally produced goods and content while putting in place adequate infrastructures. Besides corroboration with experts and consultants in the provision of external advice to government and these teeming small businesses on a range of topics such as strategy, having a business and organisational structure for business continuity, financial literacy, technology, and role of innovation to increase their output is equally significant. Concisely, going forward policies and programs of the government in the state should be rooted in deep rule of law, accountability, creation of a database on small business and uphold strict fiscal discipline. Good luck!

SOURCE: The Cable

Benefit SME

Osinbajo Highlights Benefits of SMEs

Vice President Yemi Osibajo has restated the belief of the federal government in the capacity of small and medium scale enterprises to stimulate economic activities and provide jobs.

READ ALSO: Raising stake in SMEs financing, growth in Nigeria

He made the remark as the keynote speaker at the 2021 P&G – BoI SME Academy, where the consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment (FMITI) and the Bank of Industry (BoI) provided access to training for over 700 SMEs during.

According to the Vice President, “The federal government believes wholeheartedly that SMEs are the bedrock of the economy and we are constantly aiming to support innovations that can help SMEs grow and in turn groom the economy and provide job opportunities.

“The government has been working diligently and creatively on engaging the most vulnerable businesses especially during this current crisis.”

The plenary session at the academy with the theme: ‘SME Development and Growth as a Precursor to Nation Building,’ brought senior government and private sector leaders to discuss proven strategies that could be leveraged to drive the growth and development of local SMEs as the bedrock of Nigeria’s economic development.

Also, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo reiterated the need to create a favorable business environment for SMEs in Nigeria.

He said: “The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is committed to providing SMEs the required support and trainings needed to consistently project their businesses in an upward trajectory.

“We achieve this through information-driven support vital in building a better playing field for commerce in the entire nation.

We are grateful to organisations like Procter & Gamble for their continuous efforts towards transforming their communities of operations through proactive projects like the SME Academy.”

In his remarks, the Managing Director, P&G Nigeria, Mr. Adil Farhat highlighted the need to continuously support SMEs in Nigeria, saying they have the potential to out rightly transform the country.

Farhat added that, “in line with the focus of Nigeria’s economic recovery and growth plan to drive industrialisation and economic growth through globally competitive SMEs, P&G in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Trade, industry and investment and the Bank of Industry launched the SME Academy to improve their standard, ensure longevity, and facilitate integration into global value chains.

“For over 27 years in Nigeria, P&G has consistently partnered with the Nigerian government to promote strong investor policies and practices that drive inclusive growth, jobs, and welfare of Nigerian citizens”.

SOURCE: THISDAY

Osibanjo to NIPSS

Osinbajo Highlights Strength of SMEs

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has restated the belief of the federal government in the capacity of small and medium scale enterprises to stimulate economic activities and provide jobs.

He made the remark as the keynote speaker at the 2021 P&G – BoI SME Academy, where the consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment (FMITI) and the Bank of Industry (BoI) provided access to training for over 700 SMEs during.

SEE ALSO: Enugu SME Center in Partnership with iCreate Africa need ‘Experts’

According to the Vice President, “The federal government believes wholeheartedly that SMEs are the bedrock of the economy and we are constantly aiming to support innovations that can help SMEs grow and in turn groom the economy and provide job opportunities.

“The government has been working diligently and creatively on engaging the most vulnerable businesses especially during this current crisis.”

The plenary session at the academy with the theme: ‘SME Development and Growth as a Precursor to Nation Building,’ brought senior government and private sector leaders to discuss proven strategies that could be leveraged to drive the growth and development of local SMEs as the bedrock of Nigeria’s economic development.

Also, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo reiterated the need to create a favorable business environment for SMEs in Nigeria.

He said: “The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is committed to providing SMEs the required support and trainings needed to consistently project their businesses in an upward trajectory. “We achieve this through information-driven support vital in building a better playing field for commerce in the entire nation. We are grateful to organisations like Procter & Gamble for their continuous efforts towards transforming their communities of operations through proactive projects like the SME Academy.”

In his remarks, the Managing Director, P&G Nigeria, Mr. Adil Farhat highlighted the need to continuously support SMEs in Nigeria, saying they have the potential to out rightly transform the country.

Farhat added that, “in line with the focus of Nigeria’s economic recovery and growth plan to drive industrialisation and economic growth through globally competitive SMEs, P&G in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Trade, industry and investment and the Bank of Industry launched the SME Academy to improve their standard, ensure longevity, and facilitate integration into global value chains.

“For over 27 years in Nigeria, P&G has consistently partnered with the Nigerian government to promote strong investor policies and practices that drive inclusive growth, jobs, and welfare of Nigerian citizens”.

