Why Many Nigerians Struggle to Become Successful Entrepreneurs

Juwon Lawal Razaq
3 min readJul 23, 2020

As a serial entrepreneur, it’s not scarce to come across a few instances where people tell you how difficult being an entrepreneur is and why they have not started. Despite the glamour attached to the ‘title’ it indeed is not an easy feat to become one, especially when you feel the odds are against you. But sometimes it is the elementary and avoidable things that stop many from doing what they think they love or bringing that idea to life. Here are a few of my observations that should be avoided.

1. The Fear of Starting

The bottom line is that the only way to get a business off the ground is to start. While it is easier said than done, you’re never going to know what it can become if you don’t start. At the same time, you need to be very well equipped before going in. Ask yourself a few questions

· What industry do you want to venture into?

When choosing industries, the first place to start is with what skills you have. Your educational background or even family business are a few areas you can look into. One deterrent is also the economy which may seem bleak, but there are successful businesses in there so really it isn’t much of an excuse.

· What problem are you aiming at solving?

This is one of the hardest questions to answer, especially because it may seem like there is a solution to everything. But there may be loopholes that may need to be uncovered. You may not figure it out immediately at the start of the business, but it will help to have it on your checklist to find a problem to solve.

· What value do you want to add?

Adding value is the one sure way to get some attention to your enterprise. Just like looking for a problem to solve, adding value is about doing things that no one else is doing, even in the slightest way possible.

2. Staying in the comfort zone

Sometimes it seems like people are just comfortable with what they are and so there isn’t any urgency to leave where they are. They resort to ‘I’ll do it later’ and procrastinate. But the truth is, there is no room for procrastination and the time to do it is now. Comfort does not change things, and there’s very little to no growth in that zone.

3. Underestimating learning and experience

Most of the time, you’re not going to get it right on the first try, and it is this experience that you will need to be successful. Learning comes from being able to move from a place of little knowledge to another of more understanding of what you’re doing. The issue of getting things now and fast is the reason why most people are not able to reach where they want to go. The key is patience, and without it, you’re bound to struggle.

Nigeria, and Africa as a whole, is seeing great improvements in the entrepreneurial sector, especially with more and more people looking for ways to define their own career paths, regardless of their environments. The pandemic especially presents an opportunity to reset Africa, create employment through technology and eliminate poverty. Africa must embrace the new normal. The disruptions we’ve seen across Fintech Services, healthcare, logistics, supply chain, and the digital economy are here to stay. This only means that more emphasis should be placed on methods to adopt to make the journey more accessible as well as how the leaders can harness and facilitate the potential.



Juwon Lawal Razaq

Founder of Africent Group ( www.africentgroup.com) Member, Forbes Business Council , Member Commonwealth Entrepreneur’s Club.