Temi, a 23-year-old graduate of the English Language, aspired to become a lawyer as a kid. Now, she runs a makeup business on a small scale. She affirms that the Nigerian economy forces young people into an entrepreneurial spirit due to the large unemployment situation in the country. “By fire, by force, Nigeria demands that everyone tastes entrepreneurship,” she said.
Twenty-first century Nigeria is witnessing an astronomical increase in the embrace of entrepreneurship. To this end, many young individuals who often double as students of higher education in Nigeria are often found jostling in academic activities with some sort of entrepreneurial endeavor. This has in a way sharpened the mindset of the myriad of youths. And increase the entrepreneurial spirit among Gen-Zs in Nigeria.
Gen Z in Nigeria
Beyond the benefit of the doubt, the swift transition of the certificate-based industry into a skill-based economy has been established. Due to this continuously changing development, Gen-Z—people who fall in the generation which comprises primarily of births in the late 1990s to early 2010s. Or more specifically, starting with 1997 births and ending in 2012 births—have taken to honing their skills, both soft and hard. This process of developing their skills, especially soft skills comes largely through entrepreneurship, which affords them the opportunity to build communication and people skills, and time management, among others.
Consequently, there has been an increase in the embrace of entrepreneurship among Gen-Zers, of which a large concentration of
the age group in Nigeria is students of tertiary institutions. A higher institution’s campus, for example, provides an encouraging and enabling community to carry out such activities. Also, entrepreneurship has thus far boomed among Gen-Zers in Nigeria due to the pitiful state of the education sector. No doubt, the saying: “School na scam” is popular among young individuals.
This is a result of the majority losing hope in their respective fields of professional endeavor. Take for instance, a Nigerian student of medicine who draws portraits and identifies as an artist who once captioned a picture of his artworks on Twitter: “I’m living my dreams.” Obviously, this is a statement borne out of the intention that his medical degree is the backup plan.
Challenges facing the Entrepreneurial Spirit Among Gen-Z in Nigeria
Entrepreneurship is not all rosy. Looking through literate-colored eyes, it demands solid enlightenment and skill, without which the entrepreneur stands the risk of developing major setbacks. The state of an economy largely affects the productivity and output of its emerging markets.
In an economy like Nigeria’s, young entrepreneurs are faced with many different challenges which could
set them up against a huge risk should things go south. This could and would lead to a major setback that would prevent them from
actualizing their purpose. One important factor for young individuals is the continuous acquisition of skills.
Gen-Zers are largely multi-taskers. What choice do they have? They can’t afford to stop trying to learn new skills. While some are solopreneurs trading products, others trade services, information, or even attention such as social media or brand influencers.
Additional Problems for Entrepreneurs in Nigeria
As a young entrepreneur, figuring out the targeted audience for your brand could turn out to be a rigorous process. Some young people pick a business for the wrong audience and by doing so, they end up lamenting the poor state of patronage offered by their friends and families. Finding customers could be a strenuous task if proper strategic management is not offered.
It then becomes the duty of young individuals to first go through the process of not just recognizing their customers but also taking their product, service, information, and attention to their customers accordingly. Finances create a major setback for young entrepreneurs since many Gen-Zers are already faced with economic challenges arising from educational and other miscellaneous costs.
Meddling this with successfully running their brand is a huge burden. Hence, a solid plan is required to influence sales. A solid plan could also draw a brand to more financing opportunities needed to take the brand to the next level, like grant acquisition, among others. The beautiful thing about Nigerian Gen-Z entrepreneurs is that, even at the level of adversities the nation thrusts at them, with limited funding among others, they still manage to build successful enterprises.
Enlightenment for Gen-Z entrepreneurs is to not have unrealistic expectations since profits may not appear almost instantly as it could take years before the seed of a business turns into a harvestable return. As the wise saying goes: “Good things take time.”
Dealing with Brand Trust
Customers tend to feel confident when they deal with companies with higher brand recognition and expertise. This should push Gen-Zers to deliver high-quality products and render high-quality services. This further underlines the need for flexibility in entrepreneurial ventures, just as a competitive atmosphere demands.
To be an entrepreneur is a risk in itself. To be a young entrepreneur in Nigeria requires multiplying the risk by ten. During the earliest stage, your life as a young entrepreneur might not
be the best you could live but with perseverance and the right attitude when facing these challenges, the pathway to success will be well laid.
Conclusively, as a Gen-Zer, do well to defy all sorts of stereotypical allusions made towards your entrepreneurial journey, or career path. You can and will overcome these life hurdles with constructive effort, optimism, and gradual experience.