Furthermore, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Industry, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, in his presentation reiterated the importance of the SME Academy, especially during the challenging economic situation across the globe.

“The maiden edition was held in October 2019. This second edition and first virtual event has been expanded to incorporate structured trainings. This initiative has become particularly important in this era of the covid-19 pandemic and current global economic challenges, which has left many SME businesses struggling to survive now. The Bank of Industry remains committed to transforming Nigeria’s economic sector through funding, strategic partnerships and strengthening of our technology and operations.”

This year’s SME Academy also featured key stakeholders in the industry including Ms. Yewande Sadiku, the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission; Mrs. Bola Adesola, the Senior Vice Chairman for Africa at Standard Chartered Bank; Mrs. Tara Fela-Durotoye, the CEO of House of Tara International; and other experts on procurement, investment facilitation, and access to finance.

SOURCE ThisDay

The new frontier of wholesaling

How to Start a Wholesaling Business in 2021

Wholesaling plays a fundamental role in the overall distribution and sales of a particular product. It is also a very competitive market, but you can be successful at wholesaling with the right resources and connections. 

Wholesaling gives you an advantage because unlike the retail business where the money is made one product at a time; the wholesale business allows you to earn more. Since your customers are retailers, they will need to buy your product in volumes to sell to their customers.

You might want to ask yourself; Do you want to stock your products or have them drop-shipped to your customers? What products do you want to sell, and where can you find suppliers?

In this article, we will run through tips on how to start a wholesaling business in 2021. Let’s dive in!

SEE ALSO: MSMEs To Receive Support Through SMEDAN

1. Choose a Market for Your Business

This is the most crucial part of starting a wholesaling business. You will need to decide which industry or market needs your product. You will need to ask yourself. What products should I sell? Who needs my products?

As an SME in Africa, it is important to choose products that are moving in your current economy. You will need to find dealers, store owners, retailers, and customers who need your product.

You would also need to know who your competition is, their prices and what kinds of products they sell. This will help you understand which market to target and what kind of products to sell. There are several profitable wholesaling ideas. You could wholesale in Jewelry, textile, or even organic food. The key here is research.

2. Choose a Location for Your Business

This is the next most important step. If you decide to stock your product, you will need to get a warehouse to run your business.

Choosing a central location for access and easy movement of goods is also something you would need to consider.

How to Start a Wholesaling Business in 2021
Choose a good location for your wholesaling business

Secondly, you will need to hire efficient staff to ensure that your product is not misplaced or damaged. You could opt for a family member you can trust.

3. Choose Your Manufacturers/suppliers

You will need to identify manufacturers who are willing to give you their product to sell. You might want to note that some companies might require you to meet certain sales targets. You can also decide to talk to distributors that can get you a dealership. Wholesaling is about networking and establishing relationships.

4. Establish an Online Presence

In 2021, going online has become an important business strategy. Your wholesaling business is no different. The online space has become saturated with buyers making several buying decisions every day.

Establishing yourself online will help build trust and establish you as an authentic brand. Not only does it build trust, but it also attracts retailers and suppliers. It is a great way to tell prospective clients that you are ready to do business.

5. Get an easy to use inventory software

With the number of goods going in and out of your warehouse, having inventory software will pay a lot and give your business a smoother run. Inventory software helps you keep track of your inventory and determine your business’s demand and supply relation.

6. Check for Return Policies

 When looking for manufacturers/suppliers, it is important to check for their return policies. You would need to check their return policies and how they handle goods being returned to them. If their return policy isn’t clear, it is best to stay clear of those manufacturers. Inventory not sold is a waste of money.

In return, you would need to create friendly return policies that allow retailers to return goods they can’t sell. To create a comprehensive return policy, you should check with your manufacturers and align your return policies accordingly.

We hope that these steps give you a good platform to start your wholesaling business. To grow and establish yourself in the wholesale business, you would need to identify product trends and have a good understanding of your market. Don’t be afraid to take that wild step in starting your wholesaling business. 

Do you have any questions or comments on SMEs in Africa? Kindly drop them in the comment section below!

SOURCE: SME360

Start-Up

What start-ups need to attract investors

It is important as a start-up to ask yourself whose money you will use in the process of making your business idea a reality.

Would you fall back on your own nest egg to fund your start-up, this means you have saved up some money over time. It appears not many young entrepreneurs have nest egg to fund their start-up.

Now, will you go the route of debt financing? In other words, will you take out loans and pay them back with interest? This is an option to be considered with great care.

