About the Campaign
Members of “Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church (OLHR), Ogba, Lagos”, on Saturday, 28 July 2018, played host to the Business Advisory and Tax Clinic session [a programme organised by Vi-M Professional Solutions (our training and handholding partners) in partnership with the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos).
Originally, its objective was to provide a financial training platform to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners, as it was observed that one of the main reasons for the collapse of many small businesses in their early years is due to lack of formal financial training by those who manage / run the businesses. Although this observation was correct, it also turned out that most businesses actually lack the needed finance for operation, but only struggle to survive with inadequate financial resources.
This was one of the many feedbacks received from participants of the session at OLHR Ogba, as a good number of the over 300 people who registered for the programme also sought assistance on getting finance or capital to start, expand, or grow their businesses.
In attendance at the Clinic session were farmers, consultants, caterers, pharmacists, agripreneurs, traders, small business owners, people in paid employment and others who intend to set up their own enterprises in the near future.
People registered for and attended the programme for various reasons, amongst which were:
- The need to know / decide on what kind of business to venture into;
- To seek professional advice on critical business issues, at no cost;
- The need to have a ‘side hustle’, that is, multiple streams of income;
- To be empowered on the financial knowledge required to start a business; and
- To seek business funding.
The above and other pain points of attendees of the Clinic session were adequately addressed by the organizers through extensive discussions on the crucial aspects of starting and running a successful business in Nigeria, such as:
- Getting yourself prepared to start a business and how to develop a great business idea;
- The importance of having a Business Plan and how to write one;
- The regulatory bodies which a business must be registered with, such as CAC, NAFDAC, SON, FIRS, etc, depending on the type of business;
- Branding, marketing and selling tips;
- How to leverage on the internet and technology to project the business to the world;
- Managing the finance function, accounting and internal controls;
- Accounting software and other useful tools for powering the business;
- Tips for hiring and managing people; and
- Navigating taxes.
The Clinic session was highly educative and interactive as participants were given the opportunity to share their experiences and challenges in business, just as the facilitators delivered the presentations. At the end of the presentations, participants had one-on-one session with the facilitators, in order to further proffer tailored solutions and advice to each individual’s business challenges.
Lack of funding, poor business and technical knowledge, the long and complex bureaucratic processes characterised by regulatory agencies, falling victim of fraudulent persons claiming to be officials of government agencies, the indiscriminate and high charges levied on business accounts by banks, and lack of trust in business are some of the many challenges which were shared by participants, with the facilitators during the one-on-one sessions.
As educative and eye-opening as the Clinic session was, that several participants requested to have the soft copy of the presentation, which is solely Vi-M’s copyright. In fact, a participant who runs an existing business specifically requested to have only the section of the presentation on “Writing a Business Plan”. This shows that he has realized the importance of having a well thought out business plan, which is probably the reason for the setbacks his business is facing. Also, another participant sought for the facilitators’ assistance to train on website design, as he is currently into sales and repairs of computers and its accessories at the Computer Village, Ikeja.
At the end of the event, a WhatsApp platform was created to unite and connect the participants with one another and to keep the conversation about business-related issues going. The platform, which is been regulated by the event facilitators, provides room for participants to introduce and network amongst themselves, serve as an online market for participants where they can advertise and sell their products and services, and serve as a business training platform where business challenges are discussed and resolved.
One serious challenge that is yet to be resolved is that of lack of adequate finance to start-up or scale-up the businesses. Owing to the fact that the businesses are largely informal, raising monies through the banks or other organised micro finance institutions would prove a tough challenge. Hence our soliciting for funds via this platform to assist these men and women build up their business, put a solid / viable structure around it, grow it and hopefully make a meaningful livelihood for themselves and their dependants.
We intend to give assistance to participants who indicated immediate need for funding the following enterprises:
|Trading in commodities||1,300,000|
|Trading in electronics||3,500,000|
|Catering & Hospitality||900,000|
|Trading in food and farm produce||900,000|
|Trading in Food Stuff||250,000|
|Production of Toiletries||1,000,000|
|Food Stuff trading||400,000|
|Supply & Contracting||2,000,000|
|Food Stuff trading||150,000|
It is our hope that well meaning nationals, parishioners, catholics in the archdiocese, prospective donors on this site, local and international organisations and communities would support and donate towards this cause.
* Please watch out for ‘updates’ to this campaign (to be published below the page) as we would be giving account of how your donations are utilised.
Below are the pictures from the event for your viewing pleasure.