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  Nigeria is a very complex ecosystem when it comes to doing business. In fact, despite being the largest market in Africa, it has been dubbed by economists and investors as one of the hardest places to do business on earth. However, Nigeria is a land of opportunities just like the United States; it runs on a private-public economic framework that makes dreams become reality if the right strategies are applied.
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Moreover, investors have also stated that the most populous black nation on earth is among the final frontier for new investment opportunities. 

So what does it mean to be investible? 

Running an investible business is the ability of your business to attract investors because they believe that your business can generate revenues and yield attractive returns.  Aside from seeing an investible business from the prism of money and finance, experts have stated that an investible business includes environmental, social, and governance practices (ESG) as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). While ESG and DEI are not too familiar among businesspeople in Nigeria, one way or the other successful businesses practice them without knowing. Also, ESG and DEI vary from one territory to another. For instance, ESG is the ability and the capability of a business to follow indigenous ethics and inclinations, while operating within the framework of internationally accepted standards of doing business.  Doing business in Nigeria goes far more than deploying aggressive innovation. It is all about having a business an investor can trust. In this article, I suggest four ways to make your business investable in Nigeria.
  • Build Your Business On Transparency 

Incorporating transparency is all about what goes within and outside your business. A transparent business complies with nation regulatory laws, operates an ethical disclosure business framework, and as well runs on a well-documented business process.
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It is staying in the good books of the law. Business transparency is lacking in Nigeria, hence, so many businesses are not investible. Apart from being within the boundaries of the law, businesses that employ transparency go through auditing accounts and establishing internationally accepted ESG frameworks. Also, a transparent business has in place human resources that regulate talents. With the right transparent models and operations, businesses make themselves investable.
  • Focus on Institution Building

Too many businesses in Nigeria are built around the personalities of the Founder or CEO. Such businesses possess high-risk factors. When the founder is absent, the business is bound to be grounded, and when he is no more, the business within a short time vanishes into the thin air; it dies along with the founder. This business trait does not attract investors. Investors love to put their money in businesses that have longevity potential.  A very good institutional business is Apple Inc. Beyond the death of its founder, Steve Jobs, Apple under his successor, Tim Cook, has gone to become one of the biggest companies in the world. Apple has been valued at $2.5trillion, which is a whopping 600% growth since the founder died. 
  • Build Economization  Products

One of the best ways to make your business investable is the ability to weave your business perfectly around the Nigerian economy and still generate revenues. This model is called accessibility. Given the nature of Nigeria’s economy and its demography, which is largely a low-income demography, building a product or service that suits the pockets of the population can guarantee revenue. For instance, Promasidor produced Cowbell milk and chocolate in sachet form enabling the lower class to buy into what was considered a luxury product.
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Prior, powdered milk and chocolate were packaged in large tin containers which favoured the middle and upper class, but excluded huge demography of low-income earners. This strategy tripled Promasidor’s revenues. 
  • Stakeholder Relationships

Nigeria is a place where businesses thrive on high-quality relationships. Being investable is not just about building quality products and having a strong team, but having a high-quality relationship in well-placed spaces within the country. 

Final Words

In conclusion, building an investable business in Nigeria comes with understanding both internal and international standards of doing business. It is also about knowing the dynamics of the Nigerian business ecosystem and knowing how to consistently generate revenues. It is also about instituting survival and coping mechanisms.  Featured Image Source: Justin Morel Junior
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This article was first published on 12th June 2022


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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