There were plenty more too at the MBA Guest Lecture on Entrepreneurship last week, where attendees from across the globe were treated to invaluable insights from four different speakers from four different industries, all with one thing in common: an entrepreneurial spirit.
So, what else did we learn? According to one of the organisers, MBA student Babatunde Adenaike, ‘It is about identifying needs, taking calculated risks, being resilient, and constantly learning and adapting to new challenges. Entrepreneurs have the power to create opportunities, solve problems, and drive innovation.’
Whilst attendee, Oluwatobi Olajide picked up on Harvard certified consultant, Fife Banks‘ advice about going ‘friend-raising before fund-raising’. According to Fife, you have to network, as well as do your research. He recommends that you find out what is interesting to your donors and align your product to it, as well as look for alternatives to cash, such as finding volunteers who are aligned with your goals and/or swapping skills with people – both of which he did in the early days.
Still on the subject of financing your enterprise, property and personal branding expert, Deborah Turner is an advocate of self-funding with the assistance of grants and matched funding, where possible. She did a lot of research when starting out and found there is money out there to be had if you seek the right help.
Asked about how to stay motivated, MD/CEO of Afari Travel and Tours, Osamudiamwen David Osaghae shared that he focuses on his goals and always tries to be level-headed in decision making, especially in a crisis. ‘You have to be best friends with failure’, he says, continuing ‘if something [bad] happens once, it shouldn’t happen again.’
Global streetwear brand Jehu-Cal owner, Emay Enemokwu agrees, saying ‘I don’t see anything as a failure but a lesson.’ He also advises taking care of both your physical and mental health, as you need to be fit to run a business. He finds eating more healthily and training in the gym regularly improves his productivity.
But what about the key traits an entrepreneur needs to have? The list of suggestions from our speakers includes resilience, positivity, compassion and a certain mindset. They all agree that you have to want to make an impact in the world – it is not about doing things for yourself. It’s about finding solutions to problems, investing in people, working out what is sustainable, and not forgetting about the people who have your back.
Reflecting on the lecture, co-organiser and MBA student Festus Bello says, ‘The takeaway for me is that every entrepreneur faces the same challenges. Individuals who break through these challenges are individuals who have chosen to have no option but to believe and push through to pay the price required to make life better for others, as well as themselves.’
Our MBA Guest Lecture series runs across the year covering three main themes: Sustainability in November, Diversity/Women in Leadership in March and Entrepreneurship in May.
Our MBA is underpinned by our high-quality research and informed by the global outlook of our international community. It builds on your current experience to transform you into a responsible business leader.