Experts task entrepreneurs on corporate governance, ethics

Experts in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have charged entrepreneurs in the country on the need to take corporate governance and ethics seriously.

The experts who spoke at the BusinessDay Top 100 Fastest Growing SMEs event held recently in Lagos weekend stated that start-ups can only scale their businesses when they take up the issue of corporate governance and ethics seriously.

“We have to take our corporate governance and ethics very seriously. We must have purpose-led organization” Uyi Akpata, country senior partner, PWC said.

Uyi urged entrepreneurs to try and diversify their business especially their customer base.

Citing recent studies by PwC in the UK, Uyi stated that less than five percent of businesses transform from the status of SME to a large firm for failure of taking corporate governance and ethics seriously.

He stated that SMEs in Nigeria accounts for 96 percent of businesses and contributes 48percent to GDP of the country in the last five years while adding that it accounts for between 10-15percent of manufacturing output.

Also speaking, Abayomi Awobokun, office Administartor, Enyo Retail and Supply-guest speaker, counselled entrepreneurs to compete in areas they have comparative advantage.

“Do not build your business to compete with other businesses where you have no strength. Do not compete according to terms of the competitor but according to what you believe,” Awobokun said.

Frank Aigbogun, publisher and CEO of BusinessDay urged entrepreneurs to have proven expenditure to be able to access finance easily.

“You will make raising money easier when you have a proven expenditure,” he said.

“If the government should make it possible for each of the 38 million SMEs to employ a Nigerian, that will mean 38 million jobs created.”

“SMEs contribute 48 percent to Nigeria GDP but they get less that 10 -30 percent of government attention,” he said

He noted that Businessday will continue to have a great deal of engagement with SMEs operators in the country.

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