The Chief Executive Officer of Advantage Health Africa, Abimbola Adebakin has called for a more friendly and proactive collaboration between private and public sector players for Nigeria to attain the needed growth within the startup ecosystem.
This was the focus of a Closed Boardroom event for Young stakeholders, Chief Executives, Thinkers, and Leaders held recently at the Boardroom, Walure Capital, Lagos.
Tagged, ‘Strategic fore-sighting: A peep into the future of start-ups in Nigeria’, stakeholders focused on tabling future developments and their potential impacts on the emergence of Start-ups in Nigeria. The participants went into a closed-door brainstorming session focused on market trends and changes for startups; customer needs and preferences; regulatory and policy changes; competitions, and strategic partnerships among others.
According to Adebakin, said that the need to deepen effective collaboration between the public and private sectors in Nigeria is germane in our quest toward developing new businesses in Nigeria, saying that government is far away from start-ups and that is hurting the sector.
She said “when we have a government that is so old and far away from those who are innovating; there is a disconnect. We need a good mix in government. I understand we should carry the government along; I understand we should get their buy-in but the reality is that they are too far away from the startup.
Adebakin noted that there is a need to build synergy between private and public sector players, just as she urged startups to build relationships with the public sector by having contacts with the government.
She equally called on the government to seek avenues to sit at the same table with private sector players to deepen private-public engagement with a friendlier and more proactive approach to governance.
“Naturally people want to work with an established organization. They don’t want to work for a one-man business; until and when you can show and demonstrate integrity and consistency”.
“As an experienced entrepreneur I knew I needed to get the government on my side and so, even before I launched, I went to create attention with the government,” said Adebakin.
Earlier in his words, an idea consultant and convener, Bayode Oke Thomas, said that people must first understand that every startup is a business.
He said that startups should concentrate more on building structures and strategies to survive and grow the business.
He further disclosed that many startups are usually carried away by excitement forgetting they needed to put structures in place to position the business for growth.
“There’s so much enthusiasm in trying to birth an idea but we fail to realise that a startup is still a business. Regardless of the change in the name of the startup, there is a model a business should run. There are feasibility studies; there are predictions of the forecasting of the future that we must engage in to help position properly”.
“So, what we do most times is that we are too enthusiastic than positioned for whatever is to come because by the time ideas come; it’s really exciting but there are structures that must be in place, there’s also the funding conversation,” he said.