Researchers Urged to Assist Entrepreneurs with Data on Mortality Rate of Businesses
An entrepreneur, Dr. Israel Ovirih has encouraged researchers in universities to do present and future entrepreneurs a favour by providing pertinent statistics and information on the birth and death rate of businesses (Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, Startups and large corporations) over the past five years, especially since 2015 when the economy went into depression.
Dr. Ovirih gave this task while delivering his keynote address titled, ‘Cultivating Entrepreneurial Capacities in Indigenous SMEs: The Inclusive Role of Technology’, at the 2nd edition of the Covenant University International Conference on Entrepreneurship. He said that a study of survival rate within the first 2-3 years of these businesses would no doubt be instructive to entrepreneurs, policymakers, and investors alike.
The keynote speaker, who is the Chairman, Banklink Africa Group, described entrepreneurs as problem-solvers. He said it was assumed that, with the increasing unemployment rate and depressing economy, entrepreneurs have the magic wand to save the world. “However, our inability to properly partner and collaborate with all stakeholders to build a formidable and healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem like the one in Silicon Valley has radically slowed down our advancement,” he added.
Dr. Ovirih stated that universities and the researchers are in the position to propagate and establish an ecosystem that will engender growth and foster national development. The entrenchment of the ecosystem, he added, would enable the deployment of resources required in all of its ramifications to help prepare, nurture, grow, sustain and scale entrepreneurial enterprises/ventures on a sustainable level.
The keynote speaker posited that the ecosystem and the universities can help entrepreneurs in many ways, such as visioning; access to macro–economic indices and markets dynamics, both at the domestic and foreign markets; access to finance, from debt financing to business angels financing, mezzanine and credit guarantee amongst others; technology and infrastructure support including patent system; supply of entrepreneurial spirit; the cultivation of strong entrepreneurial culture that frowns not at failures but encourages continuous business-creation and ownership in the face of adversities and challenges; and solid institutional and regulatory framework.
Speaking on the invention of a life-changing product, Dr. Ovirih said that no single man could really birth a great product or a massively transformative product as it takes a whole team, which most often include researchers, entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, policy makers and many more to birth a solution to any human problem or challenge. He stressed that birthing a product, starts with not just the idea, but with the right people, the right technology, and more importantly their passion and perseverance.
Other keynote speakers at the conference were Professor Erlinda Adetayo, who made a presentation on the topic, ‘The Role of Universities in Fostering Entrepreneurship’, and Mr. Valentine Obi, the Chief Executive Officer of eTranzact, who spoke on the topic, ‘Leveraging E. Skills for Innovation in the Knowledge Economy’.
Organised by the Centre for Entrepreneurial and Development Studies, Covenant University, the three-day conference with the theme: ‘Cultivating Entrepreneurial Capacities in the Knowledge Economy’, featured participants from within and outside the University. Prominent among those who graced the event were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shalom Chinedu, representing the Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero; and the Registrar, Dr. Olumuyiwa Oludayo among others.