What does “9japreneur” mean?

I am currently in New York as an Acumen Fund Global Fellow, undergoing a two month intensive training program that will clearly help me better understand myself as a leader and teach me some of the basics of handling challenges associated with running a Social Enterprise-hopefully. I am enjoying my time here, but have been asked several times what a “9japreneur” means. I have had to explain my thoughts on the term ‘9japreneur’ to these people verbally and decided to also extend this explanation to my reader community, in the hope that we can work together and bring about positive changes in society together through business and otherwise.

Taken from the word entrepreneur, a “9japreneur” simply means a Nigerian (citizen or just resident) who is engaged in any venture that brings him or her profit and/or contributing positively to the society and the lives of people around them. It is an attempt to highlight the positive spirit and attitude within the country with a long term plan to connect entrepreneurs and provide support through activities like bootcamps and investor forums etc.  This definition is not meant to cover people who do business without a conscience, not considering if their activities have negative impact on people or the environment.

Just a little about me, I am an experienced business consultant and an upcoming integrated energy engineer who believes that every man or woman can be successful in their chosen positive venture, make good profits and also benefit the society in the process.

I am gradually growing into a social entrepreneur, using the tips on this blog as a starting point to support the growth of new and emerging businesses across 9ja, Africa and the world as a whole.

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Business Lessons from the US Republican Nomination Race – Free E-book attached

Deear Entrepreneurs and 9japreneurs,

This is February, the second month of the year, telling us that January is gone for good. The year has started on an interesting note with the Republican Party in the US holding elections across the country to nominate its Presidential candidate. I have decided to draw business lessons from the current process on the heels of the wins by Rick Santorium and Ron Paul.

These two seem to have been the laggards in this race, always coming in third or fourth, behind the front-runner Mitt Romney and the Challenger, Newt Gingrich. Basically, this is similar to your competitors in the market place. If Rick and Ron had given up before now, they would never have achieved the wins recorded yesterday. Remember “Quitters never win”  and “Winners never quit”.

According to one website, Santorium whom is a devoted conservative stated that “Wow. Conservatism is alive and well in Missouri and Minnesota,” after his wins in these states. He might never have known if he quit. So, in your business practices, stay resilient, try out new products, marketing plans, business pitches and the like with a risk management mindset.

Develop a plan to attack the market challenger and even the market leader. Come up with innovative solutions that will delight your customers and keep them coming back to you.

As I leave you with these few thoughts, my pre-Valentine gift to my readers is the e-book 9 things Successful People do Differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson

 

 

 

Setting the Right Priorities for Your Business Venture in 2012

A new year is upon us again and this seems to be a busy time for most 9japreneurs. Usually, the beginning of a new year is viewed as a fresh start and a time of new possibilities. Most business owners will be busy re-strategizing and seeking the best way to move their business forward. However, if things are not properly managed at this time you might get overwhelmed and burnout before you know it, especially if your business is still in the boot-strapping phase.

We have highlighted below some great tips you can use to prevent this burn out and achieve maximum value from your effort by setting the right priorities.

1. Understand the direction for your business

The very first thing is to understand what you intend to achieve in this year. Basically, this will involve taking a look at how things fared in the past year, what you did right and wrong, a full fledged market analysis, competitor evaluation and opportunities for growth. There is so much to do in this regard.

My advice is that you focus on the top five internal and external factors that can affect your business while trying to better understand the direction for the year. This way, you can then narrow down to the actual goals and objectives for your venture in 2012.

2. Write down your goals and set realistic targets with timelines

Ensure that your goals for the year are written down, critiqued (by yourself and others) and refined to ensure that all possible areas have been covered. Then, you should set realistic targets and timelines for the achievement of these goals within the year.

Even if these goals are a carry-over from the last year, make sure they are written down so that you will not lose focus on any one.

3. Involve your team and delegate appropriately

If you have the luxury of a good team within your employ, the best you can do is to get them to participate fully in strategic activities as the year begins. Even though you have your vision for the company clearly set out, it is usually more rewarding if you seek their opinions or buy-in on the way forward. This way, they feel more respected within the company and will probably perform better on the tasks assigned if they were part of the formulation. Remember that “our budget” is always preferred than “my budget”, “his budget” or “her budget”.

In our usual manner and for the sake of practicability, we would love that you start out with these three tips and see how well it is helping you move forward as a 9japreneur. We would love feedback from you and also willing to help with any challenges you are facing as a business as the year begins.