There was so much discussion yesterday and it was impossible to take down everything but here are just a few points that stood out for me at the 12th SME Conference powered by EDC themed The Future of Work: Re-inventing your organisation for competitiveness.

 Nireti Adebayo credit



Nireti Adebayo led the key note discussion on the Future of work. 
The world is changing and so is the market place. The new players are the Millennials who are more clued on to their working needs. 40% of them expect to be in top management positions within 2 years of working. They are technology savvy and fast on their feet. They want managers as friends, coaches and mentors and not bosses.
Millennials don’t stay in jobs for more than 2 years if they get a better deal. They prefer mentors and coaches. 

Flexible working is becoming the norm. In America half the workforce now work from home. 
Technology is a big changer today. See how Uber and Taxify have knocked off the yellow cabs around Naija. 
There was so much to digest. 

Ensure your business has soul and encourage feedback. 
What is certain is that the future is uncertain but to stay competitive one must be  innovative and adaptable to these changes. 

There were 4 breakout sessions and the one I attended was tagged “Promoting Young Women’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation” which was facilitated by Nneka Okekearu deputy director at EDC 


It’s always a pleasure to hear from Ndidi Nwuenli. She is simply amazing.
Three things she said that stood out
   1. She puts God first in everything 
   2. She has several mentors for different aspects of her life
   3. She surrounds herself with good advisers and she on several boards

BONUS In order to scale up and be taken seriously you should have a board. 

Some questions that Ndidi posed for ladies

   1. Are you self aware? 
   2. Are you innovative? 
   3. Are you ethical?
   4. Are you disciplined? 

If you answered yes to all of them then you are on your way to having a sustainable business. 

At the breakout session led by Nneka Okekearu, Deputy Director at EDC, three powerful women spoke about their businesses namely:
1. Florence Opawaoye from Win Win, 
2. Abimbola Balogun from So Fresh  
3. Joy Igbodike from Jaebee Furniture. 
Two of them have businesses with their husbands and one in her own. (Joy)

Three things that stood out with all of them are the following: 
Be dedicated to your dreams. It involves a lot of sacrifice and discipline.

Always stay focused on the vision of the business.

Take risks and invest in things that will take your business to the next level.

Social media is a great platform for building your personal brand (Joy)

Go the extra mile to listen to staff and attend to their needs. This will  keep them loyal and motivated. 

Example provide food for staff especially if they work in a food environment or provide good cooling systems especially if they work in a hot environment. Just try as much as possible to cater to their needs and see staff as an investment. 

All of the ladies were down to earth, humble and approachable and I was inspired to do more to scale up my business. 
There so many familiar faces yesterday but I was only able to grab a selfie with Ijeoma Agbo from Full Circle Wellness Solutions, a network I’m proud to belong to.

I hope these notes helps!

Follow EDC on their social media @enterprisedevelopmentcentre for in-depth discussion on the conference 




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