By Samson Echenim
Nigerian entrepreneurs have been urged to leverage on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to create new businesses that can turn the country to a new economy model.
Amy Jadesimi, CEO, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base (LADOL), in a keynote address at IE Business School’s Digital Venture Day urged entrepreneurs to create new business models that will uniquely engineer the Nigerian market.
Highlighting the importance of indigenous private sector in creating the tens of millions of new jobs needed in Nigeria, the LADOL boss exhorted the audience to use the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a guide to identify business opportunities and build their businesses.
She said, “We know from the 2016 report of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, ‘Better Business Better World’ that $12 trillion will be created if private sector pursued SDG aligned and inspired business opportunities. Much of this market will be in high growth, low income countries like Nigeria. Our demographic dividend, our young people will drive global prosperity and peace, as our private sector grows.
“With the right financing models and the intelligence, hard work, energy and ingenuity of Nigerian entrepreneurs within a decade, Nigeria could be transformed. Sustainability equals profitability and the Nigerian market is the perfect environment for new economy business models to flourish.”
Jadesimi commended CBN for its recent moves to increase financing flowing to the real private sector, but she said that more still needs to be done to encourage banks to support the real private sector.
She continued, “Nigeria is the largest underserved market in the world. To ensure that the private sector can focus on locally conceived, manufactured and deployed value added solutions we need to collaborate. Sustainability involves building sharing economies and solutions. Joint private sector lobbying of government and financial institutions. The indigenous Nigerian private sector has long been ignored by the global financing community but it is precisely these companies that will generate the highest returns, particularly if they are sustainable.
“LADOL is launching its circular economy next year, turning LADOL into a Sustainable Industrial Special Economic Zone. Part of the Zone will be dedicated to incubating and supporting Nigerian entrepreneurs. Providing shared offices and workshops, as well as incubation services. LADOL will be a platform supporting the creation of new economy sustainable businesses. Business that will deploy innovative solutions to today’s business opportunities from transport to agriculture and IT,” she said.