SME Owners Speak On The Value Of Education In Boosting Small Businesses
Rural Reporters spoke with a number of small business owners in Nigeria who are graduates of different higher institutions of learning. They shared their opinion on the value of additional education in boosting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
Bashir Nurudeen (Male)
Discipline: Electrical Engineering
Business: Dinnytech Alternative Power Sources (Daps)
Actually, there are so many things in place to distinguish you in my line of work but being an educated person sure differentiates your product or services from your counterpart. Take my kind of job as an example; we have so many people working as an engineer or electrician who cannot put their work into drawing. However, by privilege of being a graduate and with the knowledge I was able to acquire from school, I can always put any form of work into drawing. Also in engineering, there is a software programme we use called auto cad (Automated Computer Aided design). An illiterate or a person not well schooled in this field, especially those who does not know how to operate computer cannot use this software to design their work or display the design of his or work.
This design alone gives you an edge over other local contractors or electrician.
With good presentation, you can always get a job from multinational companies who you can interpret your design.
Having practical experience outside the university is good, but going into the higher institution of learning gives you the advantage of doing some necessary analysis instead of just assuming or guessing.”
Oluwakemi Asake Adeniyi (Female)
Discipline: Mass Communication
Name of Business: K nd K Variety store
“In business, education gives one an edge over uneducated people. This is because there will be a difference in the way you market yourself and your product.
Forget about the type of product, even if it is just ordinary pepper you are selling, there will be a difference as a result of your level of exposure and the way you package yourself and your product.
For example, I see many people (competitors) in my area that sell the same product I sell but most of them are illiterate. What gives me an edge is my level of ‘intelligent’ communication with customers and my negotiating power.
While in school, I did a course on entrepreneurship and believe me or not I am benefiting from what I learnt. I make sure I put them into full use.
You know mere looking at your product and its packaging will attract people to you. An uneducated person who sells pepper, for instance, will not see any sense in packaging. He or she will just be after putting the wares for the public to see without minding what actually attracts the customer to a particular product or seller.
Also, because of the education I have, I know the importance of advert. And even though I do not have huge money to employ the mass media to do the job for me, I make sure I do little avert in my area, churches, schools etc.
With education giving you the edge to go the extra mile, you will find out that no matter how small you are starting you will have already make a name because you will be registered on their mind and they will always want to come back to patronise you.”
Daniel Adesanmi (Male)
Discipline: Computer Science
Business: Sport Viewing Center Business
“Going to school gives you a wide scope on life and how you can relate with it. After acquiring range of knowledge by going to school, this helps in the implementation of the business.
In doing this, you will be able to make necessary research on existing business you can dabble into, likable challenges to encounter, the risk and benefit as well as the appropriate location to set up the business.
Costumer relation is another important factor that education aids in business. The manner of approach is quite different.
Other areas were education play a pivotal role include packing of goods and services, sales promotion, and coordination of client customers.”
Matilda Akinyemi (Female)
Discipline: Mass Communication.
Business: Business Woman and Makeup Artist
“Education plays a vital role in all aspect of human endeavor.
Starting a small-scale business or any other business is not a mere engagement and business entails management of a commercial enterprise, of which the study of such management is required.
As an educated entrepreneur, your level or way of reasoning will be distinct before you dabble into a business as you will take your time to know what the business entails.
You will be able to determine factors such as: Why do you want to start such business? What do you intend to get from it? What season work best for your product (is it a seasonal product?), business risk, customer relationship and how to tackle existing competitors among other things.
All these might not occur to an uneducated entrepreneur. He might decide to start the business just to make profit because he sees a neighbor making money who is dealing in such business.”
Ogechukwu Oseafiana (Female)
“Education makes you see things from a better perspective from a lay man.
Anyone who must succeed in a self employment venture must have a good knowledge of the environmental, economic, and internal factors of the business and this can only be achieved through education.
Education helps in employing certain strategies in order to ensure that the business succeeds. Such strategies include market study/analysis, business plan and feasibility study.”
Taofeek Sanni (Male)
“Education helps a lot. The way I treat my customers/ clients is quite different from a lay man. This also reflects in terms of research on materials and what I need to do to improve in all aspect of my work.
Since I am also computer literate, I log in to the internet in my leisure time to make more findings on what’s in vogue in other part of the world.
Education has really exposed me a lot and has also impact my business because it gives my customers self confident that they are dealing with the right person and it makes our interactions so easy.”
Biodun Fawole (Male)
Discipline: Agric. Economics & Extension.
Business: Property Agent
“From my point of view, education gives me an edge because I learnt how to write business proposal and how to defend my proposal while in school. I am also able to communicate well with clients.
Education also contributed to clients wanting to work with me because there this touch that makes the difference.
Most skilled illiterates I know still look for educated people to write job quotation for them. They all need educated people to transact business successfully.”
Image source: NaijaInvest