One of the benefits of using your own money is that you retain the profits and all control of your business if it succeeds. Your other option is to seek equity financing from angel investors, venture capitalists and others. In this business model, you owe less money, but you will share the profits with your investors. You are basically trading equity in your company for cash.

Going this route enables you to raise large sums of money for your start-up without going into debt. You will lose a bit of your control, giving your investors a “say” in your company. After all, they do expect a return on their investment. There is a catch.

Intending entrepreneurs brimming with confidence in their business ideas tend to believe all they need to take-off is see capital from venture capitalists. For venture capitalists the story is different because they are aware that nine out every ten start-up fails, they understand that funding is usually not the most important thing to consider when starting a business but structure.

Venture capitalists want clear answers to questions about who the business targets as customers, market size and how the business plans to grow and expand.

David Tele, managing director at Seedstars Academy, a seed capital venture firm at a Career Fair organised by BusinessDay in 2017 said that they evaluate start-ups approaching them for seed capital based on the Content, Process, and Results (CPR) method. The content dimension of the evaluation is data-driven: customer, market size, and projected revenue.

Process entails setting clear specific, measurable, ambitious, and time bound goals. It starts with setting annual goals, broken into monthly goals, then down to weekly and actionable daily goals.

Results comprise outcome from the two preceding phases and the cycle is repeated. Therefore, a start-up needs to do substantial due diligence before it approaches a seed venture capitalist. Below are a few things a start-up must do to attract seed capital.

Have a Business Plan

The first item on your list is to create a business plan. Venture capitalists deem this your most important task because, without a business plan, they are flying blind. You must create a plan that presents your overall business summary and a description of how it will make money.

In addition to your business plan, your investors will appreciate seeing one, three and five year plans. They want to see your goals and strategies for growth. They are looking for your “staying power.”

Conduct Market Research

Your investors want to see your market research. They want validation that the market can sustain your business and that your start-up is viable. This is the “proof” that your business plan is sound and provides you with numbers to back up your claims that your start-up will be successful.

Prepare Financial Models

Venture capitalists and angel investors are smart, and they know how to drill through your materials to the proof that your business can actually make money. Your financial models should include spread sheets of projected costs, acquisitions, sales and revenue, profit margins and growth rates. Bottom line: they want to know when they can start seeing a return on their investment.

Article by Stephen Onyekwelu

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Business Loan: Advantages and Disadvantages

Business loans serve as a powerful tool to help fund, launch, and grow a small business. As a small business owner, you may be looking to secure financing to maintain business operations, expand locations, invest in new equipment, or hire more employees. A business loan helps you achieve all this.

Not sure if a business loan is right for you? In this article, we break down the advantages and disadvantages of taking out a business loan, as well as questions to ask yourself if you’re still overwhelmed.

Advantages of Borrowing


Receive an influx of cash to grow your business
The easiest and most obvious way to gain major cash flow is to take out a business loan. If your business is at a stage where it’s ready to launch, expand, or grow its operations, business loans are a good choice. Compared to other funding options, you access a relatively large amount of capital for multiple purposes.

Maintain control of your business
Unlike borrowing equity (where business issues shares), taking out a business loan from the bank provides you full control over your business. Banks don’t get involved in any aspect of running your business, which means as a business owner—you retain full control and management over your company’s operations, while still reaping the benefits of extra cash.

Interest is tax-deductible
The words “tax-deductible” probably ring in your ears: it’s great news. Interest on your business bank loans is tax-deductible. This is particularly so with fixed-rate loans, in which the interest rate does not change throughout the course of your loan. This makes it much easier for small business owners to budget and plan for monthly loan payments!

Disadvantages of Borrowing


Tough to qualify
Unless you’re a small business owner with a considerable track record of valuable assets (i.e. real estate), then, unfortunately, it’s highly difficult to obtain business loans. Like applying for a mortgage, banks are extra careful with lending. They want to make sure that you can pay them back. Often, borrowers must provide the bank some sort of guarantee, such as having their personal assets seized in the event the business fails and is unable to repay all or part of a loan.

High-interest rates
Another disadvantage of small business loans is high-interest rates. In addition to that, often the amount a business qualifies for is also not enough to meet a company’s needs.

Borrowing money at a high-interest rate serves as a disservice for the business, as it often has to deal with the business loan and additional funding to cover funds not provided by the bank.

Questions to ask when considering a business loan
Borrowing money for your business comes with its pros and cons—as with any business decisions that involve money. If you are still unsure about whether a business loan is right for you, here are several questions to reflect on:

  • How much funding do I need?
  • What is the timeline in which I need the money?
  • Do I qualify for lender requirements?
  • And if so, how do I plan to spend the money?