Abuja Start-up Conference Brought Together Founders, Business Owners and Partners

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The founder and host of the Abuja Start-up Conference, Chigozie Ezugwu said the conference aimed at creating a platform converging startup founders, professionals from different backgrounds to learn, network, collaborate and partner.

The goal he also said is to help young business owners seek guidance and understand the right path to take in business to champion innovation and digital skills to grow Nigeria’s economy.

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On what the conference had achieved, he said the 2024 edition being the only one hosted in the north, having organised previous ones in the south, achieved a lot and had more than 2000 persons registered, with increased followership.

“Mentorship has been created, as we keep getting followers, he said.

MediaageNG Abuja Start-up Conference Brought Together Founders, Business Owners and Partners The founder and host of the Abuja Start-up Conference, Chigozie Ezugwu said the conference aimed at creating a platform converging startup founders, professionals from different backgrounds to learn, network, collaborate and partner.

“A million persons have been reached, both online and offline. Partnerships have been created before and after the event. This is exactly what we fought to achieve from the beginning”.

Mr. Ezugwu also disclosed that the conference has gained the trust of the community in terms of support. “Many persons including individuals and organisations have thrown their weights behind us, he said.

“Mostly, it’s not all about government funding that we need. If they can give us more level of credibility, partnership, technical and lots of other supports. We are open in every level.

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“There is need for sustained policies that will create the enabling environment for small businesses to thrive, he added, while speaking with Mediaage.

He said with Nigeria’s startup capitalization valued at nearly $1.3 billion as at 2023, the conference reinforced the need for effective policy and startup incubation to harness these opportunities.

He pledged commitment to positioning Startup Abuja as a premier platform dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship within the Nigerian startup sphere of influence.

Also, at the conference, Head of Value Chain and Strategy, The Alternative Bank, Peter Jigba, spoke on “Financing the Future: How Startups Can Build Effective Relationships with Banks”. He emphasized on the importance of research, preparation, transparency, and communication in financial prudence.

He urged startups to be committed to research and prioritise banks with a history of working with startups in the industry and leverage on them.

“Be prepared, focus on future potential, be transparent and communicate”, Mr. Jigba said.

Director of Product Management, Google, Erin Nardo, while engaging on a virtual platform, with the topic “Beyond National Borders: The Challenges and Triumphs of Taking Your Product Globally”, spoke of the importance of understanding diverse markets, and the strategies for overcoming cultural and regulatory challenges.

“To succeed globally, startups must embrace cultural differences, adapt to local markets, and stay agile in the face of ever-changing global dynamics”, she said.

Country Director, Plan International Nigeria, Charles Usie shared five principles for a successful business, hammering on the value of time.

“It’s either you are being chased or you are chasing something, you must keep running.

“Are you running after profit or social good or both? What is your motivation? Be sensitive to moments that are transformational and life-changing”, Mr. Ushie said.

The Chief Executive of Peace Mass Transit and Founder/Vice-Chancellor of Maduka University, Dr Samuel Maduka Onyishi, said integrity is key for every start-up.

Arc. Dr. Barka Umaru Mshelia, the Managing Director of Mshel Homes underscored the importance of customer feedback, strategic foresight, and aligning ideas with customer demands.

He said while solving complex business problems, one need to be smart and proactive, develop deep critical thoughts and problem-solving skills.

Temi Badru, an Award-Winning Public Speaker, LinkedIn Top Voice, Lawyer and Founder of Voices and Faces Communications, said the power of social media in growing a business should not be underestimated.

“It’s not just maintaining an active individual social media account but, having media handles for your business” she revealed.

Special Assistant to the Anambra State Governor on Innovation and Business Incubation, Chinwe Okoli encouraged that government’s initiatives should be aimed at fostering innovation and digital skills, including policy frameworks that will support programs for startups.

The CEO, Bosan Integrated Services Limited, spoke on the challenges of achieving product-market fit and the importance of understanding customer needs, and adapting to market changes.

“Finding the right product-market fit, is a journey. It requires understanding your customers, adapting quickly and and continuous innovation”, he stated.

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